You started your own business because you are an expert in your field, not to keep the books. As a business owner, you should spend your time managing your business and serving your customers, not keeping financial records and running financial reports. Plus, you might not have the expertise to keep up the books accurately, completely, or efficiently.
Between a lack of time and expertise, business owners can wind up with inaccurate accounting records that lead to expensive mistakes. Outsourcing the bookkeeping to a qualified professional saves business owners time and adds value. Bookkeepers provide accurate and up-to-date financial information and frees up business owners’ time to grow sales and serve customers.
Engaging a bookkeeper also means setting expectations to make sure that she or he provides the financial information you need to make informed business decisions. Setting these four expectations will give you a leg up on getting the bookkeeper services you need:
- Standard Tasks
Clarify the tasks and deliverables that will meet your needs, such as keeping accounting records up-to-date, ensuring information is categorized correctly, and reconciling financial activity. Establish a schedule for monthly financial statements and other reporting needed to manage your business.
- Two-Way Communication
If your requests or processes are not understood, a bookkeeper must be willing to ask for clarification or help. Communication is critical; it is better for your bookkeeper to ask questions rather than guessing or keeping quiet. Good bookkeepers manage day-to-day issues and know when to escalate an issue to you.
- Technical Proficiency
A 21st-century bookkeeper can conduct most, if not all, of your financial business electronically. That includes accessing bank statements, paying bills, and sending financial reports. Your bookkeeper should be proactive about securely using technology. It will save both of you time and reduce human error.
- Critical Thinking
You need someone who can focus on the details and on the big picture, understand how they work together, and apply the “sniff test” to make sure financial information is reasonable given your type of business. She or he must be a problem solver, assessing information and developing solutions using her perspective and expertise.
You didn’t start your own business to keep the books. And you might not have the expertise to keep up accurate books that can be used to make informed business decisions. Doing you own books not only takes away from your customers, but you could also wind up with inaccurate accounting records that lead to expensive mistakes. Outsourcing the bookkeeping to a qualified professional saves business owners time and adds value. Setting these four bookkeeper expectations are a great start to getting the bookkeeper services that you need.