As a small business owner you have bookkeeping needs. You either handle the bookkeeping yourself, hire an internal person, get a friend to help or outsource your bookkeeping. If you are a very small business there is a high probability that you don't need a full-time bookkeeper. You most likely just need someone to update your books a few times a month. So when you are looking for small business bookkeeping help what should you be looking for?
Obviously you need a person or bookkeeping service that your business can afford. The first question I get from a prospect is: how much? Unfortunately this is a difficult question to answer without asking a series of questions. One thing you need to think about is your actual needs. Do you need someone in the office, remote or a combination of both? How often do you need your bookkeeping updated? One piece of advice is to be open about your budget. If potential customers share their budget with us then we are almost always able to meet that budget. A good bookkeeper will design a customized bookkeeping system to meet both your needs and budget.
Bookkeeping And QuickBooks Professionals
When searching for a bookkeeper for your small business you certainly need to find someone that is qualified. I would definitely be looking for at least a college graduate preferably with a major in business, finance or accounting. In addition if your small business uses QuickBooks (which we highly recommend) then you may want to look for a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. I might also ask about their specific bookkeeping and QuickBooks experience. How long have they been doing bookkeeping for businesses of your size? How long have they used QuickBooks for? Do they have any experience doing bookkeeping for businesses in your particular industry and if so can you get a few references? Remember lots of people do bookkeeping, you probably know several people that you are associated with. However, not everyone does bookkeeping well. Many CPA's and accountants dislike QuickBooks and I feel it is because they don't understand how to use the program. Find a good bookkeeper that is also a QuickBooks expert.
Someone You Can Relate To
There is nothing worse than working with someone that you don't have anything in common with or that you can't relate to. Your bookkeeper will grow to be a huge asset to your company. They might know as much if not more intimate knowledge about the finances of your company. Your small business bookkeeper will become as close as a business partner so you better enjoy working with them. We tend to attract a lot of outdoors oriented clients. Not only because of where we live but also because of the crowd we associate with. Working with a like-minded bookkeeper will be a lot easier and more enjoyable than working with someone that you can't relate to. Remember lots of people do bookkeeping so find the right fit for you and your business.
Accountability In Deliverables
Once you do find a bookkeeper that you want to work with you need to clearly communicate your expectations. If you expect your books closed by the 10th of each month then let your bookkeeper know. If you need certain reports on a weekly basis then your bookkeeper needs to know that. After you have clearly communicated your expectations on what you expect delivered, how you want it and when you want it then you need to hold your bookkeeper accountable to meet or exceed your expectations. If your bookkeeper is under delivering then you need to find a bookkeeper that can meet your needs.
Ability To Adapt To Changes In Your Business
As time goes on your small business is going to change as are your bookkeeping needs. You are going to need a bookkeeper that is willing to adapt to your changing needs. Also, things are going to come up unexpectedly when you are going to need your bookkeeper. If you have a part-time bookkeeper make sure you let them know that you expect a full-time presence. All that means is that you expect them to be flexible and they should offer that to you. Maybe you get an IRS notice that you need your bookkeeper to look into. Maybe you forgot to pay a bill and it needs to go out ASAP. Either way you are going to need a bookkeeper that can adapt to your business needs as they change in both the short and long term.
Is your small business bookkeeping being handled the way you want?
What do you look for in a small business bookkeeper?