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How to Choose a Trustworthy Bookkeeper

London, UK (06/05/2009)

When appointing a bookkeeper for your business, the two most important qualities are their skill and trustworthiness. You can gain an idea of their level of skill by their experience and qualifications but how can you tell if they can be trusted with your sensitive financial information?

An example of why it is important to find the right bookkeeping and accounting partner is the most recent case of bookkeeper from Aberdeen who stole £100, 000 from a business owner. The bookkeeper moved it to her own account in small amounts, without the knowledge of the owner who did not have any bookkeeping knowledge and therefore had to wholly trust his bookkeeper, as most business owners do. This demonstrates how trust can be so easily abused in this position and reiterates the importance of employing a bookkeeper in whom you can have faith to never misuse your confidential information in this damaging manner.

You can always ask business colleagues and acquaintances if they know a good bookkeeper and hope you get a personal recommendation but what other options do you have? We have a created the four R’s to help you find the right financial cornerstone.

1. Reputation
Study their reputation. Their reputation is essentially a collection of personal experiences that have been spread by word of mouth and therefore this can be a good gauge of whether they are reliable.
Many bookkeepers operate solely or as part of a small, unregulated business, which makes it hard to determine what level of service and protection your books would receive as they have no national brand and no ethical code of conduct to adhere to. If you were to employ a bookkeeper who works as part of a national brand, like The Local Bookkeeper, you would be able to look at their first-class reputation and know that the bookkeeper you would be employing is honest, dependable and will deliver the service you require.

2. Reliability
How do you know if your bookkeeper will deliver a service and always be available to give you up-to-date information on the performance of your business? Many bookkeepers will leave you in the lurch when they go away on holiday or unexpectedly fall ill.   Although both of these events will inevitably occur, one must identify whether they have the back-up to allow them to deliver a service for you at any time.
Events could suddenly happen in your business that would require you to consult the expertise of your “financial cornerstone” and therefore it is essential that you should be able to receive this advice all year round. By working with The Local Bookkeeper, you will receive a service that is reliable, with a network of experienced and qualified professionals at your beck and call.

3. Regulation
It is not expected that every business owner will possess not only extensive knowledge of their business but also bookkeeping and financial skills. Therefore, following the advice of a “financial cornerstone” like a qualified bookkeeper, you can feel confident that the information they give you is correct and they are handling your financial data in a confidential manner. However, you can only be sure of this if the bookkeeper is regulated by a governing industry body, who will ensure that they adhere to a code of ethics, such as  the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB).
The Local Bookkeeper has a national team of qualified bookkeepers and accountants who are regulated by professional bodies and adhere to a professional code of conduct and who also conduct their own assessment of each bookkeeper to ensure they have an exceptional level of skill and are trustworthy and dependable.

4. Reference
Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials. Your bookkeeper should be very open to you requesting a reference. This way you are able to see what level of service you will be receiving directly from their clients, instead of only having to take their word. The Local Bookkeeper has testimonials for all their bookkeepers and will happily supply you with these to give you peace of mind that your books are being dealt with by knowledgeable and trustworthy professionals.


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