For numerous businesses, big and small, searching for a proper bookkeeper can be quite a challenge. Your financial health is vital to the success of your business, and the only way you will know how your business is doing is by keeping close track of your finances. But while there may be plenty of bookkeeping services out there offering their expertise, it’s up to you to sift through the chaff – and this can be a lengthy and time-consuming process with dire consequences if you don’t choose correctly. So are you looking for bookkeeping help? Here are the top questions to ask a prospective bookkeeping service.
Figure out what you need
Before you search for a bookkeeping service, you first have figure out what you need. Each business has different needs, after all, and what may work for another business may not work for yours. Do you need a bookkeeper who specialises in something in particular? Does your business have global clients, for example? Then perhaps you need a bookkeeper who has the skill and experience dealing with businesses with international connections. What exactly do you want your bookkeeper to do? Do you want them to just handle your annual accounting, or do you want them to handle all your records on a regular basis? Once you have sorted out what your business really needs, then you can arrange to meet with a prospective bookkeeping service – but make sure you ask them the following questions as well.
1. How long have you been working as a bookkeeping service?
A good bookkeeper will have a good idea of how your business is doing based on your accounts, and they should have sufficient experience dealing with business accounts of all kinds. If you are a small business, you may want a bookkeeper who has worked with or continues to work with other small businesses.
2. What are your references?
The proper references are critical, simply because you want to know how the bookkeeping service takes care of its other clients. Is the firm living up to the expectations of its clients? What is its clients’ overall experience with the service? Ask for references so you can see and check for yourself whether the bookkeeping firm is worth considering based on their dealings with other clients.
3. How do you communicate and stay in touch with your clients?
Another critical question you should ask is how the bookkeeping service communicates and stays in touch with its clients. Will you be expecting regular meetings via video conferencing or face-to-face meetings? What about the sending of reports and documents, will this be done personally or via electronic means? It’s essential for bookkeeping services to give you the expertise you require, but if you need to get in contact with them, especially if it’s an urgent matter, what is the best way to do so?
4. Who will handle my account?
Since you will be dealing with a bookkeeping firm, it follows that they will have a staff or team handling various accounts. But even with this, find out who will be handling your account. Will it be a specific person, or will it be several individuals? It’s best if you have a point of contact with the firm, someone whom you can contact directly in case you have concerns.
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