As a small business owner, you need to focus your efforts on continually moving your business forward. Your efforts need to be all about making your business profitable for the benefit of you, your family, and your employees. That means you can ill afford to spend your time on tasks that do little to impact your business’ bottom line.
If you look around at everything that needs handling, you will likely realize that the accounting/bookkeeping function is the one that might best be handled by someone else. This is likely one area you do not have expertise in, nor do you likely have time to handle it. If you agree, then you should also agree that hiring a bookkeeper to handle your accounting function makes sense.
To be clear, your company needs good accounting records. Why? You have a responsibility to offer transparency to your lenders, partners, and/or the IRS. With so much on the line, you need to acquire the best bookkeeping services you can afford. To help you in that endeavor, here are some criteria you should use to choose the right bookkeeper or bookkeeping company:
Professionally Trained – A good bookkeeping company is going to hire educated, well-trained employees. If you are looking for someone to handle your accounting function from beginning to end, you need assurance that the bookkeepers working on your account have professional training in all aspects of accounting. What you do not want is to waste time trying to communicate with bookkeepers that know less than you do.
Industry Expertise – Every business industry has unique recordkeeping and reporting requirements. With that in mind, you want a bookkeeper who understands the nuances of your business industry from an operational, recordkeeping and reporting point of view.
Offering Full Accounting Services – If you go so far as to hire a professional bookkeeper, you should be willing to go far enough to hire one that has the ability to handle every aspect of the accounting function. That should include paying bills, recording deposits, creating journal entries, creating financial statements (as needed), and filing tax returns (as needed).
Solid Reputation – A well-established bookkeeper or company will have a reputation. They all have clients that can attest to the bookkeeper’s or company’s proficiency and expertise. You need to ask for references and follow up to get information. You want and need a bookkeeper who is beyond reproach.
Good Communication Skills – Your bookkeeper is an extension of you company’s operations. You need to find a bookkeeper who has the ability to communicate information to you as clearly, efficiently, and accurately as possible so as to not waste the company’s time.
Technologically Competent – Bookkeepers who effectively use the latest communication technologies and accounting/tax software are the ones who have the tools needed to get you accurate information as quickly as you need it.
Accounting/bookkeeping is not an exact science. However, the ability to provide meaningful and accurate accounting information to interested parties reflects on your business one way or the other. By hiring the right bookkeeper, someone you can trust, you will benefit by counting your accounting/bookkeeping function as something you can leave in other hands while you focus on guiding your business’ operations.
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