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Important questions to ask when hiring a bookkeeper

  • When you go into business, your focus would be on building a better widget, serving a specific customer, or the like, and not on bookkeeping. I would recommend delegating such tasks.
  • Here are some questions that you should ask: “How many clients do you currently work with?”and “Do you work with clients in my industry?” It is helpful if the bookkeeper has dealt with your specific industry before. Ask little trick questions like, “When are 1099s due?”
  • Without a good bookkeeper, you may be missing deductions; you may be missing areas where you could take right-offs and reduce your taxes. Your CPA and bookkeeper should work hand-in-hand

Hello everyone. It’s Shauna the, Tax Goddess, here with you today regarding what are the questions that you need to ask when hiring a bookkeeper. When you build a business, you go into business to build a better widget, serve a specific customer niche or whatever it is, but you go into business specifically so that you can be in business. Most people don’t go into business to be bookkeepers. I am a huge fan, delegate, delegate, delegate. If you have watched our videos before, you know how much I love Mr. Tim Ferris. I’m all about delegation. Bookkeeping is one of those things that you should absolutely under all circumstances delegate.

When you’re delegating bookkeeping to a bookkeeper, what do you need to ask? There is definitely a list of questions and we will post those below in the blog, very basic questions that you can ask any bookkeeper. Things like, “How many clients do you currently work with? Do you work with clients in my industry?”, because it is helpful if the bookkeeper has dealt with your specific industry before. Little trick questions so, “When are 1099s due?” If you watched last week’s video, we talked about 1099s. Or, I think maybe that was the week before that, but 1099s are due January 31st, so if you get any different answer from your bookkeeper, definitely a red flag.

There are definitely some theoretical type questions that you would want to ask your bookkeeper as well. “How do you work with the CPA? Do you normally like to work hand in hand with the CPA? Or, do you like to attempt to prepare a finished QuickBooks file for the CPA to do taxes from?” If the bookkeeper is answering, “Well, I don’t work with the CPA,” or, “No, I’ll do the taxes myself,” it might not be the right person that you want to work with. You definitely, as a business owner, want a team. Typically, you want an attorney and CPA. If you’re in anyway involved in real estate, you want a real estate agent, commercial or residential. Your bookkeeper is an intrical part of your team, like your insurance agent.

Without a good bookkeeper, you may be missing deductions and you may be missing areas where you could be taking right offs to be able to reduce your taxes. Really, your CPA and your bookkeeper should work hand in hand. Now, there are some cases where you might need a few extra services from your bookkeeper; maybe if you’ve been doing your books yourself and maybe there’s a few little errors or something that the bookkeeper needs to clean up, but any good bookkeeper should be able to take a look at your books and basically provide you with where you’re at as a starting point. That is definitely something that I would want to see from any bookkeeper going into a client’s office; what kinds of things is the bookkeeper looking at?

Are they looking to see whether or not your books have been reconciled? Are they looking to see how many bank accounts and how many credit cards you have and whether you have the statements for all of those? We actually had a case once where a bookkeeper was working on a file, had gone ahead, done all the banking and reconciliations, and all the data entry for one bank account, but never asked the client if there were any other accounts. The client told us that they actually had three accounts, so we had to send the bookkeeper back to do reconciliations on another two. Really, your bookkeeper is one of your internal confidants for your business. I highly, highly recommend that you have a good relationship with your bookkeeper, definitely speak to some of their references.

We are happy to provide … We’ll put some of those trick questions down on the bottom along with the answers so you’ve got a quick Q&A for yourself when you’re talking to any new bookkeeper, and of course, make sure that the bookkeeper’s going to work hand in hand with your CPA so that you get the best bottom line deductions you possibly can for your business. If you have any questions on what makes a great bookkeeper, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. I’d love to chat with you about it, and if you have any questions about your bookkeeper, feel free to reach out. We’ll see if we can help answer. Shauna, the Tax Goddess, because when you need a tax strategy, call your Tax Goddess.


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