Finding a professional and reliable bookkeeper or accountant to help with your business is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. With this said, the process of finding the perfect firm can be a time consuming and stressful task. We have been in the accounting industry since 2002, and have heard and seen it all.
From our experiences, the perfect agency changes from client to client, and is dependent on the business’s culture, structure, values, and goals. With this said, we have created a simple 4-step process that ensures you will find a bookkeeper and/or accountant that has the ability to work around your needs, and help you to reach your business goals.
Step 1: Ask yourself “What does my business need in terms of financial help?”
It is important to have a strong understanding of your business, and create a list of what you are looking for from an accounting firm. What is your current bookkeeping process, and what do you need help with? Here is a list of questions to ask yourself:
- Is your business a new business?
- How many employees do you have? Do you need help with payroll?
- Do you want to use an accounting system, or do you want to maintain your bookkeeping by yourself? Keep in mind that you can outsource portions of the bookkeeping process.
- Do you need tax and accounting assistance?
- Do you understand the tax filing requirements? If so, would you like your accountant to review your tax filings?
- Where do you see your business in the next 5 years? Would you feel more comfortable having an accountant who understands your business, giving you guidance and advice?
Step 2: Do Your Homework
As previously mentioned, enlisting the help of an accounting firm can be a time consuming and stressful task; one that you only want to do once. This is why it is important to do your homework. The best way to do this is through a variety of means; ask your friends, acquaintances, and family members for recommendations, and search for bookkeeping and accounting firms online (ex. “accounting services”) to find a variety of firms. Spend some time, and generate a list of 5-6 accounting firms that may be right for you. Now that you have a list of potential agencies, do some research! Look at their website, and compare it to your previous list of needs and goals. Which firms match?
Step 3: Make the Call
Now that you have an understanding of what you need, and a solid list of bookkeeping and accounting firms, the next step is to create a list of questions to ask them. Keep in mind, an accountant for your business is a long term relationship. Like any, it boils down to a compatibility of interests, experience, and future outlooks. Some of the questions we hear most are as follows. We also added our answers, just in case you were wondering!
Do you have your CA?
Yes, many of the LedgersOnline staff have their CA’s, including Wayne Zielke, our CEO.
Who will be working on my assignment? Will I interact with them?
You will have a personal bookkeeper assigned to your business needs, and you can reach them any time. We also have certified accountants on hand, to help with any work required. All of our employees are professionally qualified, and have the experience needed to help you with your business needs.
How do you bill for your services?
We have a variety of pricing options designed around small and medium sized businesses. With this said, your company may be looking for something a little different. We can create a customized price based around your company’s needs, or even bill hourly, depending on the work that needs to be completed.
What kind of business advice can you offer me?
The LedgersOnline staff are industry professionals, and are always looking to help. Our services include managing your Accounts Receivables and Payables, GST filing, PST filing, Payroll, and many more. We live with your business, and are always looking for ways to assist.
Who are your other clients?
You can tell a lot about a company by who they work with. For more information about our clients, you will have to give us a call!
Is your firm up-to-date on the latest financial and tech trends?
We are the leaders of our industry, and have a focus on the latest technology trends. For example, our firm is the creator of LedgerDocs, a web-based document management system designed to store, manage, and collaborate on accounting documents between bookkeepers and business owners. This allows for us to maintain relationships with clients around the globe.
We also have the ability to work with your current bookkeeping set-up, including Quickbooks, Simply Accounting, MYOB, Peachtree, Quicken, ect. We have seen it all, and are willing to work with whatever system you feel comfortable with.
Why should my business choose you?
To sum it up, we are a friendly, innovative, and professional firm that offers your business cost-effective solutions that allow you to focus on running your business; not your accounting department.
Step 4: Analysis
Now that you have your questions answered, you should sit down and analyze all of your information. The perfect firm will be able to work with you to meet your needs, and ultimately, help you reach your business goals. You should feel confident with the firm, and have left the conversation feeling reassured. Take some time to think about each of the firm’s unique selling points, and how they compare with your business.
Best of luck,
The LedgersOnline Team
Learn more about LedgersOnline’s bookkeeping services for small businesses: