As a business owner there is so much to do, and so little time to do it in. We have so many hats to wear that it sometimes gets too much.
One of the things we usually try to outsource first is our admin, or bookkeeping. This is a great idea as a good bookkeeper will save you time and money and are a great investment to any business.
During my time in finance I have helped lots and lots of businesses sort out the mess left by cowboy bookkeepers. But what are the things to look out for when hiring a bookkeeper?
I Here are my top tips to help you make the right decision.
Are they qualified?
Believe it or not there are a lot of admin experts, who might help you with your emails, or dairy, or social media, who think that that they are able to do a bit of data entry or bookkeeping and you might think you are saving money by getting your Virtual assistant to do it. Actually in most cases your VA has a higher hourly rate than a bookkeeper, so that is definitely a false economy.
Also does a VA, understand double entry bookkeeping enough to know that they are posting things correctly? This is a mistake I see quite often, and you could end up being charged more by your accountant for putting their mistakes right.
Have they a Practice Licence?
All qualified freelance bookkeepers can only legally operate as a bookkeeper if they have a practice licence. Most licences will actually list the tasks that the bookkeeper can legally do. So make sure that if you want them to process your VAT return for example that it is listed on their licence.
Are they Anti Money Laundering Registered? (AML)
It is a legal requirement for any self-employed person processing bookkeeping data, must be AML registered with an accounting governing body.
This includes invoice processing if posting onto an accounts package, expenses analysis, processing any data onto an accounts package and bank reconciliation.
You might think you are saving yourself money but hiring someone cheaper, but 9 times out of 10 you are not. There are strict accounting standards that all bookkeepers, accountants, and tax experts have to abide by. Your unqualified admin person does not know these standards.
By hiring a professional qualified bookkeeper, you will be saving yourself money and they are an asset to any business.