Wednesday, April 22, 2009

5 Expectations to Set before Hiring a Bookkeeper for your Business

As a business owner, you might be wondering if you need the services of a bookkeeper for financial accounting of your business. Most business owners think that they will be able to learn any skill that is necessary to run their business better. But is it really that simple to learn to do your own books or does your business need the expertise of a bookkeeper? According to a well-known saying, if you try to be a jack of all trades, you will be master of none. It is hence advisable to hire a bookkeeper to do your business bookkeeping. Look for an experienced firm providing accounting services; they will have experienced bookkeepers for hire. However, there are a set of skills for a bookkeeper that help in the accounting and bookkeeping field and before you hire a bookkeeper, you’ll want to set some expectations to make sure he/she knows what to do. The following are some of them:
  1. Your bookkeeper should have a basic understanding of your indusAccounting Bookkeepingtry
    An expert bookkeeper with the basic knowledge about your industry will make a huge difference and you will be miles ahead on the learning curve if your bookkeeper already has a basic understanding of your industry. While the basic fundamentals of accounting and bookkeeping are similar, there are some variations according to the industry. Each industry has different terms which can be learnt on the job only. So be sure to look for a bookkeeper who has experience in your industry.

  2. Your bookkeeper should be good a communicator
    Communication will be a critical aspect of getting your accounting and bookkeeping done in a proper way. Your bookkeeper needs to understand your requirements and communicate any doubts or confusions clearly. Good communication skills will allow the bookkeeper to become a useful asset for your business.

  3. He/she should have the ability to integrate modern technology with the basics of accounting and bookkeeping
    The days of doing accounting and bookkeeping with hand are long gone; today all functions of bookkeeping are done with the help of latest computer softwares like Quickbooks, Peachtree, MYOB, Great Plains, other Sage Products and ERP Systems. Ideally, your prospective bookkeeper should know such technological changes or have the ability to learn them.

  4. A strong commitment to your business is a must for your bookkeeper
    While hiring a bookkeeper, it is essential that you find someone who will give his/her complete attention to your business; your business should be on the top of the bookkeeper’s priority list. Your financials will be impeccable only if your bookkeeper is focused on getting things done the right way.

  5. Your bookkeeper should be able to pay attention to details
    An ideal bookkeeper for your business would be one who is detail oriented. Perfection in business financials depends on the fine details of transactions, which the bookkeeper should be able to pay attention to. Such a bookkeeper will enable you to pay complete attention to the core activities of your business without worrying about the financial side of it.

It is critical for your business’s profitability that you set these expectations for a bookkeeper before bringing him/her on board. You will know where your business is headed through the financial records the bookkeeper will maintain. If the bookkeeper you hire meets all these expectations, then he/she will be a perfect addition to your business and team.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to Search for a Reliable Accounting & Bookkeeping Service Firm

Managing your business cost-effectively has become even more important in this recession. In such a situation, hiring an outside accounting firm for faster financial accounting would be a wise solution compared to adding more in-house accounting staff. Searching for an accounting and bookkeeping firm can be a daunting task at best. Given below are five tips which will help you in your search for an expert accounting services firm.

  1. Talk to Family, Friends and Professionals

    Interacting with trusted people and getting their opinion is one of the most suitable approaches to search for an expert accounting and bookkeeping firm. You can ask them about which accounting firm they use, how it works for them and how they went about finding the right professional to hire. This is a great way to make sure you get the right information from the right people. It is important to separate a firm which provides good accounting services from others who are not that good at what they do. The opinion you get about the services of any professional speaks a lot about its reputation; so if you don’t hear anything good about a specific accounting and bookkeeping firm, don’t hire it.

  2. Understand your Requirements

    One of the key factors in your search for good accounting services understands what your business requires. Once you have the overview of what each accounting firm offers, you can take your pick of accounting and bookkeeping services which are more relevant to your business. You can decide the frequency – daily, weekly or yearly accounting services; you can also decide the types of services your business needs: accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation etc. But remember, for deciding all this, it is crucial that you fully understand what your business requires.

  3. Do some Research

    You shouldn’t restrict yourself to any criteria from the beginning. Your search for accounting and bookkeeping services requires in-depth research, as hiring the wrong firm would prove an expensive mistake for your business. Through research, get an overall idea of what accounting and bookkeeping service providers are offering, what their prices are, whether there are any conditions, guarantee of services etc. Ask for their work samples and client testimonials. You can also use the internet to look through websites and connect with other businesses already using accounting services. Such research will help you in matching your business requirements to the accounting services on offer.

  4. Ask for Details

    After you have selected a couple of firms providing accounting services, you should ask them for details regarding price quotes, terms and conditions, customer support etc. Once you get the required information, you can decide on the best deal suitable for your business.

  5. Be Patient

    If your search for a good accounting and bookkeeping service provider is taking a little time, be patient. There are a lot of professionals out there, and you need to filter through them to find the ideal outsourced accounting service provider for your business. Once you have made the right choice, your business’s accounting and bookkeeping will be safe in the hands of the best professionals in the industry.

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