Hiring a bookkeeping service is a great way to enhance your company’s overall productivity and reduce unnecessary spending. When you finally decide to hire a bookkeeping service, or you are looking to make a change to outsourced bookkeeping, it is important to know what to look for in a company. Choosing the right bookkeeper is essential to the success of your business; one incorrect move, and you could wind up owing a lot of money to the IRS. Finding a bookkeeper that you can trust relies heavily on the reputation of the company you are considering. The most important thing to do before you hire a company to take care of your business accounting is to understand what makes a good bookkeeping service, and how to find the right qualities in the type of service you want and need. It is also crucial to find a company that is known for their outstanding reputability, because you will be entrusting the company to handle sensitive information of yours. So, before you sign your finances over to any random Joe, here are some tips to check the reliability of the bookkeeping services you have in mind.
Look up the company’s reviews
Firstly, what the community has to say about the company is crucial in weighing your options. You should always begin with a thorough Internet search of the company. Sift through customer reviews to look for a good balance of honest opinions that current or former customers give about the company’s services. This is your only opportunity to get honest referrals from people who have experience with a company, or to run for the hills and spare yourself any extra stress in dealing with a company with a poor reputation. A service’s reputation is heavily reliant upon their customer base; any negative comments can be reported to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and this can ultimately lead to them being blacklisted. Be sure to look up the company’s reviews with the BBB in addition to online customer reviews.
Another sign of reliability in a good bookkeeping service is their attentiveness to their potential future clients. If you have not hired the company yet and they are already not returning your emails or phone calls, that is never a good sign. A good indicator of professionalism and attention to detail is evident often by how the company chooses to handle new clients, and how they communicate with potential customers. A willingness to answer all of your questions in a timely manner, and with the proper degree of professionalism, is a good characteristic that will set apart a good bookkeeping service from a great one. Do not underestimate the power of good customer service; hopefully you will eventually be one of the clients leaving excellent feedback for the company in the future.
Honesty and good communication
This last quality you would think would be a given to any company; however, you would be terribly wrong. For some companies, honesty is not always the best policy. In fact, good communication could also fit into this category, because communication is essential in any good, working relationship. For instance, if a bookkeeping service sees a problem with your previous accounting, it is at their discretion whether or not to inform you. Some services will simply take it upon themselves to fix it, and charge you without you knowing. This can be likened to bringing your car in to the mechanic to fix a tire, only for them to notice that your brake pads need to be replaced, and performing the repair without first calling you to let you know that they were going to do so, or to ask for your permission first. While it could be considered admirable that the company took the initiative to fix an issue, you as the client have every right to be informed before any extra services are attempted, especially when it is in regard to your own finances. When checking the reliability of a bookkeeping service, it is important to pay attention to the details. If you sense any kind of dishonesty or misleading up front, you may want to go with another company. Finding a trustworthy, attentive, and reputable bookkeeping service isn’t always easy, but in the end you will be glad you did your research.