Raising the status of bookkeepers
It’s hard to believe there’s never been a formal qualification or standard for New Zealand bookkeepers. While this provides employment for well intentioned individuals to set up from the kitchen table, there’s no benchmark for consumers when choosing a practitioner or redress if it all turns sour.
So it’s great to learn that the newly formed New Zealand Bookkeepers Association Incorporated (NZBAI) has developed a certification process for bookkeepers. By sitting the online NZBAI Certification Test – covering topics such as accounts structure and terminology, business expenses, GST, payroll and best practice – bookkeepers become full NZBAI members. This in turn allows them to use the official NZBAI logo on their website or collateral.
It’s initiatives like this that prompted Xero to become the founding sponsor of NZBAI. “We’re proud get behind the NZBAI as it establishes itself,” says Xero’s NZ Country Manger, Leanne Graham. “We believe in creating a profession.”
New Zealand’s tax body Inland Revenue also supports the NZBAI in setting up the certification test.
“Inland Revenue works with many intermediaries, such as the NZBAI, and offers support to professional associations whose members positively assist businesses with their tax compliance” – Inland Revenue
Bookkeepers must achieve 80% in the certification test to pass and there’s the opportunity to re-sit and get some help through NZBAI with any aspects they are unsure of.
As well as the new certification, NZBAI has scheduled events throughout the year in the main centres for bookkeepers to help upskill and update their knowledge. Topics covered include end of year and GST reconciliation, marketing your business, IR updates and changes, legal and compliance and insurance.
If you’re a bookkeeper and would like to sit the test or find out more about this new qualification, you can contact the NZBAI here.