April 2015

Finding quality staff resources - how is it for you?

I reckon we are now experiencing our greatest challenge in our 20 years history in finding more quality Sage and Xero staff as we expand. This is especially the case in London although Bristol is almost as bad. Recently we received 33 serious applications for a book-keeper position. We narrowed that down to four good enough for interview, then speaking on the phone reduced this to two. The best candidate took a position before our planned interview, leaving one who just wasn't good enough. So we start again!

We've even had the same experience in recruiting a seventh qualified accountant for thoroughly checking of the work of the book-keepers at each month end - a unique feature of BookCheck. At least our clients are shielded from this task which is part of our attraction so this encourages us to succeed.

I have a feeling that this will be an ongoing challenge, probably becoming more difficult so we'll have to find other methods. We're so used to our standards, they're imbedded in all we do. It's clearly pointless compromising on quality as we'll suffer down the road. It's not even a pay issue, although wage rates are climbing steadily, that's hardly surprising. It's really a shortage of quality. We'll just have to try harder.

Speaking to other professionals it seems this is a common problem. How is it for you?

Anthony Pilkington FCA      Managing Director, BookCheck Ltd

This entry was posted in Business Development and tagged in Sage, Xero, Employees, BookCheck, Bristol, London by bookchadmin

Technical Blog 11 - Sales & Purchase Ledger

The Purchase Ledger

The most useful management report is the Aged Creditors - this shows the ageing of all your purchase ledger accounts. You should feel comfortable that this is in good order otherwise you may pay suppliers the wrong amounts and your management accounts will be incorrect. Any negatives need a good explanation. This could indicate a missing invoice, in any event these should be checked carefully. Wherever possible these balances should be reconciled or agreed with statements from your suppliers. Most businesses miss doing this and therefore risk errors. Not all suppliers produce statements, so ask for one, either occasionally or monthly. You can always say that you will only pay on receipt of such. It's a really good way of picking up overpayments, such as paying an invoice twice or not picking up a credit note when you make payment. For reconciling the purchase ledger see below re sales ledger.

The Sales Ledger

The most useful management report is the Aged Debtors - this shows the ageing of all your sales ledger accounts. You can print in summary or in detail showing every outstanding transaction. It's sensible to review this monthly, especially the older columns and take action as required in chasing the debt. Reconciling the sales ledger means checking that the total on the Aged Debtors report equals the balance in the Nominal Ledger i.e. your accounts. In case there are future dated transactions, use a reporting date that is forward so that everything is included. In theory this is self checking as a posting to the sales ledger must update the Nominal Ledger however it's possible that a journal has been input directly to the Nominal Ledger, upsetting the agreement. If so then this posting must be reversed and this transaction handled directly through the sales ledger.