Running a business is a balancing act. It can be hard to keep track of your clients, products, and employees all at once, let alone doing it while balancing a budget. Bookkeeping services can take a lot off your plate, but not all bookkeeping companies are created equal.
Here are some qualities to look for on your quest to find a match that works for you.
The first thing to look for in a bookkeeping service is a reasonable price tag. Many bookkeeping services are designed for large companies, so they might not have plans that work for small business and contractors. But take heart, no matter the size of your company, there’s a service out there that will work for you regardless of your budget.
Another thing to consider when comparing prices is whether the services charge hourly or at a flat rate. If you need a one-time service or if the rate is discounted, hourly rates are probably the best option. However, flat rates are predictable and may be a better value for an ongoing business transaction. With flat rates you are paying for the value of the work to you rather than the time it took do it.
If your bank needs documentation to underwrite a loan, you want your questions answered fast. A service that takes weeks to respond can threaten the health of your company. An ideal bookkeeping service will have people on hand who can respond to your questions and concerns quickly and efficiently.
When evaluating the support a service can give you, look at the contact methods they offer. What are existing customers saying about them on social media? Look for a service that has real-time chat or a phone number to reach representatives quickly rather than a service that just uses email.
Look for a friendly, competent bookkeeper who you can relate to and treat you like a person rather than a sale. They should take the time to get know your personal needs and not rush you into making decisions. Once you are a customer, they should become familiar with your account and address your questions and concerns in a friendly, supportive manner.
Being personable is important, but it can be misleading if your bookkeeper doesn’t know his or her stuff. They should be able to thoroughly answer your questions and be able to break down complex answers into simpler terms so you can understand them.
Check to see if the service is an endorsed agent (EA) or certified public accountant (CPA). Basically, this means that they are experienced and can sign a tax return on your behalf or represent you in front of the IRS. If you ever get audited, you will want the help of a licensed tax professional.
Any professional service is benefitted by an nice customer-facing software experience. Complicated systems can be just as frustrating and time-consuming as doing all of your bookkeeping yourself. Look for an online bookkeeping service because cloud-based bookkeeping will make your life easier. It should have an easy-to-use customer interface that you can navigate without needing large amount of customer support.
Instead of sifting through a string of emails or constantly having to ask for the latest updated document, you should be able to easily access your updated documents and accounting information online.
Businesses are constantly growing and changing, which means that you will need a service that is committed to adapting and working with your company long-term. Commitment is a big deal in any relationship, so it’s important to find a bookkeeping service that doesn’t disappear in a year or two.
If the service has the qualities listed above, it is most likely successful and will be well-established if it is not already.
So how does Zipbooks add up?
Zipbooks is competitively priced with a flat, monthly payment that’s predictable. Its online option connects you with friendly, knowledgeable bookkeepers who can answer your questions. ZipBooks uploads your monthly income statement and balance sheet into your accounting software where you can also send invoices, process payments, and track expenses. Keeping everything online in one place makes the service simple to use and much more convenient come tax time.
All in all, it aces the test. Talk to a team member to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Tim is Founder and CEO of ZipBooks. He keeps his desk really nice and neat.