Updated: Jun 14
Many construction business owners have a common question. What access should they give to their bookkeeper? It's about finding the right balance. The bookkeeper should have enough access to do efficient work. However, security should not be compromised.
What Do Bookkeepers Do?
To answer this question, it's crucial to first understand what bookkeepers do. Bookkeepers are professionals who manage your financial data:
Keep track of transactions
Match transactions with your books
Verify and categorize transactions
Keep you updated about your financial position
Basically, the bookkeepers keep a close eye on how much money you bring in and how much money you spend. They do this to make sure your financial data is organized, up-to-date, and accurate.
Do Bookkeepers Have Access to Bank Accounts?
Now that you understand the role of a bookkeeper, you might see why certain levels of access are necessary. This doesn’t mean they need unrestricted access. How much access a bookkeeper needs depends on their job and how much the business owner trusts them. Here are some types of access your bookkeeper might need:
Accounting Software: Your bookkeeper will need access to whatever accounting software you use to do their job efficiently. This can be achieved by creating a user account with suitable permissions for them.
Bank Accounts: The answer to "Do bookkeepers have access to bank accounts?" is that it depends. You can choose to give your bookkeeper view-only access to your bank account. This allows them to monitor transactions and reconcile accounts without giving them the ability to move money.
Why Give Account Access to Your Bookkeeper?
So, why should you grant account access to your bookkeeper? Here are some compelling reasons:
Better Financial Reporting: Bookkeepers with proper access offer better financial reporting. They can provide accurate reports. These reports are also up-to-date.
More Effective Budgeting: Understanding your financial situation helps with budgeting. A bookkeeper can help you budget effectively with this clarity.
Faster Payroll Processing: Necessary payroll access enables more efficient processing.
Efficient Cash Flow Management: Access also helps with cash flow management. A bookkeeper can ensure healthy cash flow with the right access.
Easier Tax Preparation: Tax preparation is easier with full access to your financial information. It simplifies the process significantly for your bookkeeper.
Information Bookkeepers Need from Contractors
Let's explore what information bookkeepers typically need from contractors:
Invoices and Receipts: If you've billed a client or paid for materials, these documents are essential. Your bookkeeper uses them to keep track of money coming in and going out.
Bank Statements: Critical for reconciling your accounts and ensuring everything adds up.
Payroll Information: If your bookkeeper takes care of payroll, they need specific details. They need information about hours worked and pay rates. They also require other payroll-related details.
Tax Information: This includes your Employer Identification Number (EIN). They also need your Sales Tax ID. Any other tax-related details are important too.
How to Provide “Secured” Bank Account Access to Your Bookkeeper
You don't need to grant full account access. There are alternatives:
Give Read-Only Access: Many banks offer the option to create a secondary user with view-only access. They can see transactions but can't initiate them.
Use Software with Limited Access Capabilities: Some accounting software lets you limit access. Your accountant can view some of your bank information, but not all of it.
Share PDF Statements: If your bank doesn't offer a view-only option, you can download your bank statements as PDF
These alternatives have many benefits:
Easy Access: Your bookkeeper can easily access bank statement data.
Reduced Errors: They can download data. This saves time and reduces mistakes.
Saves Time and Money: This access can save time, effort, and money.
Extra Layer of Security: Bookkeepers can monitor your accounts. They can catch misappropriations or mistakes.
CCA’s Approach to Quality and Confidential Bookkeeping Services
Construction Cost Accounting (CCA) values quality and confidentiality. We build trustworthy relationships with contractors. We understand your unique financial needs and business operations.
They know the specific needs of the construction industry. To balance our need for access with your security and privacy, we primarily use two methods: read-only access to your bank accounts and shared PDF statements.
Read-only access allows our bookkeepers to view your transactions and reconcile your accounts without having the ability to make changes or move money around. This approach is a secure way to provide us with the access we need to do our job effectively without giving us full control over your accounts.
Sharing PDF Statements
If read-only access is not available or suitable, we recommend sharing PDF statements. You can download these from your online bank account and share them with us. So, we can keep your books up-to-date without having direct access to your accounts.
We assure you that we treat your financial information confidentially and professionally, no matter the access method. When you share sensitive information with us, you are putting your trust in us, and we take that trust very seriously.
Now that you know what kind of access to give your bookkeeper, the next step is to ensure you have a professional and trustworthy bookkeeper. If you're thinking about outsourcing your bookkeeping, we have a handy guide on how to outsource bookkeeping for your construction business.
When you're ready to hire a construction bookkeeper, refer to our outsourced bookkeeping guide for a smooth hiring process.
Understanding the kind of access a bookkeeper should have can help you strike a balance between efficiency and security.
At CCA, our construction bookkeeping services are designed to ease your worries about access while ensuring that your financial records are accurately managed. Outsourcing your bookkeeping can be a significant step towards reducing stress and creating more time for you to focus on other important areas of your business.
To further explore our services, schedule a 15-minute consultation with us. We're happy to discuss how we can make your construction bookkeeping more efficient and secure. Also, feel free to visit our blog for more insights into construction bookkeeping or contact us directly for any queries.