6 Questions Small Businesses Should Ask Before Hiring a Bookkeeper
Are you looking to take back control of your business? Are you tired of trying to find different solutions for the same financial setbacks that you're having? Maybe keeping track of money isn't your biggest strong suit.
If so, then your business will thrive from hiring a bookkeeper. However, you shouldn't simply hire the first one that you come across.
There are loads of valuable questions you can ask while hiring a bookkeeper in order to gauge which ones are right for you. Be sure to use these questions in order to find the right bookkeeper for your needs. Let them be a guide to finding the perfect fit.
1. How Long Has Your Company Been in Business?
You can tell the trustworthiness of a bookkeeping company as a whole by simply asking how long that they've been in business. The more years under the belt, the more advantages you'll receive as a client.
No two methods of bookkeeping are the same. While one client might not require much of the bookkeeper other than tracking finances, another might need them to do a deeper dive into their financial situation.
At the end of the day, you want someone that's going to keep track of your expenses and give thorough reports of your spending. That way, you can aim to correct some of the biggest expenditures in your business model.
2. What Certifications Do You Have?
The scariest part of bookkeeping is that anyone can technically give themselves the title without any mandatory certification. So it's up to you to do your homework and make sure you're hiring an experienced and certified bookkeeper.
As far as what type of certification you should look for... the answer is left completely up to you! For example, You can find someone that is a certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor if you use Quickbooks and are trying to have someone educate your staff.
But if you want to make sure they have certification just to give you peace of mind then you can search for those with Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB).
3. When Am I Able to Contact You?
If you decide to outsource your bookkeeping needs to a professional bookkeeping service, then communication is going to be a top priority. Be sure to ask what methods you can use to contact them and when.
There's no "correct answer" for this, it all depends on what you're looking for. If you want someone that's there to answer your calls 24/7, then embrace that and don't settle for anything less.
If you're just looking for a service whose hours of operations are similar to yours, then that works too.
Whether you have previous bookkeeping experience or not, questions are always going to come up. It's always best if you hire a professional service that's willing to answer your questions night or day.
4. Have You Had Clients in My Industry Before?
No two industries are created equal. They all have their different needs for proper bookkeeping. Some have a higher need to focus on cash flow, expenses, overhead, and so much more.
Because of that, it's always helpful (but not necessary) to find a bookkeeping service that already has/had a client in your industry. That experience will help them understand the needs that your company has.
Better yet, it allows you to ask even more questions about that previous client and how successful they were under the guise of the bookkeeping service. If you know the previous client, then you can reach out to them for more insight into the service itself.
5. Will I Be Working with a Team or One Particular Rep?
Many companies have different preferences on whether they'd rather work with an entire team of bookkeepers on rotation or just one specific rep.
The thought process for the team of bookkeepers is that there will be multiple hands overseeing your bookkeeping, thus helping it become full-proof. Then some prefer having one bookkeeping rep so that they're constantly seeing the same info.
Which one do you prefer? Get with your team of executives (or those you trust) to talk through which would be best for your company.
Once you have that figured out, go out and find the service that can meet that request for you. Let them give you details on which method they use and why they've modeled their bookkeeping service that way.
6. Where Will You Be Working From?
One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing your bookkeeping is gaining access to an expert bookkeeper. It allows you to turn your company's weakness into a strength without hiring an in-house employee.
Still, you might prefer to have them in-house as much as possible. If that's the case, be sure to ask where they'll be performing the bookkeeping work from.
Some services will send a rep to your office each day that they work on it. Others are entirely remote and won't require a bookkeeper to be in your workspace. Be sure to ask each service which way they conduct business so that you're on the same page.
It's Time to Start Hiring a Bookkeeper
Now that you've seen several qualifying questions to ask when hiring a bookkeeper, it's time for you to start that process.
Be sure to read this article about hiring a bookkeeper or accountant. There you'll get more info on how to tell when you need to hire one.
For more inquiries, please be sure to reach out via our contact us page and we'll be happy to assist you further!