5 tips for getting the most from a bookkeeper
Hiring a bookkeeper is a great way to take the stress out of your business finances. They can help you understand where you are financially and ensure that all your transactions are accounted for. Bookkeeping is an expense that pays dividends if you know how to maximize the value you're getting out of your bookkeeper.
As a business owner, you’ve probably found yourself wondering, "How do I get the most from my bookkeeper?".
Here are five tips to help you do just that:
Talk your need
First and foremost, communicate your needs clearly. Your bookkeeper should know exactly what you expect from them, such as setting deadlines for the financial reports, preferred method of financial reporting, and record-keeping process. Some clients ask to see the balance sheet and profit and loss every 15th of the month.
You might also want to consider asking them to add some basic analysis notes, such as month-on-month variance analyses, trends analyses, financial ratio analyses, and others, depending on your industry. It's important to take some time to think about what exactly you need from them. What kind of financial assistance do you require? Do you need someone to handle your day-to-day bookkeeping, or do you simply need someone to prepare your annual tax return?
Provide your monthly finances on time
Your bookkeeper needs your monthly financial documents and statements to close out the monthly reports. This is important because, without accurate and complete information, your bookkeeper cannot provide accurate financial statements. At that point, any financial decisions you make are based on inaccurate information, which could negatively impact the health and sustainability of the company, especially if you’re operating on thin margins.
Timely finance information can go beyond just invoices, receipts, bank statements, etc. Your bookkeeper may ask for clarification on specific transactions so that they know how to correctly code an expense or disbursement. Placing a transaction in the wrong category or under the wrong GL can skew your bottom line depending on the size and frequency. If your bookkeeper comes to you for clarification, it’s important, so try to respond quickly.
Again, having a clear picture of your finances guides any major decision you’ll make; your bookkeeper can give you that only if they have the information when they need it.
Keep it tidy
Stay organized yourself so that your bookkeeper can do their job quicker and more effectively. Storing your documents in one place will make it easier for them to find what they need and to keep track of the daily/weekly/monthly transactions of your business. This helps both of you find all the documents and receipts that go into the bookkeeping process in a single place.
Review records together
Review your records regularly with your bookkeeper to ensure accuracy and completeness. This will help you catch any mistakes early on and keep your financial records in good shape.
Consult with your bookkeeper
Finally, don't be afraid to ask questions! Your bookkeeper should be able to answer any questions you might have regarding your finances and help you make better decisions going forward. Make sure to stay in regular communication with them. This will help to ensure that they are meeting your needs and that you are 100% happy with their services.
By following these tips, you can get the most out of your bookkeeper, keep your finances in great shape, and make better budgeting decisions based on a more accurate view of the business’ financial position.