Part 1 of this series we discuss top questions that are asked to a bookkeeper. In part 2 of this series we are going to discuss the questions bookkeepers ask potential clients and why it is important to know these answers. Questions that are asked to bookkeepers and questions that bookkeepers ask potential clients are important because the bookkeeper and client understand each other’s business and get to know if each other are a good fit. Here at Flat Top Bookkeeping, we want to discover if there are benefits on both sides to enter into an engagement.
What is your business entity?
Finding out the client entity doesn’t sound like a necessary question to ask, you may think that this question is irrelevant. However, this is far from the truth. Bookkeepers need to know which business entity their clients are. A business entity might be a Sole-Proprietor, Partnership, LLC, S-Corp, or a C-Corp. Under the law, a business entity needs to be treated differently when it comes to Bookkeeping and Taxes. This can be very confusing sometimes and you might want to find good bookkeeping that will understand the difference.
How many accounts do you have?
This question helps us as bookkeepers to understand how many transactions and how difficult the client’s books might be. We need to understand the client accounts before your bookkeeper can quote you a price. You might pay a bookkeeper per transaction, while others might bill you off your revenue. As a client, you will find out how they do their pricing and how much it might be per transaction. If a bookkeeper asks you this question, first ask them back if their price is based on transactions or how many bank accounts are being reconciled.
How many hours per week do you estimate the work will take?
How many hours the client expects the bookkeeping will take will help the client and the bookkeeper to be on the same page. If the work is going to take longer or shorter, the bookkeeper then knows the client’s expectation. This gives the bookkeeper the opportunity to adjust that expectation if necessary. Also, this gives the opportunity for the client to understand their bookkeeping.
Are your tax returns current? If not, when is the last year your tax return was filed?
This question helps us as bookkeepers to know how clean the client’s books really are. Most of the time when businesses are not current on their tax returns, this most likely means that the business’s books are behind and need to be cleaned up. If the books are messy, the bookkeeping price will be more expensive to do a clean-up/catch-up. Having your tax returns clean will save the client time and money.
Why did you change bookkeepers or why did your bookkeeper leave?
If a client changes bookkeepers often or if multiple bookkeepers leave the client, this is a red flag. The change might mean they are trying to manipulate their books or they might be a difficult client to work with. Also, the client might want to know how often their clients leave the bookkeeper’s business. This will help the client understand if they are an educated and good bookkeeper. Clients will not leave good bookkeeping and vice versa.
Why is it important for bookkeepers to ask their clients these questions? Bookkeepers need to know their client’s business and what type of client they will be. If the bookkeepers and client are not a good fit, then it will be a waste of time to have this relationship. Here at Flat Top Bookkeeping, we pride ourselves in maintaining and finding clients that are beneficial for both parties. Contact us today to see if we are a good fit for you.