Considerations when Choosing a Bookkeeper

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There may be thousands of decisions to make when setting up a business that seem to take precedence, but in truth there are few quite as significant over the long-term as choosing the right bookkeeper or bookkeeping service. Does the business need to take on a full-time pro? Outsource all or part of the task to a firm? Maybe consider the savings of a school runbookkeeperif thinking outside the box?

Truth is, there’s an ideal bookkeeper out there for every single business of every size and shape imaginable, but in order to strike up a good deal and find the right package to suit, there are some considerations that should never be far from mind.

Referrals

As is usually the case with these kinds of affairs, there’s nothing quite like the reassurance of friends, business contacts and acquaintances in terms of referrals to quality bookkeeping services. Of course, these referrals aren’t just going to fall out of the sky, so proactivity is needed to find suitable advice. The best approach of all is to speak to a business of a similar size and persuasion to that of your own, in order to help find a bookkeeping service that clearly has experience and expertise with such businesses.

Not only is word of mouth a good way of finding out which direction to go in, but is also crucial for taking home unbiased accounts of those you’d be better staying away from.

Experience

For plainly obvious reasons, a business will always come out on top if a bookkeeping service is chosen that has as least some useful experience in the relevant business or industry area. True, there’s nothing to suggest that a bookkeeper cannot learn, grow and adapt to the business over time, but chances are you’d prefer them to do so in their own time, making an experience pro the most sensible solution every time.

Advice and Consultation

Would you prefer a bookkeeper with services that begin and end with the books, or a trusted partner and advisor with the long-term benefit of the business in mind? There is simply no substitution for the latter when it comes to furthering the business for the future and an accountant or bookkeeper can also double up as a valuable advisor on the business area of importance. This is perhaps the most crucial consideration of all to bear in mind for those having yet to get their business off the ground, as in the early stages this is exactly the kind of professional consultation that can make all the difference in the world.

Point of Contact

Last but not least, always be sure to find out and question exactly who your primary and perhaps exclusive point of contact will be once the contractual agreement has been put into place. All too often a business will find that the elite accounting executive they deal with during the early stages suddenly disappears once the payment is handed over and is summarily replaced by a far lower-level worker, or even a trainee working with SEPA paymentsfor the very first time. Check who the point of contact will be, how readily available for contact they are and who will fill in for them in their absence.

Laura Brown is a corporate finance graduate who just landed her first post at a major UK company, though has vowed to continue blogging to share her teachings with the world. She enjoys the single life and currently calls Bristol her home.