No matter what industry you are in, having a professional bookkeeper to help you is important. A good bookkeeper will help your business to stay afloat as well as help you with day-to-day accounting needs. But, how do you find a good bookkeeper? What makes a good bookkeeper? Is your current bookkeeper doing everything they can to help you be successful?
When you start a business, you will notice that you will have to deal with numbers. Every business in every industry will have to keep financial records. Even though it is possible to do it yourself, it may be beneficial to you and your business to leave it to an experienced expert.
What Business Do You Run?
Not all businesses are the same. That’s why not all bookkeeping needs will be the same. Before you hire a professional, it’s important to have a good understanding of your business and your needs. The needs of a bookkeeper for a restaurant will be vastly different for a bookkeeper for a tradesperson. Different businesses will have different requirements and legislation to follow, so it’s a good idea to choose a bookkeeper who has sufficient experience with your industry.
Another aspect to factor in is your requirements to see your bookkeeper face-to-face or whether you are happy for them to work remotely. If you are happy to only see a bookkeeper when you need them, this can save you on travel charges and lost time.
It is also about knowing exactly what you would like done. What do you want your bookkeeper to handle? Do you want accounts receivable services or will you do this yourself or in-house? Do you need support with accounts payable, bank reconciliations and your BAS? Will you do your own payroll or would you like the bookkeeper to process this for you? If you do choose a bookkeeper to lodge your BAS on your behalf, make sure you are working with a certified BAS agent. They must be registered with the Tax Practitioner’s Board.
How Many Transactions Do You Make?
How many transactions do you make on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? Understanding how often you make transactions will give your potential bookkeeper a better understanding of how much time will be required. Obviously, the more transactions you do at any given time, the more time your bookkeeper will need to address your financial needs.
Which Accounting Software Do You Use?
When you’re choosing software to help keep track of your finances, it’s a good idea to choose one with online access. Your bookkeeper will then be able to share data with you securely and you’ll be able to access your details from the cloud. Software such as Xero is quite a popular choice and many bookkeepers specialise in using this software.
Make sure that the bookkeeper you choose has experience with your software. You do not want to waste your time training them to use your tools.
Know Your Key Dates
You will likely have some key dates for your business such as when you pay staff, your tax return deadlines and meetings with your accountant. In order to have everything ready for these dates, it is best that your bookkeeper knows these dates as well. This will enable them to have everything ready when you need it.
Check Their Memberships and Professional Qualifications
If you’re going to be hiring a bookkeeper to handle important information, you need to choose someone who has the qualifications to do the job properly. Just like accountants, bookkeepers continue to study to ensure their qualifications stay up-to-date and their skill-level is acceptable. Most bookkeepers will have professional qualifications which are a part of the membership body they’re associated with. You can check if they are associated with any memberships through ICB, ABN or the AAT.
Look For Reliability
Someone might have all the credentials and certifications, but it doesn’t make them reliable. Look for a bookkeeping business that has been in operation for some time. You should be able to see consistencies in their attitude and integrity. You may also be able to ask them for references from current clients who’ll be able to confirm their efficiency and professionalism. You want to ensure you are working with someone who is also easily contactable! This is a big thing for bookkeepers; over time they get busier and then you can’t get a response from your once reliable bookkeeper. This is why you may consider working with an agency instead.
At the end of the day, you want a bookkeeper who has your best interests in mind. You want someone who can help navigate you through the sometimes confusing financials involved with running a business. If you’re looking for a Xero bookkeeper in the Brisbane region, get in touch with Diverse Business Consultants today.