Best Practice – the Professional

2024.4 Best practice - the Professional

In a 2023 Smart Bookies Club forum for 2023 we examined the term ‘Best Practice, and in particular what this means as a bookkeeper. Our Smart Bookies felt a Best Practice Bookkeeper encompasses 2 core elements – the Technical and the Professional. Smart Books® founder, Leaine Jones, further explains this as “Not just the doing – it is also the way of doing.”

Let’s look at The Professional.

Being professional encompasses many things – it can be a mix of soft skills, values, ethics, and how we conduct ourselves both personally and in business. Who are the people who you think have a good reputation? What sets them apart from the herd? What are the qualities that they demonstrate that form your opinion of them as a trusted professional?

For a bookkeeper these professional elements can include:

  • Terms of engagement – explaining clearly in detail on what services will be provided, how they will carry out the service delivery and what their fees are. Including payment terms, privacy and security policies, how communications and timeframes will be managed all give the client confidence in their bookkeeper and a ‘no surprises’ relationship. Maintaining confidentiality is a must! – and should be clearly explained and executed -both when onboarding and offboarding the client.
  • Trust and integrity – delivering on what is promised – mediocre service is not good enough! Where there are unexpected hold-ups or changes clear communication keeps everything on track. Having the client’s best interests at heart helps guide the bookkeeper in providing exemplary service. Being a trusted service provider is earnt – establishing a good track record – and maintaining high standards is so important.
  • Ethics – having clearly and openly stated values. Work should be carried out in a way that reflects these values. Taking ownership when things don’t go to plan – and putting things right show good character. Professional membership principles should be adhered to and demonstrated consistently in how work is done. The way the work is undertaken should be aligned to the bookkeepers’ personal values – any conflict with this should be swiftly addressed.

A bookkeeper’s reputation is their most important asset. Conducting themselves professionally and being openly clear on their way of working and what values they have will stand them in good stead. Having this clarity and clearly demonstrating it helps with their business’ overall direction too. Staying true to personal values while working absolutely shows evidence of Best Practice!

Need to review the Technical element? – read our previous article.

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