With literally every person (and their dog) working as a Book keeper these days, how do you know which one suits your needs? New Americans are simply spoilt for choice when it comes to finding and hiring accounting and bookkeeping companies and services for their needs. So, in this guide, we give you important tips for choosing the right bookkeepers for your business.
First of all….consider your own requirements as to why you need a bookkeeper in the first place.
Try and identify your business’s characteristics before selecting a bookkeeper
- Are you a small or medium sized business that has been, as of now, keeping your own books?
- Are you a start-up?
- Are you off shoring or outsourcing your bookkeeping currently?
- Do you already have a full or part time bookkeeper?
Once you identify and know these things you can understand your own requirements. Most businesses need to consider a new bookkeeping solution because their business is growing rapidly and/or the current solution is no longer suitable. Also, most small businesses are wary of hiring an accountant that charges hourly for a full time post and need to find a part time or cheaper service. In any case, this requirements list will help you shortlist the service providers..
Is s/he qualified and registered?
Did you know that starting August 2010, every book keeper in the country has to be registered with the Tax Practitioner’s Board? Naturally, you are wise enough to select a book keeper based on his qualifications and that s/he would have minimum level of experience. Additionally, do try and ensure that the person is also registered with the Board. You can also check out the official Bookkeeper website to learn more in this matter.
Have a talk about the role you want him/her to play
Naturally, you would be meeting your shortlisted bookkeepers in person. When you do so, be very clear about what your expectations from him/her are and also the deadlines you want him to adhere to. Outline all the duties you’d want them to complete. Set realistic goals and deadlines so that you have all the information you need when you want it rather than when it suits your bookkeeper to deliver the same. Most bookkeepers charge by the hour so you must try and make the most of it.
As with any job, it is of utmost importance that you compare quotes from various accountants. You certainly do not want to base your decision only on the amount they charge; the higher the experience, the greater the rate naturally would be. But remember: more experienced accountants would also likely finish the work faster than the less experienced candidates. The more qualified accountant would also prepare the books in an error free manner than ones prepared by less experienced keepers.
Keeping ahead of changes
A good bookkeeper will always be abreast of latest changes and developments in the laws related to taxes etc. To assess if this is the case, subject the candidates to various questions pertaining to rules and regulations. Ask them what steps they will take for your business practices and laws pertaining to GST. Also try and assess whether your shortlisted bookkeeper can offer more value added services rather than just doing the accounts.
Finally, your chosen accountant must also match with your personality. You should strike an instant rapport with the selected candidate. If not, you’d be less likely to feel comfortable in calling him/her each time you need specific advice for the business or for asking them for tailor-made solutions for your requirements.
We hope these tips come in handy when selecting a good bookkeeper to help maintain your books.