If you are looking for a bookkeeper near you, keep the following key points in mind:
1. Make sure the chemistry is right
Research your bookkeeper first. There are many in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa, or wherever you are in Canada. The good firms will be anxious to meet with you to find out if you are a good fit for each other. (This can be done effectively virtually, as we capably proved during the Covid-19 lockdown period). Get the team on a video call, talk to them, and make sure they show the same level of interest and intent for helping your business. Ask for reference points from companies that resemble yours.
2. Set out a plan
Take the time to get a proposal or scope of work covering everything you want done so you, your internal team and the bookkeeper are on the same page. A competent bookkeeper will ask to see your books or ask a lot of detailed questions before sending a formal proposal.
3. Shop around
Just because you feel a spark, doesn’t mean that you lock in your final answer. It’s smart to inquire into multiple firms. Entreflow offers bookkeeping and accounting services in Toronto, we also have bookkeepers and accountants in Vancouver and we have good relationships with accounting firms across Canada since we offer training courses for other CPA firms. So we’ve asked around and we’re familiar with what other firms offer. Some may be able to offer lower rates, some offer more services, some specialize in your industry, and some may align better with your values and culture.
4. Ask around – referrals from a trusted source
While you are window shopping, naturally you will want to talk to other small business owners. Chances are they’ve faced, or are facing, the same hurdles and growing pains as you are. Referrals are one of the strongest tools you can leverage. The true test of the value you will get from a local bookkeeping partner is the outcome of their services, and the strength of their ongoing relationships with their busy clients. Ask another entrepreneur what they think.
5. Consider the accounting software needs
In the preliminary stages, find out if they are certified in the software you use or want to use, and ask what guidance they may have for you within your budget. If you are on that subject with them, you can also see if they have suggestions on upgrades, but we’ll expand on that later on in this post. At minimum, they should be certified as a Quickbooks Proadvisor or Xero Partner, and routinely use connected apps like hubdoc and expensify to help collect your documentation.