Outsourced bookkeeping services is something you will want to look into as your business grows. You are going to find there are bookkeeping and accounting issues you just are not ready and able to handle for yourself. When that time comes, there are seven critical questions to ask yourself and any potential bookkeeper.
With more customers come more employees and they all demand your attention. And, the one thing all business owners and business professionals have in common, is limited time, specifically when our businesses are growing. This may be the time to seek out the assistance of professional bookkeeping services. However, while shopping around for outsourced bookkeeping services, you can't simply stop at the first name and contact number that appears.
You need to do your homework, in other words, you need to do a bit of research. The following seven areas of questions are a good beginning. You want to ensure your potential new bookkeeper has not only got the right personality to fit into your company culture, but also the right qualifications and skills to carry out the tasks you expect.
There are many individuals who are good with numbers and who actually are capable of helping with certain accounting and bookkeeping aspects. However, you need to have someone who has all the education/certifications and experience needed to assist you with your specific bookkeeping activities.
For one, without the necessary qualifications, experience and knowledge you might find yourself in legal trouble with the government later on. Dealing with the IRS is in the best of circumstances complicated. Having to deal with them without your bookkeeper or CPA at your side is not recommended, even under the best of circumstances.
When looking for bookkeeping services you need to look for a bookkeeper who understands and uses the same accounting system you do. Your company might be using QuickBooks Accounting Software as its accounting system while the bookkeeper has only Peachtree accounting software experience. Another consideration, are you using cash accounting or accrual accounting. Make sure the bookkeeping service your interview has the relevant experience.
Your bookkeeper takes holidays and falls ill just like everyone else. That simply is a fact of life. However, your bookkeeping needs do not stop and start at the schedule of your bookkeeper. When searching for professional bookkeeping services make sure the the bookkeeping company you select has the resources to deliver a consistent and continued service, even when your specific bookkeeper is not available.
Outsourced bookkeeping services can vary slightly from industry to industry. This is why you want to seek out a company that has worked with the specific industry you work in. This is mostly for tax purposes, as different business types have access to different write-offs and tax deductions. An experienced bookkeeper should know the ins and outs of your industry.
This insurance helps cover errors and omissions in tax forms and other financial documents. The bookkeeper needs to have this coverage as it protects you from paying fines in the event of an accounting mistake. While looking for bookkeeping services, always ask about professional liability insurance.
No matter how many interviews you have had or how impressed you are with their knowledge and past experience, you should always ask for references. This list of references can help you determine if the outsourced bookkeeping services in question are worth the money you spend hiring them or if you should seek out other financial assistance.
Ask for an example of an incident when they didn’t agree with something a client wanted them to do. There is not really a right or wrong answer. With this type of question you are testing how they handle difficult situations. Are you looking to contract a bookkeeping services provider that does everything you say, or are you looking for an adviser who will give you the right advice?
there are hundreds of questions to ask when interviewing for professional
bookkeeping services, the areas above are some of the critical areas to cover
when asking questions during the interviewing process. As a last bit of advice,
consider talking to the CPAs who had the opportunity to work with them.
Stephanie Horne is an experienced bookkeeper and Enrolled Agent. She is the owner and founder of Horne Financial Services in Rohnert Park, California along with this website and has over 20 years of in person, virtual and outsourced bookkeeping/accounting and tax preparation experience with businesses of all sizes.
Her love and passion is to work individually with business owners and families to help alleviate any financial stress or concerns by helping them to understand and have better control of their income, expenses, cash flow, and tax liabilities. She can be reached through her Horne Financial Services Facebook page as well.