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Kiwi bookkeepers supporting small businesses on the road to recovery

Mel Morris, Partner Community Manager, Xero NZ

Melanie Morris

May 19, 2020

We are incredibly proud of our bookkeeping community who have stepped up to navigate and interpret government subsidies in addition to providing their normal services while in lockdown. 

The past few months have completely changed the way small businesses work. For many, it’s been a stressful time having been forced to close, for others it’s been busy as they pivot their offering. But it has meant that many small businesses are turning to their trusted advisor for support. 

As we navigate this new economic environment, bookkeepers have arguably taken on the role of an essential service. As a trusted source of support and advice, they’re critical to the survival of small business. 

“Being a bookkeeper, you’re an integral part of so many businesses. It’s not just your own business you’re concerned about, but your clients’ businesses and their families.” Di Ketel, Bookkeepers NZ.

From providing one-on-one tailored advice to unpacking government support packages, bookkeepers are leading the way to recovery for many small businesses. Businesses that were unable to trade during Alert Level 4 needed a lot of support from their bookkeepers to process what sort of support was available to them. 

“During the Alert Level 4 lockdown our members have reported a significant reduction in the requirement for day-to-day bookkeeping services primarily attributed to reduced trading and they have seen a large increase in requests for business support.” ICNZB.

Keeping up with information

Understanding the support that’s available and translating that into tailored advice for each client is not a quick job. It has been made easier of course by the tight-knit bookkeeping community. I’ve found it heartening to see questions on Facebook groups answered and tips shared between fellow bookkies. On top of processing all this new information, the day-to-day work hasn’t stopped.

“We’re assisting our clients with processing of wage subsidies, preparing for auditing, but also keeping up with usual tasks such as compliance, GST returns and payroll.” Di Ketel, Bookkeepers NZ.

Supporting clients through technology

I’ve heard from our bookkeeping community that their clients who have embraced technology have found it easier to adjust to remote working. Initial results from the ICNZB Benchmark Survey show that 52 percent of bookkeepers were already managing their client’s businesses through cloud technology. This meant it was easy for them to continue working closely with their clients and updating them on their financials, remotely. 

Our team has been fortunate to be in a position where our client’s operations were already being managed remotely and we had robust systems in place. This means we have been able to continue as normal. The farming sector is not known for their online work so we have found our biggest contribution to them has been more educational to show them what technology is available.” Kim Hamill, Nimba.

We’re so proud of our bookkeepers and the work they’re doing to lead small businesses back on the road to recovery. We are also committed to supporting our community during these challenging times, so if you would like to connect with other advisors, hear from experts and share useful tips, join one of our Xero Hour sessions for bookkeepers and accountants.

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