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Questions to Ask Your Bookkeeper

Managing the flow of your financial documents and keeping them organised is an important part of every healthy business. Having a bookkeeper to record and file your financial transactions is a sound step towards efficiently managing your organisation’s finances. Hiring the best possible person for the position can be a great benefit. The team at Go Figured Bookkeeping has compiled these questions to ask your bookkeeper to help you make the right choice?

What are the responsibilities of a bookkeeper?

When thinking about questions to ask your bookkeeper one of the first is to consider what they can do for your business. This will depend on your organisation’s individual circumstances of course but it is necessary to understand your needs so you can manage your accounts efficiently and accurately.

A dedicated bookkeeping service has many responsibilities some of which can include:

  • Track the incoming and outgoing of your cash flow
  • Processing payroll
  • Managing invoices
  • Preparing reports such as a balance sheet

A bookkeeper can help your business grow by managing your financials and giving you the time and freedom to focus on your business goals.

What are their qualifications?

One of the most important questions to ask your bookkeeper concerns their qualifications. Australian law requires anyone offering BAS services for a fee to be registered as a BAS agent. They will also need to have completed a Certificate IV level qualification, frequently this is either a Diploma in Accounting or a Certificate IV Accounting and Bookkeeping.

What is their level of expertise?

Your needs will depend on your business and asking this question can help you find the perfect fit. Assessing the strengths of your potential bookkeeper will help you match their style to your organisation. Asking this question also gives you insight into their familiarity with the industry as well as references they may have.

What systems and programs are they familiar with?

Simple single-entry systems work fine to track receipts while double-entry systems are more complex and entail tracking debits and credits. Knowing how to use programs such as XERO and MYOB are assets too.

Who will do the work?

Establishing consistency in who does the work can help create a chain of responsibility and keep your record keeping as accurate as possible. It is also helpful to know who will take over your bookkeeping in cases of sick leave or uses of vacation time.

What insurance do they have?

The minimum requirement required by the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 is professional indemnity insurance.

Where will the work be done?

It is important to know if your bookkeeper will be working onsite, offsite, or remotely.

How long do they need to finish the work?

Creating a realistic timeframe for the completion of a project is important and helps establish a baseline expectation for the amount of work to be done in a given period.

How will they communicate with you?

Having a clear and consistent line of communication is necessary so it’s important to establish the form of communication early as well as its consistency. Do they communicate through phone, email, or use a digital platform such as Slack? When communicating are they concise?

What do they need to accomplish the work?

Have an understanding of what they will need from you to get their job finished. Communicating these needs clearly and early can help prevent potential future complications.

What type of security protocols do they use?

Your financial information needs to be protected and knowing what sort of internal security measures your bookkeeper uses can help create a sense of trust. Asking this question can also reveal who is responsible for what role in each project.

Who owns the program subscription?

The ownership of subscriptions from XERO and MYOB is important to understand. Bookkeeping firms often work from their own programs saving you the expense of buying additional software.

What will it cost?

Once you establish a rapport with your potential bookkeeper you will want to know how much they charge for their services. Do they charge by the hour or use a fixed fee? Make sure you understand exactly what services you are being charged for too.

Looking for a bookkeeper?

Go Figured Bookkeeping are your friendly professional bookkeeping experts who will help your business run efficiently. Get in touch with us by calling 07 3608 4206, e-mail [email protected] or reach out to us online to ask about our range of bookkeeping services and how we can help your business today!

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