Bookkeepers in New Zealand often find that their workload has pesky peaks and troughs that correspond to our 2-monthly GST cycles.
This often results in a more stressful workload every second month, not to mention the negative effect that it has on cashflow.
This is also sometimes compounded with "those" clients who are notoriously difficult about getting information to you in a timely manner, resulting in last minute filing (more about managing client expectations in another blog).
Stressful for you and not good service for the client.
Cashflow, for both you and the client, impacted as one month has higher invoicing than the next.
To grow a sustainable bookkeeping business, you really need to smooth out those peaks and troughs a bit by thinking of every month as a GST month.
We all know that best practice bookkeeping results in accurate data with which business owners can make effective business decisions, right?
Well, part of a bookkeeper’s job is to educate our clients about that best practice bookkeeping.
It is best practice for a business to have certainty around the accuracy of their accounts on at least a monthly basis.
That means that the accounts need to be reviewed and verified at least once a month.
Reviewing the accounts monthly catches errors as they happen allowing you to educate your clients about correct coding.
Doing your GST checks and balances monthly allows you to request documentation that you need without an impending deadline.
Make it a part of the service or package that you offer that the accounts are reviewed and up to date each month.
Charge a monthly fee for doing so to smooth out cashflow for you both and to offer more value than just checking over the GST return.
Bonus points if you also recommend a separate GST bank account - only for GST - and at least once a month you run the GST return and get your client to top up that account to the current amount of the return.
If this sounds like something you need to get on top of, take a PostIt Note and write "Every month is a GST month" on it and stick it to your monitor.
Join the discussion with us over in The Business of Bookkeeping Facebook group.
See you soon.
PS: Don't forget to lock the period after the return has been filed (Xero does this automatically but others don’t)
PPS: There are always going to be the occasional exception to this rule, those clients who are so small, or who’s bookkeeping is really good, that going in monthly just duplicates the work and is not good value or economies of scale. That’s fine. You make that call.