Top Five Questions To Ask A Bookkeeper
Maintaining exemplary accounts is an integral part of running a successful business, so every business owner should ideally stay on top of things. However, as an entrepreneur, you may not have the time or skill to manage your business’s books or keep track of all your transactions. During such times, it is imperative to rely on the services of a qualified bookkeeper.
A bookkeeper will apply accounting principles to ensure that your financial data is recorded, prepared, and presented accurately. They help you stay on the right side of the law and reduce the possibility of your business getting audited. They are also up to date with all the latest business practices and software so they can adapt to any of your business needs.
However, with so many bookkeepers out there, it’s crucial to find one you can trust to manage your money. If you’re looking for financial prudence, here’s a list of the top five questions to ask a bookkeeper before hiring them.
1. Do you use Cloud accounting software such as QuickBooks Online?
The adoption of a cloud accounting software creates the foundation from which a business owner can develop real business intelligence. If your bookkeeper does not introduce you to a cloud accounting system, it is a signal that they are not up to date with the most significant advancement in the industry. As a profession, the bookkeeping industry has begun to advance beyond compliance (annual reporting) to a strategic partnership with business owners. It now provides them with real-time financial reporting and offers a competitive edge.
2. Do you charge an hourly rate or offer fixed monthly pricing?
The value to you as a business owner of being charged a fixed retainer is twofold. Firstly, you will be able to sleep well at night, knowing that the cost of your bookkeeping service will remain constant each month with no surprises. Secondly, at the end of the process, you will know that your bookkeeper cares about you and your business enough to learn the details in advance. In other words, you’re not just another paycheck to them.
To charge fixed monthly pricing for our services, we must first learn about your business. Information such as the volume of transactions, the number of bank accounts and credit cards, and how many staff you have is vital. Discovering if you require payroll, and what sales taxes you charge is also relevant.
3. Do you promise prompt reporting timelines?
One of the most frequent complaints that we hear from new clients is that they left their regular bookkeeper as a result of failure to provide a timely service. Paperwork was dropped off frequently, and yet months later, the work was still not completed. This scenario often leads to missing deadlines for sales taxes and year-end returns. It is worth remembering that the future of bookkeeping is about business intelligence, not compliance work, and it demands consistent and timely reporting.
4. Do you use a cookie-cutter approach?
Every company is different, and the goals of each business owner are also unique. A bookkeeping professional cannot know the intricate details of a company without asking questions. During the onboarding process, a considerable amount of questions need to be asked by the bookkeeper to align their reporting with the strategies and goals of the business owner. Moreover, from time to time, transactions will occur that require additional explanation to facilitate accurate recording. A great bookkeeper will provide a monthly Client-To-Advise report to facilitate discussion on these unique transactions.
5. Can you connect me with other professionals?
Your bookkeeper is typically the business professional that you, as an owner, interact with most frequently. Additionally, they have access to a significant amount of information about you and your business, providing them with insight about your business that no one else knows. As a result, a proactive bookkeeper should be able to introduce you to other professionals that can help you strategically advance your business.
If you’re looking for bookkeepers or accountants in Leduc, Alberta, reach out to Birch Accounting & Tax Services Ltd. We have been providing bespoke services for over a decade and ensure clients reap the benefits of our experience and training. Our services include bookkeeping, personal taxes, corporate taxes, business planning, and payroll services. We provide three bookkeeping packages and help clients choose one that best suits the needs of their business.