12th June, 2015
A bookkeeper can be a great addition to your business. Whether you employ one full time or just a day or two a week, you still need to ensure that they are the right fit for your business and have experience to match your needs.
Here are 10 questions that can help you decide if they will meet your requirements:
Your bookkeeper should have a bookkeeping qualification. If you intend to use them to prepare your Business Activity Statement, then they will also need to be either a registered BAS agent or tax agent.
Your bookkeeper should have some experience in the industry you are trading in or a similar industry. That way they will be familiar with how the business operates straight away and need less industry-specific training.
This will give you an idea if they have clients that are similar to you in size, industry and the growth stage of your business. You can also ask to speak to some of their clients to find out their experience of the services provided.
A potential bookkeeper must know how to use your accounting software and other integrated technology, such as point-of-sale systems.
Many bookkeepers also provide assistance with technology, such as software for online invoicing, point-of-sale systems and scanning receipts and invoices directly into your accounting system.
Many bookkeepers do more than just keep the books — based on your financial reports, they can provide advice on how you can improve your business performance as well as share experiences from their other clients.
A good bookkeeper will also ensure that your business remains compliant. Therefore, they need to stay up to date with changes in regulations. If they are a member of a bookkeeping association, they will most likely have regular training in these areas, which will benefit you.
You need to know if your bookkeeper charges by the hour, month or tasks undertaken. Some bookkeepers will even provide packages that include your accounting software and standard monthly services.
Ask the bookkeeper to explain what tasks they can do that you are currently asking your accountant to do. Paying a bookkeeper for some services may save you a lot of money on accountant’s fees.
If you are not employing your bookkeeper full time, you need to know if they have a back-up in the event that they are unable to attend to their duties for any particular reason.
Choosing the right bookkeeper for your business is just like choosing any other staff member, so use these interview questions as a starting guide to getting the right bookkeeper for your business.