Expectations for Your Bookkeeper

A business owner’s time is too valuable for keeping accounting records and running financial reports. Also, most business owners don’t have enough accounting expertise to keep the books accurately and completely. Between a lack of time and expertise, business owners can wind up with inaccurate accounting records that lead to expensive mistakes.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping to a qualified professional is one of the best decisions you can make as a business owner. A bookkeeper provides accurate and up-to-date financial information. Engaging a bookkeeper also frees up your time to develop new sales and plan for growth.

So, after you engage a bookkeeper, how do you ensure that she or he provides that accurate financial information so you can make good business decisions? Sounds simple, but setting these four expectations is the best way to get the bookkeeping services that 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.

  • Critical Thinking

You need someone who can focus on the details and on the big picture, and who also understands how they work together. She or he must be a problem solver, assessing information and developing solutions. Projects and tasks must be logically prioritized and followed through to completion.

  • Two-Way Communication

If your instructions or processes are not understood, your 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 handle 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 the bank statement, 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.

You depend on your bookkeeper to provide complete and accurate financial information so you can make good business decisions. Setting expectations for what your bookkeeper will deliver, when, and how is the best way to get things done the way you need them. Once you and your bookkeeper have that important conversation about expectations, your time and attention can be focused on building your business.