When you are looking for online bookkeeping services in UK, you need to ask the right questions that will help you know who you are dealing with. In most cases, you are looking for a long term business relationship and like any long term relationship, you should know the other party fairly well. This doesn’t mean you should find out their favorite color or what they do for fun, even though it doesn’t hurt to know that.
There are particular professional questions you need to ask about the service they will provide you. Below are a set of questions that you can ask when looking for online bookkeeping services in UK.
Which Industries do you Have Experience in?
There are distinctions in the bookkeeping needs of some industries. You need assurance that the service provider is aware of these and has experience in your particular industry. Some people make the mistake of believing that any bookkeeper can handle their needs but eventually they realize certain errors that can end up being costly. Ask the question directly and receive confirmation that they know the needs of a business like yours.
How Will I Get Paperwork to You?
Since you are looking for online services, it means they will be working remotely. You must know how the process works. You do not want to be stuck with data that needs to be captured and you do not know what to do with it. This question will set the stage for you to find out more about the software they use. Many service providers will recommend scanning and then sending using a particular software or cloud servers.
Will the Software I Have be Compatible With What you use?
Note that compatibility is a very big issue, some clients find themselves needing to purchase new software to be able to coordinate with the service provider. Some of the best service providers however have software that is compatible with most of the common accounting programs used in different businesses. According to a survey, 58% take on new software not meet client demands. The response may let you know if you will need to spend more to hire the provider.
What Certification do you Have?
It helps to know just how qualified the people you are entrusting with your books are. the kind of work you want them to do may require recognized certification or you may just need someone to keep track of your expenses and income. However, even though some tasks do not require certified accountants, it is helpful to have certified persons on the team just in case the need arises. You can ask for the certifications of all team members since most bookkeeping service providers work as a team.
Do you Outsource Extra Tasks
In most cases, you are not the only client of the service provider, so there is the possibility that the work may get too much for the inhouse team. Find out if they outsource or they have a dedicated team that can handle everything. If they outsource the work, you need to know that the other party can be trusted.
How is Your Billing Done?
Some service providers provide a monthly billing system where they will invoice the client at the end of the month while others may work on contract and bill you whenever they complete a project. It is helpful to know if their billing procedures will be convenient for you. Sometimes, the work that you want the online bookkeepers to do will determine how they will bill you.
What Will be Required of me?
As the client, you also have some responsibilities. These may vary according to the service provider you are using as well as what you would like them to do for you. Often, they may need access to files related to the work they are doing for you, they may also need access to your server among other things.
How Will We Communicate?
It is important from the start to have a convenient way of communicating. It can be frustrating if you sent an email and it never gets read because the service provider hardly uses email. Find out what works for them and let them know what you prefer as well. Sometimes both parties may need to compromise to have communication flowing. A good service provider however will have an efficient method of communication.
Online services are becoming the norm with more entrepreneurs searching for efficient ways to do business. Sometimes you may never meet the people who do work for you, but that is no reason not to know them. Asking the right questions will help you decide whether to go ahead and use the service or carry on searching. What’s more, the questions you ask will let you prepare for the new relationship. Do not limit yourself to the above questions, if there is more you can think of that you need to be clarified, go ahead and ask. A good service provider always makes the time to answer questions. They will also have questions of their own to help them understand your need.