Bookkeeping is a fairly simple task. Correction, bookkeeping is a fairly simple task for a trained professional. When you break it down bookkeeping is simple: create invoices, receive payments, manage bills to be paid, manage inventory and handle payroll. That's it right? Maybe for someone that wants to do the bare minimum. Let me make a few suggestions on how to get the most out of your bookkeeper.
Turn your bookkeeper into a collection agency
Nothing is more frustrating than not getting paid. Up until this point you have done everything right. You got a lead, converted them to a sale, delivered an outstanding product or service and sent them a bill. However, that bill sitting unpaid in accounts receivable really doesn't do too much for you. Make sure your bookkeeper is monitoring and following up on unpaid bills at least a few times a week. Have them send out statement reminders and invoices. Then make sure your bookkeeper is picking up the phone and calling to make sure your customer has received the invoices and asking when you can expect a payment. Here is a blog we posted on staying on top of your accounts receivable.
Require that your bookkeeper and CPA communicate with one another
Your bookkeeper is not a tax professional. However, that does not mean that they don't have an understanding of taxes. Your bookkeeper should communicate directly with your CPA to make sure they are maintaining the books in a way that allows for an easy and efficient tax preparation. You do not want to pay your CPA higher rates to clean up your bookkeeper's mistakes. I always ask my clients CPA's what I can do to make their job easier. After tax time each year I ask if I can handle any bookkeeping tasks differently to make the tax preparation easier on them. Get your CPA and bookkeeper communicating with one another and I guarantee you can drive down your accounting fees.
Raise the bar
Expect the world out of your bookkeeper. They should be so involved with your businesses finances that they can make critical business suggestions to you. Think about what your bookkeeping system is lacking that is keeping you from analyzing your financial data to make key business decisions. Communicate to your bookkeeper what you need out of your bookkeeping system. If they can't provide you with the information you need then find someone that can.
Bookkeeping can be a simple task or it can be quite challenging and rewarding. Make sure you are getting the most out of your bookkeeper by expecting more out of them.