It’s the end of the day and my brain hurts. Do you ever feel like that? Sometimes it feels like there are a thousand things that cross my desk and most of it becomes a blur.
My advantage is that I don’t have to do my books at the end of the day. Whew! I can go home and relax with my family. That’s because we’re accountants and keeping the books is all we do all day long. You may not be an accountant though, and the thought of spending your free time balancing ledgers may bring a salty tear to your eye.
Like you, many business owners have thought about using a bookkeeper service to get their free time back. Before you dive in, here’s what you need to know in just 30 seconds.
The Benefits of a Bookkeeper Service
#1: You don’t have to do it anymore!
How great does that feel? If you’re to the point that dealing with your books is driving you crazy, you’ve passed the test so far. Move on to #2.
#2: You only have to pay for what you use.
I still can’t figure out why businesses will hire a full time bookkeeper or accountant who has to find ways to stay busy for 160 hours a week. With an outsourced bookkeeper service, you may only need 10 hours a month - so that’s all you pay for.
#3: It’s a breath of fresh air.
Seriously. We eat and breath this stuff. It’s what keeps us going. You may not get excited about debits and credits, but we sure do. Since you no longer have to stress about it, you can rest assured that it’s being done right and on time.
#4: It’s automated.
Accounting is one part of your business that always seems to lag behind. What if you could automate some of that?
#5: You can turn on the light switch.
With a professional bookkeeper service, your business reports are far more accurate and timely. You won’t feel like you’re bumping around in the dark anymore.
What You Should Ask Before You Hire a Bookkeeper Service
Before you do hire a bookkeeper service though, there are a few things questions you should ask.
#1: Will you hold me hostage?
Some firms in our industry are notorious for holding information hostage. In our engagement letter, we clearly define that we are not allowed to hold your data or information hostage for any reason. Make sure that your bookkeeper has a similar statement in writing before you engage.
#2: Who will be doing the work?
Did you know that if you outsource your books, many of the firms will then turn to India or the Philippines to have them do the work?! When you hire a bookkeeper, decided if you’re alright with having offshore folks work on your financials. If not, make sure to ask if they are based entirely in the USA. Our staff is built from the ground up with USA based CPAs and QuickBooks Pro Advisors. You get a dedicated accountant that focuses on you and your company.
#3: Are you insured?
Regardless of hiring an in-house accountant or outsourcing to a bookkeeper service, there will be mistakes. That's just part of life. Accounting is a function done by human beings and as such, expecting perfection is impractical. However, you should expect professionalism. One thing that's important to remember is that all accountants view professionalism differently. For us at Ignite Spot, it means giving your best at all times, responding quickly when needed, and treating your business as though it were our own.
If you get an accountant who has a lesser view of professionalism, such that they are negligent in their work, you need to have a back up plan. In our industry, accountants should have an insurance policy to back up their work; it's often called "Errors and Emissions Insurance". Regardless of who you work with, make sure they have it. We are of course insured, however we're proud to say that we have never had to use it.
#4: What experience do you have?
Not all bookkeeper services use accountants with a strong background in accounting. Many of them use level 1 staff to get the job done. You’ll want to make sure that a CPA is involved in the firm and that the staff that works on your books has at least 5+ years of experience running the accounting software that you use. No noobies here. Your financials are too important to mess up due to lack of experience.