The demand for remote bookkeeping services is growing steadily across the country as more and more businesses, large and small, are realizing the perks of a virtual bookkeeper. The Benefits of a Virtual Bookkeeper are enough to convince any smart business owner of the irreplaceable role they play within a business, no matter the industry! If you’ve made the decision to hire a remote bookkeeper, it can be a challenge to know how to find a trustworthy person to handle your business’s most important financial information. Here are a few questions to ask as you begin your search toward hiring the right person for the job!
What services do you need a bookkeeper to provide?
This question is an important place to start! Your unique business may not need all the services a bookkeeper offers, so making a detailed list of exactly what you need will be a helpful place to begin. Do you need a bookkeeper to complete payroll for a set of employees? Do you need a bookkeeper year-round or just during tax season? Would you benefit from someone keeping a close eye on your monthly expenses and someone to provide a monthly profit & loss statement? Go into a conversation with a potential remote bookkeeper with the specific details of what your unique business requires to thrive.
Do you want a bookkeeper who specializes in your industry or has experience across multiple industries?
One of the great benefits of a remote bookkeeper is that the pool of hirable options is much larger because this person can live anywhere in the world! This means you can find someone who specializes in specific industries or someone who has experience across a variety of industries, capable of covering all your needs.
What accounting software do they use?
There are several reputable accounting software applications in existence, and one of the first questions you should ask is which they use and why. It’s best to use the same software as your bookkeeper, so if you’re proficient in Quickbooks but they use something alternative, find out why! A bookkeeper likely has strong knowledge of the current accounting softwares available – let them provide you with some insight into which they prefer and why.
Are they a good communicator?
Your bookkeeper plays a vital role in the health of your overall business, so it’s important to find someone with whom you can have clear and consistent communication. This person should feel like a suitable business partner you’re working with toward overall financial success for your company.
Are you comfortable speaking with this person and asking questions? Are you comfortable with their explanation to your questions? Do they respond within a timeframe you’re happy with? Virtual bookkeepers are supposed to increase efficiency within a business by completing time-consuming tasks so you can focus on other areas. If you’re constantly waiting for a response or trying to find a time to connect with this person, it’s probably best to move on.
Some other communication questions to ask include: What would you prefer to be the primary method of communication? Would you rather they call, email or use a messaging app to contact you? These are just a few points to inquire about to get the conversation started. You should walk away from a conversation with them feeling like they have your best interests at heart. If you don’t sense they do – keep searching.
Do they have positive client reviews?
What are other people saying about their experience with the bookkeeping service? Client reviews shouldn’t be your primary way of deciding on a bookkeeper, but they can provide helpful insight on whether or not this person is a good fit for your business. Are the reviews from businesses within a single industry or a broad array? Do they have more positive reviews than negative, if any? Don’t be afraid to ask their permission to contact other clients as references who can provide feedback on their services before you hand over your passwords!
What is their client process like?
Once you’ve compared the services you need with what the bookkeeper provides, seek to understand what their client process is like. You’ll want to know how long it takes to receive requested reports and how they get sent to you. Will they review reports with you or expect you to do that on your own? If you decide to hire them, what does their onboarding process look like? What information do they need from you to complete their job with excellence?
What is their pricing structure?
How much does a virtual bookkeeper cost? The answer to this question depends on multiple factors. Do the math ahead of time and be sure to have a budget set before going into a conversation with a bookkeeper. How much are you able to pay each month for rendered services? Request to see their pricing structure or a quote based on your conversation. Be cautious with anyone who charges by the hour or isn’t specific on what’s included in their pricing.
Like many others, if you’ve decided a remote bookkeeping provider is a smart option for your business, keep these questions in mind as you begin looking for a trustworthy partner. As you begin your search, reach out to Coastal Bookkeeping and Mobile Notary Services at 321-243-7513.