Tips When Engaging a Bookkeeper

Should I engage an external bookkeeper or manage this function internally in my business?

We are often asked by our clients whether they should consider engaging a bookkeeper or perform this function in house.


There are obviously benefits to be gained from both approaches, but this is highly dependent on the skills and experience of the people involved.  While having an employee with an intimate knowledge of the business can be beneficial, if this person is juggling many ‘hats’ and unable to devote adequate time to the role or lacks industry knowledge and expertise, then this may not be ideal.  On the other hand, with an external, professional bookkeeper, there are benefits of independence and also having a ‘fresh set of eyes’ can offer a different perspective.   Regardless of whether the person in this role is in house or an external bookkeeper there are results that need to be obtained.


How can you get the best results from your bookkeeping (whether external or through internal staff)?

  1. Make sure you choose someone with strong industry knowledge, qualifications and expertise. Like any industry, the skill level and experience varies greatly between different individuals.  An experienced bookkeeper will be able to tailor a solution specifically to your business. They will then establish a system to ensure you receive the required information regularly as well as key documentation such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, accounts receivable and payable data and bank reconciliations.


  1. Ask questions – you need to make sure your bookkeeper is someone that you feel you can trust and that you can have faith in their approach and expertise.


  1. If using an external bookkeeper, ensure that one of your staff members is the key contact person – all communication should be filtered through this person. This assists with building a solid foundation for a good working relationship and ensures the information is being channelled to the correct personnel.


  1. Clarify any queries you may have. If you are unsure about the best way to record information or approach a task, then it’s best to ask these questions early and clarify what is required of you and by your business.


  1. Ensure all relevant documentation is provided so that the reports that are generated are accurate and reflect the entire picture. This will make things much easier at the end of the financial year and when accounts are being audited.


  1. Utilise an established accounting package which is most suited to your business. There are many accounting packages available and you need to ask questions so you can make an informed decision about the right package for you


  1. Ensure you read and understand the reports that are prepared for you as these have a direct impact on your business. Also consider predictive tools available such as forecasts of cash flow that can assist in your planning and business operations.


  1. Don’t leave things till the last minute – work collaboratively during the year to make sure everything is prepared prior to the end of financial year and tax / audit time.



Should you have any concerns/queries or wish to discuss the possible suitability of various arrangements for your business, our staff would be happy to speak with you.   Please contact us to discuss any queries on 1300 CBAUDIT.

If you are not a current client and would like more information on our services, please contact Matt Williams through [email protected].