If you want your accounts work to be flawless and ready in time, you will need to hire the services of an expert bookkeeper who is adept and well abreast in using the latest software in accounting. To fish out the best one from the wide varied pool of bookkeepers, you will need to be cautious in your selecting process.
For this you will need to ask specific questions to the bookkeeper. This will help you to adjudge the level of experience, skill and knowledge regarding modern accounting which is by it very demanding. In addition to that, you will also have to look for a few specific signs that distinguish an expert bookkeeper from the rest in the pool.
Importance of proper accounting
Such an approach will help you to hire a bookkeeping resource for your managing your business finances which is one of the most significant aspects of any business. Typically, the success of a business lies in how good the working relationship is with your bookkeeper as well as your business accountant. It is critical that everyone works in tandem just to ensure that the book of accounts of your company is up to date, precise and healthily maintained.
It in only a good bookkeeper and accountant that will provide you with useful insights regarding the cash inflow and out flow, periodically analyzing all available data and report to you about the data forensics and much more. Ideally, a good bookkeeper for a business is just like the most useful Swiss army knife to a traveller.
Questions to ask
Therefore, take out some time to question the prospective bookkeeper before hiring so that you have all your financial management needs met.
Start with asking the qualifications that the bookkeeper holds. According to The tax agent services law, it is required that:
- Anyone providing BAS services in exchange of a fee must be a registered BAS agent and
- At the least the bookkeeper must have a Certificate IV Financial Services qualification.
It is good to hire someone who is a member of one or many different professional bookkeeping associations such as The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers or the Association of Accounting Technicians but these institutions may vary depending on your location.
Finally, you must ensure that the candidate has knowledge about the different accounting software platforms, payroll and inventory options.
Few other areas of importance that you should clarify with the bookkeeper you intend to hire are as under.
- Insurances: Ask what type of insurances the Reckon Software Bookkeeper As a minimum requirement, the bookkeeper must have professional indemnity insurance.
- The work: Next you should as who will undertake the job involving data entry and BAS preparation. Also find out whether such jobs will be done consistently by the bookkeeper or by any other member of the team. Find out whether these jobs will be periodically reviewed.
- Reference: Just like the level of experience of the bookkeeper is important, it is also very crucial to have a few references. However, references may not be always reliable, but still it is worth making such an effort and to do a little research in person before hiring a bookkeeper.
- Ownership: In most cases, accounting job is provided in specific packages or their own data file and therefore it is required to know who will retain the ownership of the data file. If you are okay with it, you will save money not having to purchase software upfront. Also clarify the fee in case you want to bring the bookkeeping in-house in the future.
- Backups: Financial data is very crucial thing for any business and therefore you will need to make sure that it is safe and secure at all times. Ask about their backup maintenance strategy and make sure that these off-site backups are reliable and safe so that you or the bookkeeper can access it easily in time of an emergency.
- Rectification: Reconciliation and rectification is an important aspect of proper accounting and bookkeeping. The person should be adept in finding out errors that may even date back years and make corrections that are necessary. This will prevent costly losses in future. Corrections involve reviewing financial statements for each year end, re-keying data, and reworking BAS.
- Process: Ask about the working process. Sometimes, redoing and reviewing bookkeeping work is done free of charge and sometimes it may be charged and reimbursed. Know what is required by the bookkeeper from you to process the work on a regular basis. They may want the receipts sorted, written account codes and explanations on these receipts and much more.
- Communication: A bookkeeper must communicate with your accountant well. Therefore, establish how well they are in it. Introduce the person to your accountant and inspire a professional relationship between the two.
- Cost: Lastly everything boils down to cost and therefore find out how much it will cost you to hire such a service.
Finally, you must keep in mind that you job does not end after you hire a bookkeeper. Their work is often undervalued vastly. To make the best use of them remember that you should not simply outsource and ignore. Instead you must look at the management reports and incorporate useful changes into your decision making processes on a regular basis.
The signs to look for
A few signs that will make a great bookkeeper are training, accreditation and registration as a BAS agent will ensure that the Tax Practitioners Board is satisfied with the skills, qualifications and experience of the bookkeeper. Knowledge of GST accounts and BAS according to legislation is a must.
Moreover, great bookkeepers will understand the process taking time and find out how you really operate so that they can make it simpler and more efficient. They will ask questions to find whether or not the funds are properly allocated.
They will do their homework properly to know the FBT and other tax regulations, accounting and technology spaces and the latest developments in the bookkeeping and accounting industries.