Before Engaging the Services of a Bookkeeping Company, It Is Important to Ask These 5 Questions
Bookkeeping is an essential, though frequently disregarded, component of a successful business, especially when it comes to smaller enterprises. Small business owners eventually come to the realization that they need to implement better financial controls in their companies, at which point they start looking for services that will help them improve their companies’ financial situations.
Many proprietors of small businesses have terrifying anecdotes to share about the time they made the mistake of choosing the wrong bookkeeping service for their companies. The expense of having your books done wrong may be devastating, as it can lead to erroneous figures, which in turn lead to concerns with taxes, as well as tardy reporting and even fraud.
The good news is that if you ask the appropriate questions, you will be able to make use of excellent bookkeeping services that are readily available to you. Here are five questions to ask yourself (not necessarily in the order presented) if you are considering hiring a bookkeeping service for your small business in any capacity whatsoever.
How long have you been in business as a bookkeeper, or how long have you been providing bookkeeping services?
This is not only a question about the knowledge and credentials that the bookkeeping service possesses but also a question about how long they have been providing bookkeeping services. Be sure that you are not only able to evaluate their level of expertise but also that you can check the credentials that they currently possess.
How frequently will they be able to submit their findings?
If you want to be able to make quick decisions that are well-informed in the modern corporate climate, you need to have reporting information at your fingertips. When working with a bookkeeper, it is imperative that you determine how frequently your books will be updated. How often will it be? Once a day, once a week, or once a month. Which option do you favor more?
How do you keep your data secure?
This is a component of hiring an accounting service that is frequently disregarded. I have had conversations with a few business owners who have experienced the devastating loss of vital financial data for their company simply because their bookkeeper did not believe it was necessary to back up their work. You simply cannot afford to make such an error. Thus it is imperative that you learn how the confidentiality of your information is maintained and how it is stored.
Do they have a contingency plan in place?
What are your options if you hire a bookkeeper but get hurt and are unable to work for a considerable amount of time? To add insult to injury, I am positive that your bookkeeper will require time off at some point. What are your plans in that case? Is your bookkeeper able to do their duties from a remote location? Before moving forward with a bookkeeping service, you are going to need responses to each of these questions. You are too busy to look for someone on the spur of the moment since you are too busy right now.
What kinds of reports can be generated for your company?
Some bookkeepers will simply complete the necessary tasks and then move on. Is something like that going to be sufficient for your company? In response to point 2, we talked about how frequently they report, but if they don’t report at all, that topic is moot. Make sure you are aware of whether or not the bookkeeping service you use offers reports, and if they do, what kinds of reports they offer.
In order to restate what I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph, bookkeeping is an essential function of your company. You must always be aware of the current situation if you are the owner of a business. It is imperative that you provide responses to the aforementioned five questions before engaging the services of a bookkeeper. Your company will be grateful to you for doing so.