Bookkeepers can set your business up for further success. They are an excellent way to free yourself up from an overwhelming mountain of tasks. Instead you can focus on your business’ growth and success, leaving the financial aspects to a trusted professional. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for small business owners to know when to hire a bookkeeper. Most businesses cannot afford one off the mark, however once your business has grown and found stability, you will be able to take a step back and put the responsibility of your finances in the hands of a bookkeeper.
The two biggest questions most business owners have when they begin to consider hiring a bookkeeper are:
Is my business capable of hiring a bookkeeper?
How do I find a good bookkeeper?
Your business is incredibly important to you, and so, the answers to these questions are vital in ensuring that your business can live up to its full potential. You want to be able to trust that you are making the right decisions to continue your business’ growth. To help get you on the right here are the two questions answered for you.
How do I know if my business is ready for a bookkeeper?
Hiring a bookkeeper will cost your business a little bit of money initially, however, not having a bookkeeper will cause your business to sink. In saying that, not every business can afford the costs, they may be too small or offering on tight margins. But most businesses can and either do not realise (because their bookkeeping isn’t great) or are unsure whether they really need one yet. It is important to evaluate your options. While you may not think you need a bookkeeper yet, your current bookkeeping method could be completely out of whack, taking a lot of your time away from focusing on growth. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding if you need a bookkeeper:
Are you in a mess at the end of the financial year, confused by your taxes?
Has your accountant started handling your bookkeeping?
Is your cashflow inconsistent?
Are you struggling to keep your books up to date?
Have you missed tax write-offs?
How will a bookkeeper affect your finances in the short and long term?
Are you exhausted because of the demands of your business?
If you answered yes to most of those questions than you definitely need to hire a bookkeeper. Bad taxes, delays and messy bookkeeping can be costly, hindering your growth.
Now the tricky part is knowing who to hire. Fortunately, we have some help for that too!
How do I find a bookkeeper who is suitable for my business?
Now you know that you need to hire a bookkeeper the next stage is finding one that you can trust to manage your financials. This can seem like a big task, after all where do you start? You have two different options when hiring a bookkeeper, either in house or a bookkeeping firm, plus you have to know whether they will be the right fit for your business or not. However, with a comprehensive checklist and some great information backing you up, you should be able to hire a good bookkeeper easily!
The first decision that you need to make is whether to hire a bookkeeping firm or in-house bookkeeper. Both offer different strengths and weaknesses and which one you choose will depend on your business.
A bookkeeping firm is generally more affordable than hiring an in-house bookkeeper. They have highly trained bookkeepers who have access to the latest bookkeeping technology, such as Xero, that will help make the entire process run smoothly. An accredited bookkeeping firm is also far more trustworthy than an independent bookkeeper as they can be held liable for mistakes made by their bookkeepers. Most small businesses choose a bookkeeping firm as it is far more cost effective, with a far higher return and lower initial cost.
An in-house bookkeeper can focus solely on your business, however, this comes with a cost. They tend to be more expensive even when employed part time when compared with most bookkeeping firms. There is also far less flexibility in terms of expansion or contraction. They take up the space of another team member that you could hire instead to help your business overcome a small hurdle and grow. This type of bookkeeper is usually reserved for businesses who’s bookkeeping workload requires a lot of hands on attention (which is generally larger businesses). Whether your business does or not is very industry specific. Talk to your accountant for advice on this matter.
Now that you have decided what type of bookkeeper you will be looking for; you now need to be prepared to find out whether they are what you are looking for or not. Even when talking to a bookkeeping firm it is essential to have an interview. You should have a set of criteria ready in order to find out whether they are what you are looking for or not. These criteria include:
The first thing to look for is experience. Bookkeeping requires extensive knowledge of tax, accounting and software. Check out their accreditation and aim to gain a better understanding of their work style.
Their availability needs to fit your schedule. It is useful to be able to have seamless integration of work between you and your bookkeeper. That way you can receive up to date information and easily ask any questions at convenient times for you.
They need to be a clear communicator. If they aren’t clear at communicating, then you are going to struggle to understand what is happening with your finances. If anything is wrong and they struggle to communicate that to you clearly then you won’t be able to act in time.
Are they motivated to help your business grow? Motivated bookkeepers deliver excellent results. If they want you to succeed then they will definitely try all they can to help you succeed.
These are only a few criteria that you should hold. Technical skills and an understanding of your business processes is also a must have. If they have all the above, then they should be able to help your business succeed.
Now that you have your criteria, all you need to do is look for a good bookkeeping firm. A great place to start is Link Strategies. They will tick all the boxes, helping your business grow. Contact Link Strategies today.