60. What To Do About Janet? Dealing With A Dinosaur Bookkeeper (with apologies to any Janets out there)

Today’s modern world is changing and it is often thanks to advances in technology that we see some of the greatest benefits to our lives and businesses. Technology is empowering businesses to achieve what they want far more efficiently and one area which is changing a lot is accounting.

Cloud accounting is a powerful tool for small and medium businesses that have previously hired bookkeepers to help them maintain accurate financial records and perform other financial duties. Cloud computing can take over many of these tasks and staff from across the organisation can often access, view, download and input data remotely making cloud computing systems more flexible and versatile than a bookkeeper.

That is not to say that the old-style bookkeepers should not be part of our businesses. They still have a role and can be a real asset in your business. They just need to evolve from the dinosaur model they are used to, into the future bird and spread their wings to take on new responsibilities.

But how can this be achieved in your business?

Embracing Change

Change is a fundamental part of business; it helps keep your organisation fresh, up-to-date and profitable in an evolving marketplace. And we all know that if you are not prepared to constantly change, you will die.

So you need to embrace change and start looking at cloud accounting and what it can offer your business. How might you make change a fundamental part of the DNA of your business and develop a new set of processes that empower your leadership?

The next challenge is to encourage bookkeepers to embrace change and take on different responsibilities in your organisation.

The Evolution of Janet

If Janet, the dinosaur bookkeeper, is going to be of use to your business in the future, then she must embrace change. However, that does not mean that controls for the business are lost. The Janets of this world know a huge amount about your business, industry and other stakeholders and this is vital for the success of your business.

You should demonstrate that they are highly valued for this knowledge but at the same time, they need to accept that they can really benefit by being exposed to and trained in modern technology and methods your business. Perhaps they could take a more controlling role, monitoring the accuracy of information inputted by your various team leaders?

You also need to look at other ways that they can add value to your business.

Three Ways You Can Help Janet Add Value To Herself And To Your Business

There are three very practical ways that Janet can add value to your business which are made possible because of modern technology.

  1. Upskill Janet – make a point of taking Janet to trade fairs (and Accountex is a fantastic place to start) for her to get a feeling of how products and the market have changed. She will be blown away.
  2. Shake Things Up – Get An Independent And Objective View – we know it is difficult and sometimes the benefits are not immediately clear but getting an outsider with the right experience to sanity check that you are doing everything right and for the right reason makes total sense. Challenge those sacred cows and do not continue in the old ways just because you always have.
  3. Improve Debt Collection – UK Small businesses are owed approximately £30.2 billion in payments not made. Most of the time, chasing the late or non-payers takes up a significant proportion of time for small businesses and they can give up. By employing someone specifically to collect the debt, you can free up other employee’s time or your own time to concentrate on giving great customer service to those who are paying.


Things have moved on dramatically from the old style bookkeeper of yore.   And as a leader you must help your Janet evolve to become an integral part of your business’ success and with new responsibilities.

Tectona have a process using a suite of proprietary tools to quickly help you understand which areas you need to focus on giving you a clear action plan ranked in order of importance. We are so sure that you will benefit hugely from this process that we will give you your money back if you go on to commission Tectona to help you implement this action plan. Contact Tectona now and let us help you and your Janet get up to speed.

Posted in Tectona Ten - Managing the Day to Day.

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