Like all the best services, a good bookkeeper costs money. Precious money from your business. So, you want to be sure you are getting the best value out of your bookkeeper.
How can you be sure you are getting the best value out of your bookkeeper’s time and their focus? How can you make sure they are working on your business and not bogged down in unraveling a mess of figures, invoices, and receipts?
There is a lot you can do to make sure that you are getting the most out of your bookkeeper’s time, but it requires some active participation from you.
Here are 7 great tips for getting the best value out of your bookkeeper.
Hire the right bookkeeper for the job
Look for a bookkeeper that fits with you, with your business, and your industry. Someone with experience in your specific industry or niche is beneficial, but you also need someone who you feel listens to you and gets what your business needs are.
Find someone you connect with and who gets the vibe of your business.
Set up the right relationship from the start
Come into your business/bookkeeper relationship with the clearest possible understanding of what you want from this interaction. Why are you hiring a bookkeeper? What are your expectations? What is their role and their responsibilities? What will be yours?
Work out as much as you can before even contacting any bookkeeper, and then work out the rest during your initial appointment with them.
Put your expectations, roles, and responsibilities down in writing in a service contract or letter of engagement when signing on with your bookkeeper.
Set up good lines of communication
Hire a bookkeeper that prioritises communication. Set up a system of passing information and keeping each other up to date that works best for both of you.
Set up a system that reminds you to pass the information your bookkeeper needs to them BEFORE THEY NEED IT. When your bookkeeper has to spend time chasing you, they are definitely not making the best use of their time.
Raise issues as soon as you notice them
If you have any issues with your bookkeeper, raise these with them as soon as you pick up on them. Nip problems in the bud with communication, understanding, timing and anything else that might not be working as smoothly as it should.
Don’t ignore problems or hope they will smooth themselves out. This is a professional relationship and a service contract, so if you have concerns raise them for discussion as soon as possible.
You want your bookkeeper to be making the best possible use of their time, so be clear about what you think the best possible use of that time is.
Treat this as a team effort
One of the greatest benefits of outsourcing is the fact that you don’t have to do this job yourself anymore. If you aren’t good at bookkeeping, or you find it tedious, hiring a bookkeeper means you don’t have to spend all your time tracking your finances anymore.
But making the best of your bookkeeper’s time doesn’t mean ignoring your finances completely, and leaving everything up to them. There is still quite a bit you need to know and understand in terms of your business’s books, and it’s important that you treat this as a team effort and take responsibility for having the knowledge you need to have.
And along those lines, you will get the best value out of your bookkeeper’s time if you can educate yourself about things wherever possible.
If your bookkeeper has to spend time explaining to you what a balance sheet is, why you need to lodge BAS statements, or the intricacies of your employees PAYG reports, they aren’t able to spend this time focusing on how to improve your business’s financial position.
Whenever your bookkeeper gives you something to read – read it! Do your best to get your head around their financial reports, and ask questions to clarify what you don’t get. The right bookkeeper can be a wealth of great information for you, but it’s your job to try to take in as much as you can.
Ask questions and seek their advice
If there is anything you don’t understand, or feel you need to learn more about, ASK. Your bookkeeper is here to help you, so one of the best ways to get value out of them is to ask questions and seek their advice about your finances and your financial growth.