Frequently Asked Questions About Bookkeeping
As an entrepreneur, it can be challenging to juggle all areas of the business. When so much of your time is taken up with operations, marketing, and customer service, it is the accounting that tends to suffer. Procrastination on your accounting requirements will have a detrimental effect on the success of your business. To avoid this scenario, hire a great bookkeeper who will save you time, improve cashflow, avoid expensive pitfalls and provide peace of mind.
When it comes to the financial part of the business, many owners are unaware of the options available to staying current with minimal cost. In this article, Freestone Associates provides answers to some frequently asked questions that will help you gain insight on those options.
1. What is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?
A chartered professional accountant (CPA) is a board-certified, highly trained professional who can provide specialized tax advice and file your annual corporate tax return ($300–$750 per hour), while a professional bookkeeper will ensure the day-to-day recordkeeping is organized and accurate in the most efficient way possible. The bookkeeper will assist with monthly and quarterly tax obligations and provide current insights to assist with quick decision making.
At Freestone Associates, we also provide managerial accounting, which interprets the numbers and allows us to offer managerial advice. The CPA will provide year-end corporate tax advice, but a fast-growing business needs current information quickly to support good decision-making.
2. How can I minimize the cost of bookkeeping and be more efficient?
Hire a great bookkeeper who can set up QuickBooks Online (QBO) properly to yield an efficient system. Get trained on how to use the basic features with minimal effort and hire the trained bookkeeper to check in on your progress to ensure consistency, completeness, and accuracy. For small businesses, it is typically more efficient to have the person that effects the transactions be the same person who posts the transactions, but keep in mind that the person effecting and posting the data may not be well versed on tax laws and best accounting practices. Maintain a good relationship with a great bookkeeper who can provide oversight and guidance.
3. What are the benefits of using QuickBooks online?
- Easy access to your financial information on any device with an internet browser and an internet connection. It means you can instantly see your inflows and outflows in real-time from your desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.
- Shared access to your QuickBooks Online account with your accountant, bookkeeper, and other users via a secure log-in.
- Secured data, with no need for backups.
- Bank-level security for your business information. Your information will be safely and securely maintained on the QuickBooks server.
- Integration with relevant third-party apps that will help make you and your workflow more efficient.
- It is easy to use, and there are many free tutorials are available.
5. What does the typical bookkeeping package include?
Tracking, posting and reconciling all business transactions, tracking and reporting payroll and sales taxes accurately, tracking and reporting on your receivables and payables, catching duplication errors, apprising you of the good, bad and ugly issues so you can stay on top of your finances.
6. Why should I spend money on a bookkeeper when I can do it myself?
While you may be able to do it yourself, your talents would be better used for major decision-making in sales and production. When you become too entrenched in minutia it becomes difficult to see and control the big picture. A well-trained bookkeeper will get it done in a fraction of the time it would take you, and with much more accuracy. An experienced bookkeeper will know what costly pitfalls to avoid and will keep the data current and useful to better and faster decision making.
We hope these answers provided you with useful insight about bookkeepers. If you have more questions about bookkeeping, get in touch with the experts at Freestone Associates. As a leading bookkeeper in Toronto, Ontario, we specialize in serving small businesses, including not-for-profits, charities, and corporations. Our founder, Kim Freestone, has over thirty years of experience which enhances our service offerings. Our services include cloud accounting solutions, accounting software setup, and support. We also offer QuickBooks training. We serve clients in and around the Greater Toronto Area from our offices in Etobicoke.