As an entrepreneur, you wear many different hats and have to juggle a variety of roles. There is no way to avoid the fact that you have to deal with numbers. These numbers will include sales, expenses, salary payments, and a variety of other monetary movements.
At first, you may have to do all of this on your own. But, as your business grows, you should certainly look into outsourcing this process and have a professional bookkeeper deal with it.
Having a bookkeeper will save you time because it is a role designed for a skilled individual, and with the right training and background, they can perform bookkeeping services far more efficiently and thoroughly than you can. Additionally, a high-quality bookkeeper will watch over your finances and alert you if anything looks troubling.
By having someone looking over your accounts on a regular basis, you can feel more confident that your cash flow is being managed and your business can continue to grow.
Before you hire a bookkeeper, here are three crucial questions to ask yourself.
1. What do you need from them?
As in many industries, there is a range of services that bookkeepers can offer. The nature of your business, as well as how much of the work you or your accountant do, will also impact what kind of services you are looking for a bookkeeper to provide.
You may want someone who can serve as a more managerial level accountant, or perhaps you only need someone to enter data.
Before you hire a bookkeeper, be sure you know exactly what you are going to want them to do and ask about their skills in each area. Only by first understanding your own requirements will you be able to recognize people who will satisfy the role.
Will you need them to reconcile bank transactions? Prepare reports and budgets? Pay suppliers? File sales tax? Prepare a cash-flow forecast?
Being clear from the get-go will ensure that the whole team is on the same page.
2. Do you want to work with an individual, a firm, or a full-time employee?
Depending on the size of your business, you are going to want to choose between working with an independent bookkeeper or a firm, or employing a full-time bookkeeper. No option is necessarily better than the other; it just depends on your firm’s particular needs.
Regardless of which route you decide to go down, make sure you talk to a variety of different people and firms so that you can get a feel for the different available options. Keep your eye on expertise, references and qualifications, but make sure to look out for personality and culture fit as well. You want this person to feel comfortable communicating with you and the other members of your firm, so it is better to have someone who can seamlessly join the group.
But, most importantly, you want a bookkeeper who is amicable, cooperative, reliable and enthusiastic.
3. What level of expertise do you expect?
You (obviously) want a bookkeeper who has plenty of experience, but do you want one who has years of experience in your particular industry? Is that necessary for you and your firm?
One of the best ways to discern the expertise of a bookkeeper is to ask them about the ways they review their own work. This will show you how they can identify and correct any mistakes they may have made.
A good bookkeeper can construct order when there is chaos. And they will generate meaningful knowledge from all the numbers that pass through your business. So, take the time to find the right one for your company. It should be someone who can accurately process your accounts on time, while also communicating with you honestly and effectively.
Regardless of whether you are just now looking into business setup in Dubai or you already have a global empire in place, you are going to want to hire a bookkeeper at some point. You won’t realize how much of a difference it makes to outsource these tasks until you do it. After all, it means you have more time and energy to focus on developing the actual business.
Have you ever hired a bookkeeper? What was the experience like? Let us know in the comments below!
Raj Herry is the Founder and Chairman of Flying Colour Business Setup Services. His extensive experience comes from more than 15 years in the field of company incorporation for Dubai Mainland, all Free Zones across the UAE and offshore companies worldwide. He also owns several business centres offering furnished and ready-to-move offices in Dubai.