What if everything in your life was simple?
Even when you make a ‘decision’ like to settle down and get married, there’s a lot of work ahead of you. Imagine if you could just press a button labeled “family” and immediately have a beautiful wife or husband along with two well-behaved children.
Making business decisions isn’t easy either.
While it’s less complicated to hire a bookkeeper or outsource your business’ bookkeeping to a virtual team, there are a few steps you should take to make sure you’re going about it the right way and giving yourself an opportunity to succeed. After working with hundreds of businesses and law firms on their bookkeeping, we’ve recognized the following as appropriate steps to take before partnering with Kahuna Accounting or another virtual accounting team.
Estimate Current “Costs”
A good first step to take before outsourcing your bookkeeping or even hiring a bookkeeper is to estimate your current bookkeeping costs. If you are handling your own books, you need to assign a value to an hour of your time and calculate how much time you spend each month on your books. You then need to consider if your time would be worth more if you focused on aspects of your business that require your specific skill set.
It will almost always seem like doing something yourself is cheaper than hiring someone else. The fact is, your time is valuable and a cost if you’re spending it on bookkeeping.
Just as you wouldn’t hire the first person who walks in your door with a resume, when outsourcing, you don’t want to trust the first company that sends you a cold email or advertises to you through a search engine.
Setup a call and get to know them better. Understand not only what they will charge you each month, but what you get for that cost. Don’t settle until you feel comfortable with the company you’ll trust with your bookkeeping.
Ask the Right Questions
Getting the right information is all about asking the right questions. When speaking with possible virtual bookkeepers and companies, make sure to ask any and all questions. Some questions we feel that you should always ask include:
What will my bookkeeping responsibilities be after starting to work with your company?
What documents/reports/receipts do I need to provide you on a monthly basis?
What all is included in the monthly fee?
Is there a required contract or month-to-month billing?
If a mistake is made with my bookkeeping, what steps do you take to fix it?
What expertise do you (your team) have in my specific type of business?
Speak with Your Future Representative
Kahuna Accounting has representatives assigned to accounts. These accountants track their client’s accounts, run reports, answer questions, send information and help in other ways. If the company you’re speaking with offers a representative, see if you can speak with the specific representative first to test for fit and make sure you’re on the same page.
Acquire List of Needed Documents and Passwords
Not all of the responsibility falls on the company. They will need information, documents and passwords from you in order to do your bookkeeping. Before you make things official, make sure you can get them all of what they need.
Don’t Forget About Growth!
Running a business is about more than just creating a job for ourselves. Any company that helps with the financials of a small business should know how to provide forward-looking statements, key performance indicators, and talk to their clients about growing their business. Consider asking how they help businesses grow.
Nice article Kahuna. With 9 out 10 businesses failing over time, many owners are trying to wear too many hats running their business. With cloud accounting, accountants are able to provide higher level CFO-like services. Your suggestion to talking to the people who actually will be working with you is key, since many providers are just big outsourcers now. Smaller, Independent accounting firms usually provide better service. And are more likable as a bonus. One suggested addition to the article. Read real client reviews to see if what the firm is promising matches the client experiences. Good luck!