What questions should IT contractors ask their bookkeepers?
Morris Kaplan, one-time stockbroker and venture capitalist, brings his finance skills and recent experience as a business journalist and writer to IT, with a special interest in telecoms and how communications is being transformed by technology.
Investing in a good bookkeeper can be a wise decision if you're an IT contractor. But, as with any investment, you need to know what to ask — whether it's a new business relationship you're looking to start, or an existing relationship you're about to build.
1. Is my accounting packages setup tailored to fit my kind of business?
Most packages have options to vary the information, layout etc according to industry types – are you using the most suitable one?
2. How can we renovate my reports so that they are easier to read?
Is the most useful information most obvious; can you get appropriate summaries, but tap into the detail where necessary?
3. Are there any expenses you think we can reduce?
Is there a better deal to be found for phone, electricity, internet, etc? Are you getting late fines because of inefficiencies?
Your bookkeeper probably sees a variety of plans and providers so can inform you of other options.
4. What systems and processes can we put in place to make running the business easier?
Accounting backups, Terms and Conditions re Debtors, rules for sales staff – make sure that the processes are as simple and efficient as possible, and nothing is missed or duplicated.
5. Am I “Clean Audit Ready”?
If not what needs fixing – avoid leaving things till the last minute and find yourself in a pickle!
6. When was the last time you spoke to my accountant?
A good bookkeeper will usually liaise to your accountant AT LEAST twice a year, once before the year end records are filed, to confirm any updates and once after the year end is completed to capture any changes. Additionally, they should also seek advice and guidance as issues arise or legislation changes
Morris Kaplan, is a business journalist, business owner and Publisher Director of the BookkeepersHub.