bookkeeper expectationsExpectations for your bookkeeper

Almost all people who run their own successful business have a bookkeeper who ensures that everything balances and that the amount of money being paid to the taxman is correct in relation to your income after non countable expenses. You should set certain expectations for your bookkeeper that if they are not able to adhere to should mean you ending the contract. After all, you pay them for a service and that should be complete and include a few things which I would like to share with you.

  • The first is to ensure the person keeping your books is able to understand the terms used. This is something they should have learned when training. If they cannot explain to you the basic accounts in detail such as liabilities and equity you should not hire them.
  • Ensure your potential bookkeeper is able to pay attention to detail. Little mistakes can have a big effect on your finances, which is why this is so important. They should be able to get on with their job without being constantly prompted by you. Of course you will need to explain a few things if requested but if you find that you constantly need to prompt them it’s time to look elsewhere.
  • When you make a purchase of equipment, the bookkeeper should be aware of the costs involved of running the machinery, any fitting and maintenance to ensure it runs properly. Ensure they can allocate payments efficiently when writing up your expenses.
  • If they have references feel free to ring them to find out if their experience with the bookkeeper was one where he or she was able to complete the tasks they have been given. There is no point in being given half-finished documents. The tax man doesn’t want them and a new bookkeeper may have to start all over again. You will be expected to answer a few questions to complete their work but you should not have to do this constantly as it is their job to look after the finances not yours.
  • Ensure they provide you with financial statements each month and no later than the 10th day of the month following them transferring the information the previous month. This statement will need to contain the balance sheet, any profits, losses and information on the cash flow.
  • To ensure you are given the right breakdown of costs the bookkeeper will need to be efficient in tracking new and old project costs. There should be no excuses for not doing so. If you are having to amend the information on a regular basis this is costing you time and money on a job that you have outsourced to enable you to get on with yours.
  • Before even being interviewed they should have looked into any available information about your company and the service or product it provides. There are different terms used in different industries that they should be aware of to efficiently provide you with the information you need each month.
  • Ensure they understand the terms you set before they sign the contract to begin work. Ensure they are clearly laid out so that if they do not meet the terms any disciplinary action can be clearly justified.