Updated: Jan 27, 2019
It's always good to be prepared, and if you're about to have a meeting with a bookkeeper you'll want to know what to ask and what you want to find out from them. Here are our top tips for making sure you make the most of that initial meeting with your bookkeeper.
1. Be clear on what you want your bookkeeper to do for you
You probably spoke to them about this in your initial chat, but it's important for both you and them to be absolutely clear on whether you want them to look after your full monthly process, whether you want to keep a lot of it in house with them just running specific processes such as payroll and credit control, or providing a quarterly review and reporting, or whether you just want them to take on a one-off project for you such as setting up an accounting system or getting your financial records up to date.
2. Get your paperwork ready
Believe me, we've seen it all! The main thing is to get everything together that your bookkeeper might need to understand your business finances. This includes:
Your bank statements
Invoices you've raised to customers
Expense receipts received
Invoices received from suppliers
A list of all your sources of income whether it's received into your bank account off invoice, via paypal or some other payment method.
Your bookkeeper will also need access to the spreadsheet you're keeping for your business finances or your accounting system if you have one, and to know when you last updated it.
Worried about your bag of receipts? You might like this post: What's the best way to file my receipts?
3. Make a list
Make a list of any questions you have, any specific requests you have for your bookkeeper - such as if you want your sales analysed into specific categories, and any problems you've had recording transactions or anything you're not sure of. This list will guide the conversation in your meeting and make sure your bookkeeper is aware of any problems that you're facing.
4. Answer your bookkeeper's requests for information
Your bookkeeper probably sent you a questionnaire following your initial call. They need to understand certain things about your business and will have a list of questions to help them do that, they also need to make sure they can verify your identity so they will have asked you for certain pieces of information to help them do that, and they'll have asked you to provide ID, so make sure you have this available at your meeting.
5. Think about software
Your bookkeeper will talk to you about your accounting records and will want to talk about software if you're not already using some. Find out which software they favour and do some research online and with other people you know who run businesses to have an idea about what you prefer before you meet. Most of the main software providers offer a free trial so you might find it worthwhile to sign up to have a play around before your meeting.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about how we can help you with the bookkeeping for your business, please get in touch.