Bookkeeping is more than meeting tax obligations every year. It is a fundamental part of running a business. With your books in a mess so then are your finances. A good bookkeeper makes life easy. Accurate, up-to-date financials means you can plan and make wise decisions.
The bookkeeping world can be a minefield, with not all bookkeepers created equal. The challenge is to find one who exceeds your needs to become an integral part of your team.
So, how do you pick a good bookkeeper?
Registered BAS/IAS Agent
The single most important thing is whether they are a registered BAS/IAS agent. This is easy enough to check. The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has a searchable register of all registered Australian bookkeepers.
Anyone who charges to provide BAS services must be registered with the TPB. This ensures they understand tax system compliance, and have the qualifications and experience to do a good job.
The last thing your business needs is for there to be mistakes in BAS/IS reporting for it can cost you if the Tax Office imposes penalties.
More than a Data Entry Monkey
A good bookkeeper is more than a data entry monkey. They can think for themselves, provide analysis and comply with tax legislation. It is important they have the experience to back any claims they make.
Can they answer your questions? Understand and use different types of accounting software? Ask questions when you do not provide enough information? Know where to find the answers to complex situations?
Question and Check Qualifications
To become a BAS Agent, a bookkeeper must have an accounting or bookkeeping qualification. Ask any potential bookkeeper about their qualifications. Do they have any specialist skills? Will these be useful to your business now or in the future?
You need someone who understands debtor control, profit and loss and balance sheets to start with. You may also need someone who can deal with payroll, superannuation and WorkCover.
The first thing to do is write down what you want a bookkeeper to do. And, if you are not sure, a good bookkeeper will guide you to ensure you cover all your basic needs. But you may need more than just the basics. For example, you may want them to analyse your data to provide insights on a quarterly basis so you know exactly how your business is tracking. Check they offer a full range of services so you do not need to find someone else to cover specific areas.
Integrity and reliability
Check your potential bookkeeper has integrity. Check their reviews and ask for references to see if they do the right thing for their clients. You want to work with someone who shows you respect, and you can respect and trust in return.
Question their reliability. Will they do the work when you need it done or when it is convenient for them? You do not need the stress of your books getting behind. It can cause all sorts of problems with regular reporting and come tax time.
These are the most important things to keep in mind when picking a good bookkeeper.
Alexilum are experienced and qualified bookkeepers who can assist you in your business. Contact Us Now to find out more.