What Questions Should I Ask a Potential Bookkeeper?

What Questions Should I Ask a Potential Bookkeeper?


Hiring a bookkeeper is never an easy task. So much relies on whom you choose, including your business’s bottom line, so it’s essential you make an informed decision you can be confident in.

Whether you’re looking to hire an in-house bookkeeper or outsource your bookkeeping to a professional bookkeeper or bookkeeping firm, you need to know what questions to ask. You also need to know what answers to expect for these questions.

Here is a list of key questions to ask potential Gold Coast bookkeepers and Gold Coast bookkeeping firms and the answers you should be looking for. A good candidate should be able to answer all questions without hesitation or confusion.

Table of Contents:

Questions to ask a potential in-house bookkeeper

What is the scope of your bookkeeping work?

One of the first questions you’ll want to ask a potential Gold Coast bookkeeper is their scope of bookkeeping work. You need to know they are capable of managing all bookkeeping duties you need them to cover. For example, there are accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash, purchases, inventory, and payroll, just to name a few.

By knowing their capabilities upfront, you won’t have any regrets in the future due to any possible lack of capabilities.

What is your level of experience and expertise?

Another important question to ask a potential Gold Coast bookkeeper is their level of expertise and experience.

Bookkeepers come with a variety of strengths and shortcomings. Before hiring a bookkeeper, it’s crucial to understand their working style as well as whether it is compatible with your business.

Having bookkeepers with the right level of expertise and experience working for you is vital in many respects beyond bookkeeping. For example, bookkeepers with a vast bookkeeping history will likely have an innate understanding of bookkeeping and accounting principles. This can be beneficial for brainstorming bookkeeping solutions beyond what your business might already be doing.

What bookkeeping software do you have experience with?

It is also essential to ask a potential Gold Coast bookkeeper what bookkeeping software they use.

Bookkeepers, especially in-house, need to quickly produce bookkeeping documents like ledgers, bookkeeping spreadsheets, reconciliation reports, etc. Learning a new accounting software can be a learning curve for any bookkeeper and one you won’t want to finance.

If you already use a particular software application and want to continue using it, hiring a bookkeeper experienced in that software makes sense. If, however, you have no preference in regards to bookkeeping software, their preference may still impact your business. For example, different bookkeeping software has different capabilities, so it’s important to have some preference in terms of which software you would like them to be experienced with.

We recommend you read our article ‘Which Accounting Software Is Best for Small Business?’ to understand the software options available better.

 

If you are having trouble finding an experienced Gold Coast bookkeeper that fits the bill (and paycheck), then consider outsourcing your bookkeeping duties to a Gold Coast bookkeeping firm such as Grow Advisory Group. There are many advantages and benefits to avail of, which you can read about here.

Questions to ask a potential bookkeeping firm

Do you offer all bookkeeping services?

There are many benefits of outsourcing bookkeeping to a Gold Coast bookkeeping firm. One benefit is the fact that most firms will provide a full scope of bookkeeping services. So, you want to ask the question to make sure.

Even if you think you only need a bookkeeping firm to do a couple of bookkeeping services for you now, as your business grows, so too will your bookkeeping needs. You want to make sure the firm you choose is able to take care of your needs and that you won’t have to change if you become bigger and more successful.

Grow Advisory Group is one Gold Coast bookkeeping firm you can count on to provide every bookkeeping service you need and then some! Along with having qualified bookkeepers, we also have a team of qualified accountants to help with tax planning and tax advice, tax returns, and other business accounting needs.

Our bookkeeping services cover all bookkeeping duties, including payroll, setting up single touch payroll, and cloud-based bookkeeping software.

What industries do you specialise in?

Bookkeeping for a retail outlet will be very different to bookkeeping for an agricultural business. So, asking the question of which industries a Gold Coast bookkeeping firm specialise in or have experience with can greatly benefit your business.

If you find they have no experience in your industry, then they may not be the best fit as you won’t be up-to-date with the latest legislation and concessions that you may be able to take advantage of.

Grow Advisory Group have a high level of experience working with clients in a vast range of industries, from aged care to transport and logistics. You can view the full list of industries we specialise in here.

How do you communicate with your clients?

The only drawback of outsourcing your bookkeeping to a Gold Coast bookkeeping firm is that they work from an external location. Therefore, having excellent communication is essential.

When choosing a bookkeeping firm, you’ll want to ask how they communicate with their clients to see if you’re happy with their response. A firm with open communication is the firm you should choose. For example, you should be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone when you need to, without having to wait for a callback.

This is the type of communication you can expect if you choose Grow Advisory Group. With three locations across Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast, we have a team of qualified bookkeepers on-hand to answer your enquiries without delay.

What can you expect around delivery times and response times?

Following on from the previous question is knowing their expected delivery and response times. You don’t want a Gold Coast bookkeeping firm that over-promises and then under-delivers in terms of delivery and response time.

Bookkeeping firms on the Gold Coast can have hundreds of clients on the books. However, you need to know that you’re just as important as any other client and that your business will be treated as such. You should expect swift delivery times to ensure you meet any ATO deadlines and that your phone or email communications are met within the same day or no longer than 24 hours.

What are your services fees?

One question that Gold Coast bookkeeping firms are often reticent to answer is about bookkeeping service fees. You can expect bookkeepers to be evasive with their replies, but you should instead feel empowered to ask the question. After all, it is your right to ask, and you don’t want to receive a shocking bill after the fact.

Bookkeeping firms will generally charge an annual or quarterly bookkeeping service fee, which makes it easier for bookkeepers to set the price point. Of course, this will vary depending on the scope of services they perform, so it’s good to identify what services you want them to perform when asking about service fees.

Contact Grow Advisory Group to arrange a free, no-obligation meeting to discuss your needs so we can provide a custom fee structure.

Who will I deal with directly?

Gold Coast bookkeeping firms generally contain a number of bookkeepers with different qualifications and specialties. Therefore, it’s essential to ask the question of whom you will be dealing with.

You don’t want your business finances ping-ponged around from bookkeeper to bookkeeper within the firm. You’ll want to know that your business will be handled by a dedicated bookkeeper who has experience in your industry.

Where is the work performed?

Asking a potential Gold Coast bookkeeping firm where they perform their work and their response can be telling.

You want confidence when choosing a bookkeeping firm, and one that works from someone’s garage or home may not provide the confidence you seek. It will also likely reduce if not eliminate the option of having in-person meetings. Therefore, look for a bookkeeping company that has a physical location that you can visit should you require a meeting.

Grow Advisory Group has three offices across Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast, so you can be confident that we offer a professional service and welcome in-person meetings. View our locations here.

Conclusion

Bookkeeping is an integral part of running a small business. They can help you save time and money, provide more accurate bookkeeping records, and even aid in the growth of your business. But before you hire any bookkeeper for your company, it’s important to know what questions to ask them – both for in-house bookkeepers and bookkeeping firms.

By asking the bookkeeping firm what services they provide, where their bookkeepers are located and how you will be charged for services rendered, you can ensure that your money is spent wisely and with confidence.

Contact Grow Advisory Group today to book a free initial consultation about utilising our bookkeeping services for your business.

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    Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from an accountant and/or financial adviser.

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