Looking for a Bookkeeping/Accounting/CPA Firm-Which works for your best interest?
Hiring the right Bookkeeping firm is an important aspect of your business. What do we look for in the firm we select to serve our business? Is it their business knowledge, skill sets, their approach & attitude, their passion towards work, customer service, price or a mixture of everything? You ask me, I'd say everything!
A lot of things from these mentioned points can be found out only by talking with them or by passage of time. However you can make an initial decision to go with them based on some skills and knowledge related questions.
Why does it become so important to test a firm for their knowledge / skills before we outsource our accounting work to them - Well it's because the costs you pay every time you move your accounting firm can be huge. Also untimely and inaccurate reports can put you under heavy penalties from taxing authorities.
We have used various questions below which will help you when interviewing your bookkeeping / accounting compliance firm in your initial conversation with them. With these questions you can test their knowledge in QuickBooks, Excel and General Accounting / Bookkeeping concepts.
Are you Quick book certified?
Having a QuickBooks ProAdvisor License or a QuickBooks Certified User really differentiates a person / entity with other service providers. After achieving the ProAdvisor or Certified User status these QuickBooks professional gain required knowledge and skills needed to assist you with your Bookkeeping assignment.
Can you show us the process of invoicing and collecting from a customer in QuickBooks?
A QuickBooks Certified user or a QuickBooks ProAdvisor will mention creating an invoice, receiving payment and making a deposit, QuickBooks aging reports and QuickBooks pre-written collection letters.
Can you show us how to use QuickBooks to track or manage employee's time?
QuickBooks has some neat time tracking features. An experienced QuickBooks have had the opportunity to use them, and if someone can explain you the details of the feature instantly then it is great sign of their knowledge.
We are maintaining our bookkeeping in Peachtree Accounting, can the data be transferred to QuickBooks?
An experience QuickBooks user will instantly say that it can be done. QuickBooks has a conversion feature wherein a data can be converted from Peachtree Accounting or many other similar accounting system in QuickBooks.
General accounting knowledge:
What is the difference between capital expenditure and regular business expense?
An Accountant should be able to explain you a difference between an asset and an expense. Any expenditure that is associated with that asset usually qualifies as a Capital Expenditure.
Explain the differences between purchasing a computer and a travel expense, with respect to profitability, cash flow and general accounting?
An experienced bookkeeper will understand depreciation and easily talk about this.
Scenario: you have a spreadsheet with information on 500 products. You have a column which says the total available quantity. You want product line arranged in ascending order of quantity.
An experience Excel user will immediately tell you that this can be done by sorting.
General Business Knowledge:
You have a friend who is considering purchasing a company and she asks you to look at the numbers and let her know what you think. What do you do?
There is no definite answer to this question. However an experience Accountant will talk to you about terms like due diligence, profitability of the firm compared to industry standards, cash flow analysis, balance sheet analysis, etc.
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