How To Choose The Right Bookkeeper
How do you choose the right bookkeeper for your business? In Canada, there is currently no government mandated certification process for bookkeepers. I know, that’s probably a surprise isn’t it? Your hairdresser needs to have a license, but not the person that is responsible for the records of your business.
In fact, any individual can purchase accounting software, print business cards and call themselves a bookkeeper. That isn’t something that we are comfortable with. In order to ensure that we have the very best bookkeepers in the industry, we at AIS Solutions have created our own in-house examinations, both written and practical. Before we hire a new bookkeeper to become a member of our team they must score 80% or better on each of our examinations. These assessments test not only the software knowledge, but the bookkeeping fundamental knowledge. If we take the software away from you, do you understand what the software is posting automatically in the background?
Testing Your Bookkeeper
We have now made these examinations available to the public so if you are a business owner and would like to test your own bookkeeper please visit our Online Bookkeeper Training and Testing site.
In today’s accounting and bookkeeping world, having a good bookkeeper has become even more important as so much automation exists between the accounting software and third-party products. If your bookkeeper doesn’t understand the financials, they will also not have the ability to recognize when the automation is not working properly.
We know that choosing a bookkeeper can be daunting, and we want to make sure that you find the best fit for your needs, even if that is not with us.
What is a Full-Cycle Bookkeeper?
Here is some information that we hope you will find helpful on how to choose between a Data Entry Bookkeeper (DEB) and a Full-Cycle Bookkeeper.
A Full Cycle Bookkeeper is more than just a liaison between you and your CPA (Certified Public Accountant). They have the ability to perform everything related to your financial records, from Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Sales Tax Returns, Account Reconciliations, Recording Journal Entries, and Creating Detailed Reports. The 2018 Full Cycle Bookkeeper also acts as your trusted advisor in guiding you towards the information that can help you make better business decisions. They also would provide you with guidance on 3rd Party integrations that can help you solve pain points in your business that eliminate redundant data entry. They also have the ability to provide you with software training and interfacing for both the accounting software and the 3rd party products that connect to it. And lastly, a Full Cycle Bookkeeper works with your Accountant to ensure that your taxes are filed correctly and on time. If you aren’t sure if you need both a Bookkeeper and an Accountant, have a look at our blog post here that helps explain the differences.
Unfortunately, most bookkeepers that you will encounter are Data Entry Bookkeepers (DEB). A DEB will often know how to do the basics of invoicing, applying payments, and writing cheques and can generally navigate their way around the software. However, they lack the more in-depth accounting knowledge of how your software works with Debits and Credits, troubleshooting, correct reconciliation techniques, and reporting. Many businesses will hire a DEB thinking that they are getting a Full-Cycle Bookkeeper at a cheaper rate. Make sure that you find out what background and certifications they have. Be aware that a QuickBooks ProAdvisor® is very different from a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor®. There are also QuickBooks Advanced Proadvisors®. in our industry.
Why Does It Matter to Me?
Having an under-qualified bookkeeper can cost your business a lot of money in time needed to correct entries, poor financial planning, and government penalties. Even though you may be saving money with a low hourly rate, an experienced Full-Cycle Bookkeeper will be able to manage your books more completely and correctly – usually in under half the time, saving you money in the long run. The real question is: how much is your time and peace of mind worth? How important to you are accurate and up date financial reports?
Even more important to know is that the DEB is quickly becoming extinct, and being replaced by the fantastic emerging technologies that can save you time and money. We don’t need to enter all of your data manually. We have an app for that. Several of them, in fact. For the little bit of data entry that is occasionally needed, the title for that role has been changed to Data Entry Technician, as that person is no longer considered to be a bookkeeper.
Our team at AIS Solutions consists of both “Kninja” Full Cycle QBO Advanced Certified Bookkeepers as well as our apprentice “Ninja” Junior QBO Basic Certified Bookkeepers. It is our junior bookkeepers who perform any required data entry as they progress through their apprenticeship training until they too become “Kninja” Full Cycle Bookkeepers.
Not sure if you want to hire a solo bookkeeper or a bookkeeping firm? Here’s a blog post we wrote about some of the important things to consider. You can find the article here.
We believe that excellence in bookkeeping is fundamental to the success of a small business. Our Mission is To Educate and Empower those around us. We are committed to education and training not only for our own team, but for the industry as a whole in order to raise the standard of bookkeeping across the country. We feel that raising the standard would ensure that you as a small business owner no longer need to worry about whether you have a bookkeeper or a data entry person.
With that goal in mind we have created two initiatives. First, Online Bookkeeper Training where small business owners can go and test their current or prospective bookkeepers so they can have some peace of mind as to the quality of that bookkeeper. And, second, our Nationally recognized online training and education community exclusively for bookkeepers “Kninja Knetwork“, where we help bookkeepers navigate their way in the new world of cloud accounting.
Redefining Today’s Bookkeeper:
The old definition – A bookkeeper (or book-keeper) is a person who records the day-to-day financial transactions of a business. He or she is usually responsible for writing the daybooks, which contain records of purchases, sales, receipts, and payments.
That definition is no longer correct.
The NEW definition – A bookkeeper (or book-keeper) is an accounting professional, with strong accounting knowledge as well as critical thinking abilities. In addition to recording the day to day financial transactions of a business, they can provide meaningful metrics to help a small business make better business decisions that impact more than just their tax returns.
Many Bookkeepers now refer to themselves as Accounting Strategists, Bookkeeper Technologists, Accounting Technicians. Despite the name, the key is ensuring that you are hiring a true Full Cycle Bookkeeper, and not a Data Entry Person.