Errors, errors, and – you guessed it – even more errors. It’s enough to want to make any business owner throw their hands up in the air, or give up entirely!
As any small or big business owner knows, a good bookkeeping process is a crucial part of your financial health, and can help prevent all sorts of financial headaches and issues.
And it all starts with finding the right accountant and bookkeeper in Melbourne.
There’s just one problem: how do you go about that?
First thing’s first: what’s the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?
While they both deal with your finances, that’s where the similarities between these two professions end!
Both professions help you reach your financial goals and makes you operate well in your business. They just go about it in different ways…
A bookkeeper’s focus is on the day-to-day numbers. We’re talking about things like your sales, expenses and cash flow, among other things – the sorts of transactions that occur every day.
Your small business bookkeeper in Melbourne focuses on recording and reporting these important numbers.
By keeping track of these figures, we’re able to help paint a picture of your financial performance and help you make better-informed decisions regarding inventory and business expenses.
Your bookkeeper then sends these numbers to your…
If bookkeepers deal with the everyday, then accountants are all about the big picture!
Using the information provided by your bookkeeper, your accountant puts together reports and plans that involve your business’ financial future.
An accountant focuses on helping you plan for the future, providing in-depth information about:
- Your tax obligations
- Deductions and allowances
- Major investments
- The long-term financial viability of your business
Our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne work with your accountant to help your business succeed.
In particular, we’ve built a strong working relationship with the small business accountants at Bruce Edmunds & Associates. Together, we’ve been helping businesses of all stripes build towards success.
How to: hire a good bookkeeper or accountant
Ask for referrals
One simple way of finding a good bookkeeper and accountant is simply by asking around. If you have friends that are established business owners, ask them for referrals.
Within your business circles, ask around how satisfied they are with their current bookkeeper or accountant’s services. Get their contact details and do a bit of digging about their bookkeeper or accountant.
In particular, be sure to check out any testimonials from previous clients to get an idea what industries or types of businesses have they worked with before – ideally, yours should be on that list already.
Make an appointment
There’s no shame in shopping around – in fact, it’s the best thing you can do!
Once you’ve made a shortlist of small business bookkeepers and accountants, it’s time to set up appointments with your top picks.
During your meeting, be sure to go over their services and qualifications – try to get a feel for them as well before you finally decide that you will give them a go.
Check for awards
Our bookkeepers in Melbourne are people, just like you – we’re proud of our awards and credentials, and are keen to show them off!
Take us, for example: we were nominated by the Australian Accounting Awards in both 2018 and 2019 for Bookkeeping Firm of the Year. While we may not have won, these nominations certify our status as one of Australia’s leading bookkeeping firms.
If the bookkeepers and accountants you’re talking to are flaunting nominations like this, you can be confident that your finances are in good hands.
Identify their skills and services
We mentioned this above, but honestly, this pointer is so important, we felt that it deserved its own section altogether!
You need to ensure that your bookkeeper is familiar with your industry, as each has its own unique financial challenges.
Unless they have a background in that industry or have worked with businesses in it before, they may not be able to give you the advice or support that you need.
It’s not just that, either.
In addition to being familiar with your industry, it’s important that you also identify any niche services they offer.
Recently, the lines between bookkeeping and accounting have gotten blurrier. Many now offer services that no bookkeeper was capable of 15 years ago.
Unsure how to hire a good bookkeeper? These niche skills and services can help push a candidate over the edge.
Do they offer cloud bookkeeping services?
If they don’t, strike them off your shortlist immediately!
A good bookkeeper should be up-to-date with the latest bookkeeping software like MYOB, Quickbooks or Xero. It’s the future of bookkeeping and accounting, and your small business bookkeeper should know it inside-out.
Compared to traditional pen-and-paper bookkeeping, cloud bookkeeping is:
- Faster (since it automates a lot of your record-keeping)
- Automated (no need for time-consuming data entry)
- Convenient (access your bookkeeping from anywhere)
- Secure (your data is stored on secure servers, with online back-ups)
Bookkeeping has a reputation as being time-consuming, difficult and annoying – luckily, cloud bookkeeping promises to change all of that.
As cloud bookkeeping specialists, our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne can:
- Setup and implement cloud bookkeeping solutions
- Migrate your existing records over
- Provide ongoing training and support
Prepare a list of questions that you would most likely to ask
Finally, before meeting up with your shortlisted bookkeepers and accountants, prepare a list of questions that will help you determine if they are a right fit for you.
Think of it like a job interview – you’re trying to figure out if this bookkeeper is the right fit for you.
In particular, you’ll want to ask about their:
- Billing rate and how they determine it
- Special requirements they ask of your business
- Account management packages
- Bookkeeping services
These are just starters – the best questions will depend on what you need.
Looking for a small business bookkeeper in Melbourne?
In order to make wise financial decisions for your business, you need both a good bookkeeper and an accountant on your side.
And that’s where we come in.
Our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne have been helping businesses like yours make the right calls for years.
We’re much more than just bookkeepers, however – we’re committed to making your business as smooth as possible. Thanks to our partnerships and affiliations, we can do just that.
For smarter bookkeeping, cleaner accounts and more time to focus on the other sides of your business, call our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne today!