Bookkeeping entails a lot more than just dumping all your receipts into a folder and giving them to a professional. If you want to be your bookkeeping services provider's favorite client, follow these five recommendations.
Use the Same Software Stack They Do
There are two dominant forms of software used in the bookkeeping industry: QuickBooks and Xero. Especially if you're just setting up a business, talk with your bookkeeper about which type of software they prefer to use. Done right, your software stack can include things like integration of a store's point-of-sale system, employee hours tracking, and taxes. Life is a lot easier if you're not constantly converting files for use by the bookkeeping firm you've hired.
Scan and Keep Receipts
Keeping receipts is an art form, but most bookkeeping systems now have scanners that can do the job. Try to not mix personal and business items in your purchases. If you're making both personal and business buys, ask the cashier to ring things up separately. Make sure any employees you have are following the same procedure.
Get Your Business Organized
Even simple incorporation of a business as an LLP can make a major difference in how its bookkeeping needs will be handled. This simplifies questions about how your taxes will be dealt with, and it also set the regulatory framework for your company. Likewise, it will make using your business name with your bank account much easier. It's wise to consult with a business attorney before choosing an incorporation style, though.
Rightly Monitor Your Accounts Receivable
One of the biggest threats to a business is seeing its cash flow disappear. Watch who's paying on time and who isn't. Follow up quickly with customers and clients who aren't responding to invoices. If inventory is backing up due to lack of sales, consider markdowns and changes to buying patterns.
Conduct Regular Reviews
One thing you don't want to be doing is chasing down an issue from January of last year because you just found it this April. Sit down with all your bookkeeping stuff and do a quarterly review. Print out a report for expenses and income, and verify that everything lines up with your company's accounts.
You also can use this time to handle things that happen on a quarterly basis anyhow. This includes tasks like paying quarterly tax estimate bills. If your business is organized in a manner that quarterly or semiannual reports are required, do these at the same time, too.