When outsourcing your business’ accounting and bookkeeping, it’s imperative to be aware of any financial professional red flags that may indicate members of your financial team are either not a good fit for you and your business, or they’re not producing quality work.
Even if you’re a “newbie” or business accounting and financial management feels foreign or scary, you should feel super comfortable with your accountant and your bookkeeper.
It’s really important that you feel GOOD about the relationship. Your financial team is there to help you grow and learn; you should never feel put down, less than, or not smart enough around your financial pros.
Here’s our list of red flags when hiring or working with financial professionals:
- They’re giving you a bad vibe.
- They’re condescending or make you feel stupid.
- You don’t like the way they’re communicating.
- You feel rushed (Are your questions being answered adequately? See above re: vibes)
- They don’t get along with your bookkeeper or other members of your financial or in-house team (outsourced or not)
- They’re impossible to get on the phone
- They consistently don’t answer emails
- They don’t have a support staff ***
- They’re cagey about their fees (this one is a sad financial industry norm we don’t support)
And lastly, when trying to find your perfect match for the right accountant, bookkeeper, CFO, etc. remember that these relationships are super important, and the best ones often come through referrals. Many financial professionals specialize by industry or have niches. Ask your peers who they’re working with and how they like them.
As some final advice, we also recommend that you work with financial professionals in your state or a sister state.
Remember there are two types of tax laws: federal and state. Many states have special tax laws and although we have super swanky software that is usually aware of these rules – software isn’t a sentient human. An accountant or bookkeeper who has been working in your, or a nearby state, will likely have the inside skinny on state tax specifics.
Lastly, like a good lawyer, a bookkeeper or accountant becomes MORE valuable to you over time. You should be looking for financial professionals you can partner with long term. This is why being on the look out for red flags is so important. Your financial life is nuanced and will change over the years – someone you trust is much better suited to help you over time.
If you’re looking for a polished team to take care of you and your books, book a free consultation with us here!
(***Solo bookkeepers can be great! Just be sure they have the bandwidth and expertise to take on your size business.)