Working with a Bookkeeper: How to Get the Most Value out of a Bookkeeper

Whether you have a bookkeeper that is in house in your business and an employee or you outsource your bookkeeping to an agency, your bookkeeper is still a very important part of your business. 

Maybe you are the type of business owner who doesn't like to look at your money and that’s why you really hired a bookkeeper. You know the job has to be done, and you really don’t want to do it. 

My very first bookkeeping client was like this. She actually hired me to work with her on her mindset, her budget (both business and personal) and to do her bookkeeping. But she really didn’t like looking at her money, so she never made much progress. She even told me one day, I never look at the emails you send me. 

You see, your bookkeeper (and even accountant) are there to help you with your business. They really can help you continue to grow your business. 

You really should maximize the relationship you have with your bookkeeper. There is a positive ROI that can be produced by working with your bookkeeper. But only if you actually work together with your bookkeeper. 

How do you get the most value out of working with your bookkeeper?

Use their experience and expertise.

Your bookkeeper should have experience and expertise. They are an important financial resource for your business. 

Use that financial resource to your benefit!

Review their reports. 

When your bookkeeper sends you your financial reports, actually look at them. If you have questions, make sure you ask. 

Compare the newest reports to past reports. 

Even ask them to run comparative reports for you. Or just go into the bookkeeping software yourself and run the comparative reports. 

Look at how your business is doing now. Look at how it’s doing now compared to past periods: last month, same month last year, year-to-date, year-to-date this year compared to year-to-date last year. 

What information really stands out to you when you look at these reports? 

How can you use this data to make better decisions in your business? What do these reports actually teach you about your business? 

Ask for their advice. 

Your bookkeeper is very financially intimate with your business. They see things going on regularly. 

And since your bookkeeper is not financially attached to your business, they have a unique perspective on your business and how you can make changes in your business. 

Your bookkeeper may also have other clients that are in the same type of business as you. They will have knowledge of how other people in the same industry are running their business that they can give you. They can’t give you specifics (due to privacy), but they have the views they have regarding situations and even certain expenses can definitely be in your benefit. 

Your bookkeeper is very knowledgeable and can make recommendations to ways that can actually save you money in your business. 

They will have knowledge to help you maximize your tax savings as well. 

Some bookkeepers do not just freely offer their advice on your business. You must ask them for it, or tell them to freely offer it when they see things; let them know you are happy to receive their advice and input. 

Ask questions.

When you have a bookkeeper on your team, the whole premise is so that you can easily understand your financial situation. 

When you don’t understand something on your reports, or something your bookkeeper says, ask. 

Ask them to break things down further for you. Ask them to explain things in plain English, not accountant speak. 

Don’t be afraid to ask the same questions over and over again. Your job is understand what is happening in your business without having to get an accounting degree. 

The more questions you ask, the more you’ll understand your own business and understand what your bookkeeper really does for you, and also really start getting a positive ROI from working with your bookkeeper. 

Prioritize Communication with Your Bookkeeper

My very first bookkeeping client really didn’t like looking at her money stuff, for her business or personal. 

Even my questions about her business finances went unanswered because she really just didn’t want to look at this information. Whenever she wanted to invest in something in her business, if there was enough money in the bank to make the investment at that moment, she made the investment. Other business expenses that were upcoming weren’t even thought about. 

Your bookkeeper is a very important financial resource for your business. 

Your bookkeeper will ask you for documents they may need to do your bookkeeping. The quicker you respond with those documents, the better. 

When you take longer to respond, you may end up paying more money that you don’t need to respond. 

Or you may end up with incomplete reports for your business. Or your bookkeeper may even end up missing important deadlines for your business if you don’t give them the proper paperwork as needed. 

Make sure you prioritize communication with your bookkeeper and always give them the documents and answers they need to be able to do their job in a timely manner. 

Even if you don’t like to deal with the money stuff, your bookkeeper is actually a financial resource for your business and can really help you with your business.

Hire the Right Bookkeeper

There are a lot of options out there for bookkeepers that you can hire to help you in your business. 

Conduct interviews and find someone who fits your business and understands your industry. 

Not every industry is conducted the same. Not all bookkeepers understand every industry. 

You want your bookkeeper to be a financial resource for you and to be able to help you grow your business. 

I personally specialize in working with online coaches and service providers. 

Make sure you find someone who fits in with your business, your mission and your philosophy. Find someone with the industry expertise. Don’t just settle on the first bookkeeper that seems to fit the bill. Conduct the interview process and figure out who fits best with your business and you. 

There can be a decent amount of time invested in getting set up with the right bookkeeper. Someone who has the onboarding process set up won’t take as long as others. But if you get all set up with a poor bookkeeper, then you’ll have to go through that onboarding process all over again. 

Take the interview process seriously and hire someone who really works with you and your business. Use these questions to help you find the right bookkeeper to help you in your business. 

Your Bookkeeper Relationship is a 2 Way Street

You may think you are paying your bookkeeper for their labor to provide you with financial reports for your business. But you will definitely get the most return on your value when you hire the right bookkeeper, utilize their experience and expertise and communicate liberally with them. 

The more you work to get the most value out of your bookkeeper relationship, the more profitable that relationship can be, plus your business will also be more profitable. 

This will also free up your mind to focus on things other than your business finances and the stress they tend to cause you. 

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