Keeping a clean and reliable record of all your financial transactions is essential for your small business. Authentic books are critical during tax season and for making business decisions. Consequently, finding efficient and reliable bookkeeping services is paramount. Here are some important things to look for:
- Understanding of Scope A bookkeeper should understand the scope of their work to be effective. Usually, bookkeepers reconcile financial transactions, enter supplier bills, prepare profit and loss balance sheets, and prepare cash flow forecasts. Ensure you find a bookkeeper who understands their role in your business. You can ask them to outline what they expect to do once they join your team.
- Registration While bookkeepers are not required to obtain licenses, you can still check for licensing and certifications from the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. Registration with the said entities means that a bookkeeper has updated their skills. Also, check for professional membership because bookkeepers have to pass a specific criterion to join a professional organization.
- Organization and Self-motivation Bookkeeping is a skill that requires a coordinated and self-driven person. You need a bookkeeper who can organize all records and ensure that you have your files up to date whenever needed. A self-driven bookkeeper will go out of their way to check and verify all documents regularly for accuracy. They will also streamline all processes to gather the required information and get back to you with timely reports.
- Ethics Growing a business requires good ethics as a foundation. To safeguard your business’s financial transactions, find a bookkeeper who is willing to sign a confidentiality agreement. Any hesitation, especially toward the privacy and handling of your information, is a red flag. Finding a trustworthy bookkeeper will also give you peace as you handle the primary matters in your business.
- Up-to-date While soft skills are essential, technical skills are equally important. Technology has changed bookkeeping to a software business. Find a bookkeeper who understands different bookkeeping software to automate processes and improve efficiency. Hiring a bookkeeper who can recommend software or learn your software quickly is equally important. A modern bookkeeper should understand several QuickBooks and also encourage the use of cloud-based software for better storage.
- Communication Skills When finding a bookkeeper, pay close attention to their clarity and message delivery. Communication is essential because a bookkeeper will often ask for receipts and bills to keep accurate books. You need a person who collaborates with you and your team to keep your records updated and accurate.
- Familiarity with the Industry Hiring a bookkeeper who understands the nature of your industry is an advantage, as you will spend less time explaining and teaching. Financial records, tax laws, products, and suppliers vary from industry to industry. A bookkeeper with experience in a similar business will land on their feet faster and make fewer mistakes.