Working With Your Bookkeeper
A Guide to Getting the Most Value from Your Bookkeeping Service
What Will You Need to Give to Your New Bookkeeper?
You will need to decide if your bookkeeper will do your books as of the start of your fiscal year or just begin now wherever you are. Naturally, if your new bookkeeper has to go back several months to enter data, there will be a fee for the time involved.
Most bookkeepers today use QuickBooks software, so if you have been using QuickBooks, you should be able to give your new bookkeeper your file and get started right away. It will make things easier if you are both using the same version of QuickBooks.
Once you agree to contract bookkeeping services, they will need:
- Name, phone number, and email for your in-house contact person.
- Information regarding account balances as of the beginning of your contract. If you have financial statements this will be easy, if not, expect to pay for the time it will take to pull these numbers together.
- Bank statements for all business accounts
- Copies of loan agreements and payment schedules
- Copies of leases
- Copies of contracts with vendors
- A copy of your last tax return, at least the business portion of it
- Copies of sales tax returns year to date
- Payroll information year to date
- Detailed inventory listing
- List of vendors names, addresses, terms
- List of client names, addresses, terms
- Articles of incorporation or partnership agreement
How Often Do You Need to Have Your Bookkeeping Updated?
If your business is a small service business, you might only need to have financial statement prepared quarterly. Your payroll tax returns, if needed, can be prepared at the same time. It’s also a good idea to include consultation time so that you can review with your bookkeeper and tax preparer what your total taxable income might be and whether you need to make an estimated tax payment.
If your business is somewhat large or complicated with lots of payroll, inventory, or other issues requiring regular updating and monitoring, you should opt for monthly services.
Be sure to discuss all of your needs when negotiating a contract for bookkeeping services. Remember that you will need additional services at year-end regarding payroll and income taxes. If your business needs to be audited by a CPA firm, you may wish to include audit preparation services in your bookkeeping contract.
How Will Your Data Be Communicated?
Be sure to discuss with your new bookkeeper how you will pass data back and forth.
- Will the bookkeeper pick up and deliver your paperwork?
- Will you fax or email your data to your bookkeeper?
- Does your bookkeeper track your documents?
- Will your bookkeeper keep originals or copies of your documents at her location?
- Will your bookkeeper maintain a web site where you can access your data 24/7?
- Will you need to invest in rieval such as a scanner or fax machine?
It Pays To Get Organized
Make sure that your internal system is organized and set up to work seamlessly with your new bookkeeper. Designate at least on person in your office who will be available to gather data and answer questions so that the bookkeeping is done on time without complications. The more organized you are, the less time your bookkeeper will spend and bill you for. If you need help training your staff to do organization, ask your bookkeeper. It will be less expensive to pay for a few hours of training than ongoing phone tag and visits from the bookkeeper.
Categories: For Business Owners