Now that you’re on a path to hiring an outside bookkeeping service, you not only want to think about what you want them to bring to the table. Before that, you must take a hard look at your own business to explore what you truly need in bookkeeping.
Is Your Industry Highly Specialized or Regulated?
Healthcare, insurance, financial services, non-profits and businesses dealing with federal, state or local government contracts often require more than just basic bookkeeping skills. These industries often carry the burdens of additional or specialized compliance reporting that your new team will need to know about from the start. While it’s not necessary that you find a bookkeeping team that exclusively works with your particular industry or extra needs, it is good to look into a team’s familiarity with such work. Spending a little more time investigating these needs up from may save you additional time – or cost – down the road.
Do You Want More Detailed Explanations?
Not everyone loves accounting – we know, that’s hard to understand. However, if you feel your knowledge base needs to be updated as well as your books, ask your team for a little more time or coaching to walk you through the basic structure of your company’s finances in the first few months. Believe us, they will most likely welcome the opportunity. Not only is it showing a greater interest in your business, but it also aids your team down the road when you learn to anticipate requests for certain items.
On the flip side of this request, if you have a fairly firm grasp of accounting and very little time, express to your team that you’d like simply to review the work and return any questions either by email or a set phone call. By realizing what style you prefer, you can communicate this early to your team and minimize the learning curve in your new arrangement.
Anticipating Major Events
Even if you’re a few months down the road, it’s good to fill your bookkeeping team in on major business events in the future. Are you anticipating an expansion? Are you looking to move your location? Are you worried that you may have a great deal of employee turnover soon? These might seem like things your bookkeeper would deal with directly. However, knowing the game plan for your business helps your bookkeeping team draw attention to any possible challenges – from sudden dips in your cash flow to preparing tax filing information under that new address.
The way to get the most out of a bookkeeping service is to truly treat them like an extension of your team. The more they know, the better able they are to meet your needs. Look at your own business requirements and operating needs closely prior to engaging a team to make the experience smoother from both ends.