6 Questions to Ask Your Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping is the process of recording financial transactions and is an important part of accounting in business. If you own a business, you must be in constant touch with your bookkeeper to stay updated with all the information. Here are some of the important questions you must ask your bookkeeper:

How do you think the company can improve its sales?

Even though this question isn’t directly related to his or her line of work, you might get some good ideas from your bookkeeper by asking him this question. Since these professionals have an in-depth knowledge of finance, they might have noticed trends in your sales that you may have overlooked. And who knows? They may even have an idea for a new sales avenue that you never thought of before.


Where are we wasting money?

Ask your bookkeeper to answer this question without referring to any data. Since your bookkeeper knows the finances of the business better than anyone else, he or she should not have any hesitation in answering this question. If they’ve been doing a good job with the books, they must have noticed every single transaction that takes place in the business and hence would know the source of the money, where it’s being spent, and where it is being wasted. If he is not able to answer this question, then there surely is a problem.


Can you show me a few ways that I can use our bookkeeping system to help make strategic business decisions?

Your bookkeeping system should be a tool that you can use to make serious business decisions. If your bookkeeper can't mention three ways that you can use your bookkeeping system to help your business, then it is time to make a change. Many business owners look at bookkeeping as a means of filing taxes. If you are one of them, it is time you see bookkeeping as a tool to grow your business.


Do you think you are doing a good job here? What value are you adding? What can we expect from you in the future?

Being straightforward always helps. So even though these three questions might make your bookkeeper nervous, it will help you understand how your bookkeeper is adding value to your business. This question might also help your bookkeeper to set goals for themselves in the future. Hold them accountable if they set goals for themselves in the future.


Can You Suggest a few ways by which we can make the bookkeeping system more efficient?

Your bookkeeper should always be looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your bookkeeping system. Some of the easiest changes to make to your process can be made in QuickBooks. For instance, you can use printing checks from QuickBooks, memorize transactions, utilize a bill payment service, download QuickBooks transactions, or opt for QuickBooks cloud hosting. Your bookkeeper should stay updated with the accounting industry and the technological advances that are going on. It is important to stay updated because new technologies that help make bookkeeping easier and more efficient are  always emerging. 


Can you provide me with some customized reporting?

You need to take financial reporting beyond the basic balance sheet. Talk to your bookkeeper regarding the type of information you are trying to extract from your financial reporting and see if they can come up with a solution to meet your needs. Make sure  they deliver your custom financial reporting to you as requested. The benefit of a good set of financial reports that you review on a regular basis is that they can help you identify both issues and opportunities, which will help you make important business decisions.    


Wrapping up

These questions are not meant to trick your bookkeeper or make them uneasy. Rather, the answers to these questions will help you determine whether the bookkeeper is fully utilizing their capabilities. Make sure you let him or her know that you are looking to work with him or her with these questions, not attack them and their abilities.


Totally Booked offers bookkeeping by QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisors based out of NYC. Get in touch today to see how we can help!

Kelly Gonsalves