Getting up-to-date management accounts to help businesses make decisions isn’t reserved just for big companies – small businesses can access this valuable information with the help of Gloucestershire bookkeepers, BookCheck.
Organisations county-wide and beyond, from charities to the Gloucestershire local enterprise partnership, GFirst LEP, have chosen the company to deliver monthly management reports, tailored to their exact needs – with SoGlos discovering why the service is so in demand.
About the expert – BookCheck
Gloucestershire-based BookCheck was founded by Anthony Pilkington FCA in 1994 and has grown to become a major force in the delivery of transformative bookkeeping with management accounts for businesses UK wide.
An increasing number of clients are also benefiting from its Xero expertise and skills, using the firm’s Xero Migration & Add-on Development (MAD) service – with new company BookCheck X Ltd being formed to specialise in this subject.
For more information, visit bookcheck.co.uk.
Can you explain what you mean by management accounts from BookCheck?
Management accounts are simply detailed profit and loss reports, together with a balance sheet. Unlike the year end reports, management accounts are monthly and customised to individual client requirements – so we highlight and focus on what they need to know.
We start with a conversation about exactly what a business wants and can alter this as and when required.
How do they benefit a business?
They help identify and fix things that are going wrong – such as being behind, duplicate payments, overpaying VAT and incorrect sales ledger balances getting in the way of collecting debts.
And on the positive side, they present clear information on how to reduce overhead costs and increase profits. Clients can see clearly what is going on in any part of their business, so allowing a focus on improving.
The BookCheck mantra is ‘measure to improve’. A key to this is reporting gross profit margins and comparing month by month. A one per cent increase in margin equates to one per cent of sales as extra net profit. The reports enable clients to keep a beady eye on that.
The information is a perfect platform for increasing profitability and improving cash flow. It also lets clients focus better on running their business, rather than worrying about book-keeping.
Can you summarise what one of the management reports looks like?
It is totally up to date information at the end of every month. It’s a profit and loss report in whatever detail is required plus a balance sheet. You do not have to wait until way past the end of year for the report on which to base decisions. By then the world has changed – the information is way out of date.
The key point is that each report is individually tailored to requirements – then it’s much easier to understand, to own it and then use to advantage.
Quite often owners can be completely divorced from their company’s accounting system, but with our approach they can even call up the management reports from home. It means they have the key information at their fingertips wherever they want it.
Does that mean a business will have a BookCheck staff member looking over their shoulder all month asking questions?
No, we settle this down to a smooth routine each month. BookCheck works ‘in the cloud’. It does all its work off-site. Funnily enough the company has always worked this way since it started 28 years ago.
Is the service you offer unusual?
It is what marks us out – our service is not book-keeping or monthly accounts but the two together.
Alongside our bookkeeping, our management accounts make us unique because we guarantee these are always both thoroughly checked and issued personally by a qualified accountant (we have 10). We tailor the reports individually for clients, depending on what they want from their accounts – and if they are not sure what they need to see and why, we can talk them through it.
It can be a massive benefit. Many businesses don’t have the resource to prepare these reports themselves and they are too busy just being a business.
We also have a support service to make sure clients can use the information as effectively as possible.
How do companies know this kind of service is right for them – can they try before they buy?
An initial discussion will examine the issues to be resolved – to see if the BookCheck service would fit. Ticking one or both of these boxes is a key indicator:
• Ongoing significant book-keeping issues
• Lack of quality prompt monthly management accounts
If so, then get in touch and we’ll arrange for our free 30-point accounting health check – done under an NDA, remotely and efficiently, with no obligation.