What to look for in a bookkeeper for a small business
Business bookkeeping is the foundation of all your accounting and finance reporting. Without timely accurate bookkeeping, you won’t be able to make informed decision when you need to. Finding the right bookkeeper for a small business is crucial to ensuring your company finances stay on track. Here’s what you should consider.
Qualifications and Experience
One of the most important things to look for in a bookkeeper for a small business is the right level of finance knowledge and expertise in bookkeeping principles. Anyone can call themselves a bookkeeper but it doesn’t mean they have any professional qualifications in bookkeeping or they know what they are doing. Do your due diligence and ask potential providers about their background and education in bookkeeping.
Your bookkeeper should be able to demonstrate experience and familiarity with how businesses operate and the requirements that most small businesses might have for financial information. In addition, experience using common software tools such as FreeAgent, Xero and QuickBooks is also a pre-requisite for a bookkeeper for a small business.
Attention to Detail and Accuracy
Probably the most important behaviour that a small business bookkeeper should possess is a meticulous approach to organising and recording financial records. Bookkeeping is often seen as a repetitive data entry task but without attention to detail, it’s easy for the accounts to become out of date and inaccurate.
You should also look for a bookkeeper with the ability to detect and correct errors and discrepancies. You’ll want someone who will ensure that your bank reconciliation is done regularly so problems can’t mount up. Bookkeepers are usually skilled in maintaining accurate and reliable financial records that enable business owners to be confident that the decision-making data is up to date and reflects the true picture in their business.
Organisational and Time Management Skills
Your business can only achieve best success when you put in place processes and systems to make things run smoothly. The last thing you need to be wasting time on is rooting around for wayward receipts or correctly inaccurate entries in your accounting software. So, choose a bookkeeper with great organisation skills who can ensure your record keeping is as quick and easy as possible. Software programmes such as Dext for receipt capture can take the hard work out of managing your business finances.
Another important trait of the best bookkeeper for a small business is adherence to deadlines. If your bookkeeping is sloppy, this can put pressure on the accounting and tax return process leading to delays and missing submissions. This can prove expensive if you end up with penalties and interest because you miss the tax return deadline.
Communication and Collaboration
Hire a bookkeeper who understands how to collaborate effectively with your accountant, tax advisor, business coach, lawyer and other professionals working in your business. You need someone who can communicate clearly and succinctly with colleagues and other stakeholders helping them to get to grips with the important financial data and ensuring that everyone follows the correct process when it comes to managing expenses and reporting them.
Trustworthiness and Ethics
You need to feel that you can trust your bookkeeper completely. They must be fully knowledgeable with all the relevant legislation and regulations so you can be confident that your finances are correct. Ask for recommendations as word-of-mouth testimonials can help you understand what it will be like to work with them.
Value-Added Services and Business Insight
Your bookkeeper will get to know your business finances intimately. That means they will be able to spot any anomalies in your spend data such as errors or even fraudulent activity. Bookkeepers can also get involved in providing analysis and reporting, depending on the services they offer. When they are close to your data, a good bookkeeper may be able to provide proactive suggestions for cost savings, pricing and managing financial risks.
Getting the right bookkeeper for your small business
Does bookkeeping make your eyes glaze over? If so, let us handle it – we love data entry and bank reconciliations – yep, really! Call Adams Accountancy on 01322 250001 for a no-obligation chat to find out if we are the right bookkeeper for your business.
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