Before you can begin your search, first you need to differentiate between whether or not you need bookkeeping services, or if it’s actually accounting services that you’re after. That might sound silly to some, however, it can be easy to get the two mixed up. That said, there are some key differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant, which we will take you through shortly.
When it comes to finding the most suitable financial assistance, you have to understand exactly what it is that you need help with. This will help you significantly when it comes to narrowing down the search. You can then find a specialised service and work with a company or individual who excels in that particular area. It will also help your prospective accountant/bookkeeper get a good idea as to how they can help you and tailor a more specific deal for you and your business.
So, let’s begin by highlighting the key differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant:
- Bookkeeper: Bookkeeping is related to measuring and recording financial transactions that take place within a business
- Accountant: Accounting is the process of taking financial data, summarising it, interpreting the information and then communicating those financial transactions back to the client
- Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper only records the financial information and so are unable to provide you with decision making data
- Accountant: If you have a talented accountant, they will be able to provide you with enough information to make critical business decisions
- Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper’s role is to systematically record all of the business transactions in a proper and easy to digest manner
- Accountant: An accountant digests this information, is able to gauge the financial situation of a business and pass on the appropriate data to the relevant authorities (tax etc)
Which Services Do You Require?
As an accounting firm, naturally we are biased and would advise that you seek out both accounting and bookkeeping services. Then again, it’s very much dependent on you and the way that you work. You might be self-employed, or you could have a small to medium-sized business. The amount of help that you need is very much dependent on your own unique situation. And of course, where some people might be naturally talented when it comes to taking care of the books, others might struggle to keep up. It’s up to you to weigh up the situation. Would you like assistance with both? You can outsource all of your financial work and not have to worry; or alternatively you could take care of the books yourself and have an accountant digest this information on your behalf; or of course, vice versa.
Tips on How to Find a Good Bookkeeper in Sydney
Now, the same methods apply to find a quality accountant, however for the sake of keeping things simple we’re going to focus on how to find a good bookkeeper in Sydney. First of all, take notice of how many companies and individuals there are out there offering a bookkeeping service. Don’t allow this to overwhelm you. There are plenty of top-quality bookkeepers that can assist you.
1 – Testimonials and References
On most websites you should find a number of testimonials from clients. This is always a great way of differentiating between the noteworthy bookkeepers and the average. Get a feel for how their clients respond to their services.
It’s also worth heading onto social media and reaching out to your friends and family. First of all, do they have any recommendations? Also, ask if anyone has had any dealings with your prospective bookkeepers that you’ve shortlisted. This is the best way to get a feel for who has a solid reputation and who might be worth avoiding.
2 – You Get What You Pay For
Many people put off hiring a bookkeeper because they resent paying someone else for doing something that they can do. That’s fair enough, however how much time could you save if you passed it over to the professionals? When you pay for a bookkeeping service you will be investing in an experienced expert to take care of it for you. This will free you up with an awful lot of time to relax and to focus on other key areas of your business.
3 – Trust and Communication is Important
Your gut should give you a pretty clear indication as to which bookkeeping services you feel drawn to. The next thing to do is to make contact with a few of your shortlisted candidates and make your initial inquiry. To be honest, it shouldn’t take long for you to get a feel for how they operate. How did they handle your inquiry? Did they seem particularly friendly and enthusiastic on the phone? Did they offer to meet you to discuss how they can be of service? The most important aspect of a client/bookkeeper relationship is trust. You’re passing your sensitive information over to a stranger, so you have to feel comfortable in their company and trust that they have the knowledge, the expertise and the decency to handle your books with precision and honesty.
Don’t allow yourself to feel pressured or to rush into anything. Again, take your time to decide exactly what it is that you could use help with. Communicate this with your prospective bookkeepers and they will be able to advise you accordingly. Follow up any references where possible, read up on their testimonials and ask amongst friends about any dealings with them. The key to finding a good bookkeeper in Sydney is to do your research, take your time and trust your instincts. Everyone is going to claim to be the very best, there’s no escaping that. All you need is for them to demonstrate their authenticity and to offer you a genuine and honest rundown of their rates and services. You’ll know once you’ve found the perfect candidate.