Too often, we choose suppliers, services and business partners based on quite arbitrary reasons – the largest ad in the phone book, a company that your friend recommended, or the cheapest service. The criteria for excellence in a business partner goes well beyond a single factor, and when you’re choosing a person to handle your confidential and accuracy-centered financial records, this is even truer! Today we look at 8 basic signs that every good bookkeeping service should exhibit.
- They can make a commitment to your business Bookkeeping is a time-constrained activity – you’ll need somebody that is willing to make your records a priority rather than squeezing you in among their private commitments.
- The company is consistently evolving While the basics of addition and multiplication remain the same from year to year, record-keeping responsibilities and tax laws never do! Look for a bookkeeping service that is constantly updating the training of their staff.
- Your bookkeeper comes to you If you have to gather all your financial records, put them on a flash drive and take them down to your bookkeeping service’s office, delays are almost inevitable! All good bookkeeping services will have mobile staff that comes to you, and allow you to keep your sensitive financial information strictly within the confines of your office.
- They are highly computer literate Old-fashioned bookkeeping relied on being able to rule a straight line, having quick adding-machine fingers and knowing the appropriate time to use a black pen, blue pen, and red pen. Modern bookkeeping is somewhat different! Your bookkeeper should be highly computer literate, internet savvy as well as experts in bookkeeping programs.
- Knowledge of both MYOB and QuickBooks Having knowledge of both of the major financial accounting programs in Australia means your bookkeeping service has another perspective on the process of maintaining records. If your business is in its early days, it can also provide a first-hand perspective on which package will be better suited to your processes.
- Good communication skills Mathematical skills and communication skills are sometimes seen as mutually exclusive. This is an urban legend! Good bookkeeping services will be able to clearly explain their processes, any problems, and communicate in a timely manner that ensures the best result for your business.
- Detail-oriented A natural tendency to pay attention to details is necessary for all good bookkeeping services. A single number out of place for a decimal point can make a big difference to how your books look… so look for companies whose innate sense of perfectionism is clear!
- A sense of the big picture single business activity can have multiple implications for bookkeeping processes – look for a bookkeeping service with substantial experience and/or full university training to ensure that there won’t be any critical aspects of your records left out.
- Experience Your bookkeeper should always have a good background and understanding of Accounting principles as these two roles are so closely aligned in business. Have a sound understanding enable them your bookkeeper to understand the effect of transactions on the balance sheet, identify and rectify any potential errors and also to communicate effectively with your accountant.
Your bookkeeping service is as important to your business’s success as your materials suppliers, your own work ethic and your base business idea – make sure you get a good one!