In any business, bookkeeping is an essential task that must be done accurately.
If you are considering hiring a bookkeeping firm, here are the key questions to ask before making your choice.
- What are your qualifications?
You should ask your potential bookkeeper about their credentials and professional associations. This is especially important if they offer BAS services, as a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or Accounting is a mandatory requirement (at a minimum).
- What insurances do you have?
Your bookkeeper should have professional indemnity (PI) insurance in place. PI insurance is designed for businesses or individuals that offer professional services for a fee, and it provides cover in case of claims of harm or loss caused by those services.
- Do you have a proven track record?
Ask for the details of companies they have worked for and in what capacity. Check out testimonials and reviews online.
- Do you have experience in similar businesses?
It’s important your bookkeeper is a good fit for your particular business, so ask them what experience they have had in your industry, or in businesses similar to your own.
- What software systems do you work with?
Some bookkeeping firms want their clients to use a particular software package (for example Xero) while others work with a range of systems. So make sure to ask what systems they use.
If you are already using a particular software system, ask if they can accommodate it or whether they would prefer you to make the shift to theirs.
- Where do you do the work? Can you come to my office?
If you want the bookkeeper to work on-site at your office, you should check they can accommodate this – not all bookkeeping providers do.
Make sure your bookkeeper can also continue with services remotely if required – such as during lockdowns.
- How will you communicate with me?
Communication is an extremely important aspect of getting the books done accurately. So make sure to ask how communication will happen (for example by email, or via a weekly phone catch-up or Zoom meeting), and ask how quickly they can respond to your queries.
- How will your services benefit my business?
A professional bookkeeper will be able to explain how their services can benefit your business. This might include guaranteeing timely compliance with the ATO (which in turn means avoiding fines and penalties), and/or explaining how the numbers can enable you to make more informed decisions about your business finances.
- What it will cost?
You should ask not only what their services will cost, but what will be included. Some bookkeeping firms offer package deals – so that’s another thing you could check out.
Finally, it’s a good idea to note down the questions you have prior to speaking with any potential bookkeepers, so that you’re well prepared.
At Bookit, we are more than happy to answer your questions. So feel free to contact us and fire away!