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Posted 07/31/2021 in Tips

Things to know, before contacting a Bookkeeper for services.

Things to know, before contacting a Bookkeeper for services.

There is a lot of confusion around what a bookkeeper does, why they might be beneficial to your business, and if the business arrangement is a good fit for both parties. To help with direction and clarity, we have listed some key things for you to think about before you reach out to a potential Bookkeeper for your business. 

1. Bookkeepers are Business Owners Too. 

So often we think of freelance bookkeepers, accounting specialists, and accountants as service providers, but not as business owners and Entrepreneurs. The people you are looking to hire are just like you, with one very big exception... their business and their knowledge base are specially tailored to ensure YOUR financial house is in order. You are looking to receive a personalized, efficient, and professional service that is catered specifically to how you operate as a business owner. So please understand that this service provider you are looking for, takes their business very seriously, just like you do. 

2. Bookkeepers don't always provide every financial service you could need. Don't be afraid to ask!

Most bookkeepers will have a form to fill out or have you book a call, to make sure they offer the services you need. Before you reach out to a bookkeeper, make sure to jot down the key services you are looking for and the areas of finance you struggle with the most. Bookkeepers can do a lot of things, but unless the bookkeeper is also a degreed accountant, they might not be able to solidify your financial statements in the way businesses need to do for investors, banks, and tax filings. Consider the following list of general services (there are more but these are the main buckets) and who might provide them. 

  • Transaction level data entry and reconciliation. (This is the day to day entries like, invoices, bills, cash transactions, expenses) - Skill level: Bookkeeper
  • Cleanup (almost every business will need some sort of cleanup when a new Bookkeeper is hired) - Skill level: Bookkeeper and/or Accountant
  • Payroll Processing (You will usually need a system for this but someone to manage the system regularly.) - Skill level: Payroll Specialist or Bookkeeper (Not always included in services, Ask!)
  • Taxes (there are many different taxes assessed in business, you should consult a CPA) - Skill level: Tax Specialist and/or Accountant
  • Monthly/Quarterly/Annual adjusting entries (to be compliant with GAAP: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) - Skill Level: Bookkeeper and/or Accountant 
  • Financial Reporting - Skill level: Bookkeeper and/or Accountant 

3. Bookkeepers will need to know all about your business and your struggles, to understand how they can help in the most efficient and beneficial way possible. 

A lot of times, bookkeepers have their own onboarding survey that will request this information, so be prepared to discuss it all in detail if need be. The more they know about the current state of your business and where you are trying to go, the more accurate and clear your business relationship will be. 

4. If your Bookkeeper has a deadline, so do you. 

One of the most common issues we see in the industry of financial services is late or unresponsive business owners. We know you are busy and your time is valuable, but try to make a habit of keeping as much documentation as you can, and providing it to your bookkeeper as often as you can. A great way to keep a consistent schedule is to set a time each week (Say... for example, every Friday at 5 pm, and every 1st of the month at 10 am) to send over documents to your bookkeeper, like receipts! The important thing to try and avoid is a crisis. If 100 receipts are provided on the first of each month, then your bookkeeper has to slam these transactions into the system, and you don't want to put that kind of stress on something as important as your finances if you can prevent it. 

There are so many more tips that your new Bookkeeper will give you so that you can both work in a mutually consistent, beneficial, and crisis-free manner. 

Good luck on the search for your new Bookkeeper!