5 Questions to Ask While Looking for a Good Bookkeeper and Accountant

5 Questions to Ask While Looking for a Good Bookkeeper and Accountant

How to find a good bookkeeper and accountant

Find a bookkeeper and accountant is an essential benchmark in any business’s excursion. If you have landed on this blog, it means one of the two things; either you are planning on starting a new business, or your entrepreneurship has achieved a milestone that requires a bookkeeper or an accountant.

Find a Bookkeeper and Accountant Video Guide

Now young entrepreneurs are always enthusiastic enough to do everything themselves at the start of a business. Yet midway on the road finding a good bookkeeper and accountant may present itself as an urgency. New companies are chaotic and stressful, and mishaps and wrong decisions happen. But not if you have mapped the plan carefully.

This blog will help you avoid making last-minute mistakes by hiring the wrong person for the subject job. It will take only a few minutes out of your busy schedule, but the following video will highlight some critical questions to ask while finding a good bookkeeper and accountant. Have a look.

We’ve got a summarized list of the five most important questions to ask to find the right bookkeeper and accountant for your business. However, they might be of little help if you do not know the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant.

So before enlisting the pro tips, you must understand the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant.

What is the Difference Between a Business Bookkeeper and an Accountant?

As the name implies, a bookkeeper’s job is to keep a record of daily business transactions, create invoices, and take care of payroll. They are more concerned with the day-to-day financial activities of your company.

A bookkeeper is also responsible for managing, recording, keeping, and retrieving daily transactions like sales, purchases, payments, receipts, and invoices. So a bookkeeper’s job starts with the start of a business.

How to find an accountant

Accountants use the information obtained from bookkeepers to analyze a business’s overall financial state and cash flow. The accountant’s job is more systematic and distinct. They organize, evaluate, review, infer, and confer financial data. Their services come in handy at different business stages, particularly when it comes to analyzing and reporting fiscal matters.

While an accountant can do a lot of bookkeeping duties, their job is at a higher level. A good accountant eases your way through many phases of business growth. Be it the planning stage or the grilling tax audits, devising your company’s legal structure, or drafting loan applications; an accountant makes the business tasks smooth and easy. The statement holds whether you hire a full-time, on-premises expert or engage an accountant hourly.

There are three levels of bookkeepers:

  • Someone who is self-trained with no educational background
  • Someone who is self-trained and has achieved a certificate in the field
  • Someone who works in professional practice and has achieved a diploma in the field

And there are two areas of accounting knowledge and training:

  • Someone who has achieved an Accounting Designation (CPA); this person most likely has experience with audits, taxes, or management and has had little bookkeeping experience during their training.
  • Someone who has a degree in accounting from a University and has worked in a professional accounting practice.

Both the appointments may prove a life-saver for your company. Though the jobs of a bookkeeper and an accountant may seem to occur at different work stations in a business module and different business phases, they complement each other at all times. That is why the selection criteria are almost the same for either of them.

5 Questions to Ask Before you Hire a Bookkeeper or an Accountant

Whether you hire a bookkeeper or an accountant, the decision depends on

  • how big or small your company is
  • how complicated and extensive your financial details are
  • what are the demands of your business field

The job of a bookkeeper and an accountant overlap, and that is a good thing. Because if your business is new and small, you can hire a bookkeeper regularly and hire an accountant on a requirement basis.

Now without further ado, let’s get to those burning questions!

1. What is their rate, and is it accurate?

You can judge a bookkeeper’s rate by assessing their educational background, how they received their training, and their hands-on experience. The rate for bookkeepers and accountants in Canada differs based on your province or territory.

We recommend that you go with a package rate per month for a bookkeeper, and choose your accountant based on the going rate and whether they specialize in your business area (more on that later!).

2. How does the firm keep up with skill-development?

Generally, a bookkeeper holds a graduate degree with experience in bookkeeping services in a specified field. Accountants, on the other hand, are a step-ahead category with specialized certifications and degrees. Whatever the case is, both are required to upgrade their skills according to a specific business field’s latest requirements.

It is crucial to know whether your bookkeeper and accountant keep up with the industry changes. Are they using the newest software to do your books, or are they using a black ledger book?

Accountants must upgrade their professional development training each year, and most will be happy to show you proof that they have done so. Look up their profiles or the firm’s portfolio.

3. What is the availability and turnaround time of the individual?

If you work from home, having a bookkeeper and accountant available virtually is a big bonus! The ongoing COVID-19 scenario has defined some new norms in the business circle as well. So a virtual bookkeeper or an accountant not only meets the ‘stay home, stay safe’ benchmark, it also means you are cutting back on total expenses of keeping an office and a specific work station for either of them.

And of course, you want to hire someone who has a reasonable turnaround time. One of the subject services’ primary hassles is delaying responding to a query or an urgent situation. With experienced, elite, and virtual services, this may happen.

Bookkeeping and an accountant may have other clients as well. An efficient contact point person is a massive help in this regard. Discussing the response time and alternate contact or communication channel (e-mail or phone numbers) to be used in urgent times may save you lots of pennies and precious time.

4. What specific tasks can they complete for you?

How to find a financial team for my business

How to find a financial team for my business? Is the person you’re hiring able to file your taxes, do your payroll and your ROE?

Try and find someone who can tick all of your boxes. Do not be surprised if the firm does not offer a one-stop solution for accounting and bookkeeping. Not many firms out there meet the benchmark.

Since the bookkeeping and accounting services complement each other, finding a team that offers comprehensive services is essential. You do not want to end up inviting a third-party accounting team at the end of a fiscal year.

Go for a firm that delivers all-inclusive assistance in managing your business data, be it the start of your business or the end of a financial year.

5. Do the offered services specialize in your industry?

If you’re about to hire a bookkeeper or an accountant, ask them what type of clients they work with? The basics of accounting and bookkeeping remain the same across all industries. Yet minor differences about special laws are always applicable to each one of them.

Keeping in accord with these rules and regulations is vital for the reputation and compliance of your company. Making sure the to-be bookkeeping and accountant services are familiar with your business. Hiring someone with experience in this regard would go a long way for either party.

For example, do they work for many clients who work from home and own small businesses?

Or do they work for a lot of doctors and nonprofits? If their answer is “all types of clients,” keep looking! You want to hire someone who specializes in your field so you can turn to them for advice and trust that they know what they’re talking about.

Finding the right bookkeeper and accountant for your Small Business

The most important thing to consider when hiring your bookkeeper and accountant is whether they are the right fit for you and your small business. Your business’s financial side is a big one, so you want to feel confident that your economic team knows what they’re doing. You might need to do your research and shop around before you find the right person.

The subject topic is a lot to think about, we know! CorePro8 can guide you through the steps to finding a good bookkeeper and accountant. We are here to make sure you feel confident and secure in making these types of business decisions. Find out more about how CorePro8 can walk you step-by-step through these decisions and registering and/or incorporating. Find out more about how CorePro8 can walk you step-by-step through these decisions and registering and/or incorporating.

About Coreina Hubert

Coreina Hubert is the founder and CEO of CorePro8, a program that guides business owners step-by-step through the process of registering or incorporating their business. Previously, Coreina worked as an accountant at her company, Book-it Bookkeeping Inc.

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