Whether you’re thinking of switching bookkeepers or taking the leap to outsourcing, it’s important that you’re asking the right questions along the way. Be open and honest about your needs and expectations, and take plenty of notes to look at later. Remember that while you’re testing to see if they’d be a good bookkeeper, they’re always testing to see if you’ll be a good client! Bookkeeping is a two way street that requires an understanding and open communication between client and bookkeeper. Don’t overthink the process, but also be sure to look at all your options. Some questions to ask…
What is your experience and your qualifications?
This should come as a no brainer, but you’d be surprised. Ask your potential bookkeeper where they have worked previously, how long they’ve been bookkeeping, and if they have any certifications. Although bookkeeping doesn’t require a college degree, it’s still important to make sure your potential bookkeeper is experienced and knowledgeable so your books will be in good hands.
Are you familiar with my industry?
What kind of other clients does your potential bookkeeper work with? If you’re in the restaurant business, you’ll likely want a bookkeeper with experience managing the books of a restaurant or similar business. From one industry to the next, the bookkeeping needs can vary. Get yourself a bookkeeper who has experience with various industries or specializes in yours.
What is the scope of your services?
This is similar to the question above, as there are certain necessities each business has for their bookkeeping, so you need to find a bookkeeper that caters to this. Maybe you only need a daily log of transactions, or maybe you need payroll done and bills paid. Explain your exact bookkeeping needs and see if you’re a good fit.
How often do you usually communicate when your clients & in what way?
It’s important to be on the same page as your bookkeeper. Depending on your type of business and the services you need, the amount of communication between you and your bookkeeper will vary. Know what to expect from your bookkeeper and how you’re going to communicate throughout your working relationship. Whether it’s weekly calls, emails, or virtual meetings, make sure you know the expected game plan.
Choosing a bookkeeper is not something to take lightly. This list does not include every question you should ask, just some topics to touch on. Show up to every meeting prepared with what you’d like to learn and share. Happy hunting!