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Growing a bookkeeping business in 2021: what you need to know.

by XBert Team ~ 3 min read

Bookkeeping in 2021 is more than data entry,  and includes embracing automation and AI, outsourcing, moving into advisory and data analytics.

The future of bookkeeping looks bright. It looks alot different than it did even just a few years ago - but nonetheless, there are many opportunities arising for bookkeepers to evolve their professional services.

For experienced bookkeepers who have been in the industry for decades, change can be overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you focus on? And what change is necessary to add the most value to your clients?

We look at four simple areas you can focus on to ensure you're evolving with the industry in 2021 and beyond.

1. Embrace and utilise automation

Goodbye data entry! This has to be one of the biggest shifts for bookkeepers in the technological development of the industry. Developments in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and Big Data provide a host of opportunities to streamline outdated processes and automate labour-intensive tasks.

While some may fear automating things like data entry, audit and even your checklists and processes could take away the relevance for bookkeepers all together, the opposite is true. The elimination of manual and repetitive tasks opens opportunities for bookkeeping practices to grow their client base on their current head count, and spend more time analyzing data, providing insights, and giving advice to their clients, especially in a disruptive time as the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Invest in Data Analytics & Advisory

Setting yourself apart from other bookkeepers in a world where cloud accounting has somewhat levelled the playing field, can be tough. In 2021 and beyond, the ability to advise your clients further than just their tax obligations will be key.

The push toward remote work, cloud solutions and hence the security around those was sped up exponentially thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. A nice consequence of that is improved access to Big Data presents exciting opportunities for bookkeepers.

Data analytics can help you collect valuable financial insights, identify operational inefficiencies, track clients progress and develop accurate forecasting models. As we move into the future and the digitisation of the industry grows, we will see more and more businesses embrace data analytics to inform their decision-making and differentiate the value of their services from rivals.

Unlike other mundane tasks in bookkeeping processes, such as audit and data entry, decision-making will always fall into the hands of human professionals and experts. Tapping into the data and investing in a solution that gives you quick access to insights on your client’s business health is one way to stay relevant and add meaningful value to your clients.

3. Outsourcing

Even before the pandemic hit and remote working was thrust upon many - bookkeepers have been increasingly considering outsourced teams to build a stable, reliable and cost effect team offsite.

While traditionally, bookkeepers employed by larger firms worked in-house with finance teams; outsourcing to remote workers either from a home office or even across country borders, is becoming more popular. Bookkeeping practices are following these trends, many looking to outsourced teams as a cost-effective way to increase productivity and grow their business.

Outsourcing enables your organisation to take on new clients, offer a wide range of services, and fill important skill gaps for highly technical projects. Task management software, ai audit, process automation and CRM for bookkeepers are lightening the load for many managers.

4. Utilise social media

6.96 billion people currently use social media worldwide, up almost double from 2.07 billion in 2015. The average person has 8.6 social media accounts in 2020, up from 4.8 in 2014. And 40% of all internet users worldwide utilize social media for work purposes.

So yes, even if you’re a bookkeeper, no matter what your niche or ideal client is – chances are they’re on social media. Being present on social media helps keep you connected and present with your clients and customers.

It’s also a fairly affordable form of marketing if you don’t have a huge budget – which makes it an easy way to grow your brand and position yourself as an expert in the industry. Which one (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram - most likely a combination of them) will depend on who you’re targeting and what your business goals are.

So where to next?

Working with the correct tools in your business means smarter, more effective work and delivery. It doesn’t matter what niche market you’re in or what the scale of your business is – if you’re an accountant or bookkeeper, XBert has been developed specifically to help you.

With our AI auditing, task and process automation and analytics, XBert is the only tool for the industry that combines all the necessary functions for a smarter, streamlined practice workflow.

Why would you use just a task tool when you can have AI-audit, analytics and BI reporting built-in?

Find out how XBert can revolutionise your business by starting your free trial today.