Bookkeeping is a bit like oral hygiene. It’s important to keep up with it, and do it properly. If you don’t floss for a day or two, you probably won’t suffer. But let it slide for a few months and there could be a big dentist bill in your future (not to mention some real pain). Swap ‘dentist’ for ‘IRD’ and you’ll understand the metaphor.
If you’ve read Why outsourcing your bookkeeping is better for business and decided that it’s the right solution for you, it’s time to find a bookkeeper in New Zealand who can help. Perhaps you’re thinking of hiring a bookkeeper, or you’re already working with one, but it’s not quite working. Just like good cheese and wine, these things take time. And ideally, your bookkeeper should be in it for the long haul with you, like the other professionals who help you run and grow your business. That’s why it’s worthwhile taking the time to find ‘the right one’.
Here are five key things to look for when you’re planning on hiring a bookkeeper.
Look for a bookkeeper who knows what’s happening in the technology, bookkeeping, and accounting spaces. A great bookkeeper can help you use technology to save time and money by automating processes with online accounting software like Xero, PaySauce, Smart Payroll, Hubdoc, Receiptbank and other future tools. As RightWay is a Xero Platinum Partner our bookkeepers are regularly trained in the latest versions of these apps and add-ons. Our team of bookkeeping specialists shares a great breadth of knowledge, as well as access to our accountants and our RightWay Business Partners.
It should go without saying that a great bookkeeper will treat your professional relationship and business information as sacred. After all, they’re privy to everything – in good times and bad. Make sure you trust your bookkeeper, that their firm is reputable, and that they have systems in place to protect your information. Your bookkeeper can’t help you get the most out of your accounts unless you feel comfortable enough to be completely honest with them.
Training and accreditation are not mandatory in New Zealand, and many solo bookkeepers may not have a formal qualification. Members of our RightWay specialist bookkeeping team hold various bookkeeping qualifications and some are members of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers of NZ. But hands-on experience is important too – not just in a bookkeeping role, but also in owning or running a business themselves.
Each of our bookkeepers brings something different to the table, and is happy to share their knowledge to help our customers run their businesses effectively. And they love doing what you’re less keen on, so you don’t have to do it. Dianne Daly – one of our RightWay bookkeepers, loves creating calm and clarity for our customers. “I really enjoy helping people to sort their accounting chaos and making things simple for them to manage. I love being handed an unruly box of receipts and bits of paper and sorting through it all. I love the order that bookkeeping brings, everything in its place, balanced and tidy.”
If the numbers aren’t right, then the data coming from your business won’t be right either. A great bookkeeper is a stickler for accuracy. They will draw on smart technology and their own impeccable attention to detail to make sure your records are complete, correct, and fully compliant with current IRD rules and guidelines.
A great bookkeeper ‘gets you’
This last one is really the sum of the above. He or she will take the time to really understand your business and how it runs, so they can set up simple and efficient processes and make sure nothing gets overlooked. Expect a good bookkeeper to ask questions, particularly when you’re starting out together. And don’t be afraid to ask them questions too, they may offer bookkeeping services you hadn’t considered, or be able to explain something that confuses you.
Our customers have told us that outsourcing their bookkeeping to us is like mentally ticking a huge item off their to do list, which is incredibly good for focus and peace of mind.