Questions To Ask A Bookkeeping Company Before Hiring One

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If you want to level up your business, you’re likely going to expand a lot of your roles – or even make some. When finances start to become a bit more complicated to handle, key positions such as bookkeepers are essential to keep everything in check. However, if you’ve never had a bookkeeper before, perhaps getting a bookkeeping company to help you out and might be more useful for your needs. How do you get a reliable one, though?

Getting A Bookkeeper: Why Is This Important?

To recall, a bookkeeper is someone capable of creating various financial records that can accurately detail the day-to-day financial activities of a company. This is essential as financial records do help companies not only assess their current status, but also on finding better ways to improve their operations in the future. Given the many things to keep track of, however, finding the right bookkeeper for the job may seem like an overwhelming task. This is something that should be done, if some numbers are to be believed.

For instance, only 17-percent of companies are actually using asset management systems to track their physical assets, while 47-percent of owners for small business don’t know how their books are impacted by ghost assets. Aside from that, it’s important to remember that in the United States alone, 50-percent of small businesses are firms that are home-based, and at least 50-percent of their millennial population are actually freelancers.

Bookkeeping Questions: What To Ask

With the above in mind, it’s important to remember that bookkeeping is an important role in any business, and as such hiring a bookkeeper means hiring someone to be able to manage fundamental aspects of your finances. If you want to be able to hire the perfect bookkeeping company for you, it’s important to remember that companies like Balancing Books Bookkeeping do have different strategies of managing their respective businesses and bookkeepers. Here’s how to find the perfect match for you:

  • What exactly is the kind of bookkeeping work you’re having them do? It’s important to remember that accounting and bookkeeping tend to be interchanged – but they have fundamental differences. Accounting deals with all aspects of finances of an individual or a company. Meanwhile bookkeeping deals with the systematic and orderly recording of financial transactions of an entity. Bookkeeping isn’t just confined with that, however, and actually have a lot of things to do under its plate. It’s important to determine just what bookkeeping work you want the company to do in order to be clear with things such as payments. In your company, who will reconcile bank transactions? Who will pay suppliers and get their bills in, or who will follow up on debtors and raise sales invoices? Who checks the proper coding of transactions? Who prepares reports and interprets them? Who prepares budget plans? Knowing who will do these between your accountant and your soon-to-be bookkeeper can make things simpler.
  • Are they qualified and registered? Bookkeeping is a highly-technical practice, and as such are likely going to be Chartered Accounts or even CPAs. Some countries even have stricter standards as to just who can do bookkeeping work, so check the regulations in your area and see if your bookkeeper-to-be actually meets those requirements.
  • What is their skill level? How familiar are they with your niche? If you want your bookkeeper to do an excellent job, you’ve got to choose a bookkeeper that can do your industry’s bookkeeping needs. As such, it’s important to determine both your potential bookkeeper’s level of expertise and how knowledgeable  they are in terms of your industry. This also helps reduce the learning curve needed to get the kinks of how your industry works, as your bookkeeper will be familiar with what needs to be managed anyway.
  • How is their communication skills? Do clients like them? A bookkeeper who’s good in terms of doing technical things is vastly different from one who talks with clients. If someone considers them good with dealing with clients, try to size them up and ask them about how they perform with clients with the way they talk with you. Are they concise and clear? Are they able to make accounting and bookkeeping concepts understandable?
  • How about response times and delivery times? You need to be very clear with how often you need your reports or how often you’ll need the presence of the bookkeeper. Ask the company what you can expect every week or every month from them, and how long do you expect them to respond to your queries.
  • How about client protection? Talk about segregation of roles and internal controls within the company, as after all you’re giving them a degree of your financial information. Try to have a say in how the company should divide bookkeeping services for you, so you know just who to communicate with and you know that they’re not going to overestimate their skills and end up messing vital statistics for you.
  • How exactly will they price their services? Try to ask for an invoice depending on the things you want them to do, and see if they prefer to have monthly fees or hourly fees. The current trend nowadays is for services to charge fixed rates. If that’s the case, be very clear with them if the invoice you’re offered is the real deal or if there are “hidden” charges.  

The Bottomline: Bookkeeping Is Not An Easy Matter

Hiring a bookkeeping company is no easy feat, as after all there really are particulars that have to be considered before you put your books on the hands of someone to keep them. However, with the above tips, you’re likely going to find a good benchmark on the questions you have to ask your potential bookkeeper in order to make sure you’re not only hiring the right person, but you’re hiring someone that’s best for your needs. Remember, it’s important to scrutinize your potential bookkeeper from the start of your search in order to avoid complications in the future.