As part of the refocus of my blog, to include more creative business articles as well as quilting posts, I would like to introduce you to my lovely friend and bookkeeper, Amanda Knight. Amanda and I have shared some crazy road trips and conferences together, including sharing the back seat of our station wagon with my two small children (who were then a tiny baby and toddler) all the way from Canberra to Melbourne. She's a very supportive friend and I'm so pleased to know her. Amanda introduced me to the Xero Accounting package a couple of years ago whilst we had a client in common and it has revolutionised my BAS reporting. It's sooo easy to use! (NB this is NOT a sponsored post.)
I am very much looking forward to introducing my small children to Amanda's alpaca.
I thought it would be great to meet Amanda and ask her about why a bookkeeper is vital to every small business owner's support team.
1. Tell us a bit about you?
My name is Amanda Knight. I am in an unexpected chapter of my life but I am seriously loving life. There have been a lot of low moments in the last couple of years but glad to say that I have not only survived this but have come out stronger. It is quite funny how when you are going through something you think your whole world is going to fall yet later you realise that it was all part of the plan to make you stronger and a better person.
2. How long have you been running your bookkeeping business?
I actually worked this out the day and was surprised that I have been in business for 6 years. Over the last 6 years I have worked in other employment and at the beginning of this year I decided that life was too short to being stressed all of the time. So in fact even though I have been in business for quite a while in a sense it almost feels like my first year of business.
3. What do you love about bookkeeping?
I love the fact that there is no right or wrong answers with bookkeeping it is all clearly laid out in black and white. Bookkeeping to me is not just numbers instead is empowering individuals and businesses in how they are tracking which can then change how they do business.
4. What do you love about running your own business?
I love the balance, variety and flexibility that running my own business gives me. Running my own business has actually given me better health if I manage all of my commitments with the balance so that to me is probably the best thing.
5. Why should all small businesses hire a bookkeeper? What are the benefits of having a bookkeeper as part of their support team?
All small businesses should hire a bookkeeper because having accurate financial information and ensuring you are up to date with all of your obligations is paramount to the success of your business. It will mean that you will know that you can afford the staff you have employed and will empower you to be able to make wise financial decisions in your business
6. Tell us about Xero; why is it the accounting platform that you choose to use?
Xero is a wonderful cloud accounting platform. I have used other cloud based and desktop accounting packages but find that the usability, flexibility & the other programs that talk to Xero are incredible for not just streamlining the bookkeeping of your business but can change how you handle the administration of your business. It also makes the client, bookkeeper, accountant relationship really open and honest as all can have access to the same information at the same time and in different locations as long as you have access to the internet. I have been locked out of houses, stuck in grocery lines and I have still managed to process a payrun or reconcile accounts. I always thought that I was a little weird for loving Xero so much but my clients also love Xero too!!
7. What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
I love reading, if I don’t have a book on the go I am thinking about what book I should be reading. I am also trying to use the creative side of my brain more so I am also big on crocheting blankets at the moment.
8. What’s the one tip you would give small business owners when setting up and managing their accounts?
I would say this: even if you are going to manage your own accounts to get the proper set-up from the beginning and the proper advice of practically how to do things for your business from a bookkeeper. Time and time again I see many businesses reach out for our help and they are behind in their obligations to the ATO and employees and their accounts are a mess because they haven’t had the proper systems in place.
9. What’s next for you – where do you see yourself in two years’ time?
I see myself in two years' time continuing with helping small to medium businesses in not just the bookkeeping of their business but streamlining the administration of their business, giving them back time so they can focus on what they do best. My dream office would be just on the outskirts of Canberra, close enough to come into town but far enough away to enjoy the rural life and be the proud owner of an alpaca.
10. Where can we find you?
If you would like to have a confidential discussion with Amanda regarding how she can help you streamline your accounting needs, please contact her via her website and let her know I sent you.
Happy quilting (and bookkeeping)!