I know a guy that married a girl three days after meeting her. It's true. By the time they were signing marriage certificates, he barely knew what her favorite color was and had never met her parents. He was in love, unfortunately, it was the kind of blinding love the keeps you from making rational decisions.
I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. When you hire an online bookkeeping service for your company, make sure you know who you are hiring and why before you jump in. To help you out, here are a list of 22 questions I would make sure to ask any accountant before I handed over my finances:
- What certifications do you have?
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you month-to-month or do you make me sign a long-term contract?
- What industries do you specialize in?
- How much experience do you have with my particular accounting software?
- Since you're an online bookkeeping service and not local, how do I get my paperwork to you?
- If I get audited, do you stand by your work without charging me extra?
- Do you have in-house CPAs that I can turn to for specialized needs?
- How many staff do you have and how many clients do each of them manage on average?
- Will I have an assigned accounting team or will it be whoever is available when I call in for help?
- What software do you use to ensure that my accounting processes are organized and everything is in one place?
- What reports will you provide to me?
- When can I call you?
- What is your turnaround time?
- Do you re-outsource your work when you get too busy?
- Do you offshore your work?
- What qualifications do your staff have?
- If my books are not current, is there a setup fee?
- Are you insured? For how much?
- At what point will my business be too big for you to handle?
- What will my responsibilities be once you are hired?
- How often will we meet to discuss my finances?
I hope these questions help you make the most of your new relationship with the online bookkeeping service you hire. At the end of the day, I just want to make sure you don't end up like my friend, married after a brief intro with little knowledge of who you are in bed with.