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What Do You Need To Look For In A Bookkeeper?

London, UK (25/05/2011)

Your accounts are one of the most important functions of your business. Choosing the right bookkeeper can help you save money and develop a successful business.

Many of our clients have had bad experiences prior to using The Local Bookkeeper service so we want to help you avoid some of their mistakes by producing a checklist of requirement you should look for when making a decision.

1. Qualified or experienced?
You should use a qualified bookkeeper or other financial professional. We recommend you find someone who has both qualifications and has experience over several years.

2. Do they have professional membership?
You should find someone that is a member of a professional body such as
Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, as this will ensure they adhere to a professional code of conduct.

3. Are they local?
You should choose a local bookkeeper who will be able to provide you with hands on support.

4. Do they run their business full time?
You should choose a local and qualified bookkeeper who is committed full time to helping you and your business.

5. Do they have the ability to provide a consistent service?
If you went into restaurant and were told that the chef is on holiday, you would not be impressed. So why should it be any different when someone is dealing with your VAT, payroll or producing your management accounts? You should find a local and qualified bookkeeping firm with multiple staff or several offices to always ensure your service will be delivered.

6. Do they talk in plain English?
Your qualified and experienced bookkeeper should speak in the language you understand and explain financial matters to you so you can make the right business decision after understanding all the facts.

7. How do they charge?
By the hour or fixed fee? You should look for a bookkeeper that will set out terms of payment prior to the engagement that meets your expectations.

8. Have they been criminal bureau records checked?
Your accounts are highly sensitive and contain confidential information, very often they have all your client’s details and your bookkeeper has access to your bank account. You should be 100% satisfied that they are the right person and trustworthy.

9. Do they offer a money back guarantee?
If the accounts are incorrect, what happens? You should have not have to pay more to amend their mistakes.

10. What support do they have?
A reliable bookkeeper will have a technical team which consists of chartered accountants to ensure that the work is done to the highest standard.

11. Do they have PI insurance?
Professional Indemnity Insurance provides essential financial protection for a bookkeepers. In the event that a client suffers financial loss as a result of alleged neglect, error or omission Professional Indemnity Insurance will meet the cost of defending claims and any damages payable.

12. What service do they provide?
You will need more than just bookkeeping, you should find a qualified bookkeeper that can provide bookkeeping, management accounts, payroll, credit control. The bookkeeper should take the time to go through your reports with you and put forward suggestions of what you can do to improve your cash flow.

13. What type of bookkeeper are they?
There are many types of bookkeepers, some are just input clerks, others are highly accomplished financial professionals who specialise in helping small businesses owners understand how their business operate. You get what you pay for, just because a bookkeeper charges less, it very often does not mean you are getting value for money.

14. Are they up to date with legalisation?
There are constant legislative changes in the world of accountancy and bookkeeping which will affect your business. You should find an experienced bookkeeper who is up to date with what is going on which could save you hundreds of pounds in penalties or possible legal action.

15. Do they understand the markets your business operates in?
Your bookkeeper must understand the struggles that small businesses face and understand how your markets works in terms of the language you use, legislation, and knowledge of the industry.

If you follow this list, you can be confident that you will have found a bookkeeper who is reliable and will provide a service that will be indispensible to your business.

 



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