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Compliance for bookkeepers – What’s involved?

Bookkeeping, Compliance - 10/01/2021

Compliance is an integral part of bookkeeping. In fact, it’s an integral part of the financial services industry as a whole. In simple terms, compliance means adhering to a rule, a policy, standard, specification, or law. However, when it comes to compliance for bookkeepers, there’s a bit more to it than that.

In this week’s blog, we’re taking a look at what compliance for bookkeepers is all about.  We explore why it matters and how outsourcing the accounts can really help keep your business stay compliant.

What does compliance involve?

Your business must be able to give accurate information about its accounts as and when required. Examples of those who might ask for this are your shareholders or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As such you (or preferably your bookkeeper) need to be prepared. 

For law firms, compliance is a full time job. When it comes to the books, they need to be accurate and up to date at all times. The right processes, software and strategies must be in place to enable this to happen. An outsourced accounts provider will be able to provide all this and more. This will give you the peace of mind you need to grow your business.

Compliance for bookkeepers

Compliance for bookkeepers means making sure that a company’s financial matters are being handled in accordance with the necessary rules, laws and regulations. There are a fair few of these, so let”s take a look.

Whilst not accountants, bookkeepers have a big responsibility and as such, there’s a lot for them to learn. All bookkeepers must act in accordance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017. These regulations apply across the entire financial services industry. If they’re not adhered to, then your bookkeeper and your firm could be subject to a fine or even prosecution.

In addition, there are the Professional Conduct Rules laid down by the Institute of Certified bookkeepers (ICB). Whilst it’s not a requirement for bookkeepers to be members of the ICB, the core principles of the organisation are worth knowing. For example:

  • Bookkeepers should not provide tax advice.
  • A bookkeeper should have sufficient knowledge and the expertise necessary to enable them to complete the task at hand.
  • Bookkeepers should not give advice on estate planning.
  • Bookkeepers are not permitted to provide advice or recommendations in respect of investments (as per the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000).

Why does it matter?

We’ve talked before about the importance of having a bookkeeper you can trust. It’s a profession that demands nothing less.  It’s absolutely vital that the bookkeeper you choose understands compliance inside and out: what it is, what the regulations are and why compliance is so important. Anything else risks both your compliance record, and your company reputation.

Given the ever increasing levels of compliance, firms are finding that their time is taken up with compliance issues that are, in the main, routine. Ideally, you should be using that time and those resources for other things. For example, tax planning, process improvement and people management. 

Outsourcing the day-to-day accounts can allow you to do just that. There’s no doubt that outsourcing is a cost-effective and more efficient way to get the job done. At Numero, we’re fluent in compliance we can help your business focus on what matters

 

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