5 questions to ask a bookkeeper during your consultation
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
If you’re ready to work with a bookkeeper, you’ll likely start with a consultation or as we call it... the discovery call.
This free Zoom call is a (roughly) 20-minute chat to learn more about each other. It also sets the stage for the next steps. We prepare for these calls by gathering info on our prospective client. And, it’s also a good idea for you to do a little prep before the call too.
Often, people reach out to us when they know something's wrong with their numbers. They feel frustrated and are so ready for help.
In this cloud of frustration, they may forget to consider (and ask) key questions about working with a bookkeeper.
By simply asking about a few essentials, you’ll get more insight and the most value out of your discovery call. You’ll also have a clearer picture of the team you may be working with and what the next steps are.
When reaching out, the goal is always to lessen confusion — not make more of it!
So, you’ve done some research on your potential bookkeeper, and you feel pretty good about working together. You schedule the initial call, and then you...
Well, what exactly do you do?
First, ask yourself:
What problem in my business do I need to solve by hiring a bookkeeper?
What are my overall expectations of a bookkeeper?
Are there any bookkeeping tasks that I want to manage?
What would I like my bookkeeper's responsibilities to be?
How much time do I want to spend on my bookkeeping... each day, week, and month...?
THE NEXT STEP
Once you know the answers to these questions and know exactly what you want, you’re ready to hop on that call and ask...
What' your experience in my industry? Surprisingly, not many people ask us this question, and I think it’s a pretty big one. If you've got industry-specific accounting needs (job costing, for example), you want to know exactly how familiar your bookkeeper is with that process.
What's your preferred method of communication? Maybe you like phone over email when you've got questions. You’ll want to know how your bookkeeper communicates before you engage. (We use/love Slack!) At Pinnacle Flow, all Zoom calls are scheduled, and there's a clear agenda beforehand. This helps everyone prepare for the call and makes sure all items get covered. We realize this magical Slack/Zoom combo may not be a good fit for everyone, and that’s okay! Be sure you’re on the same page about communicating before diving in.
What's the best way to share my business documents with you? If you’ve got a stack of paper docs in your office that your bookkeeper needs access to, be sure you know how they'll get a hold of them. What type of digital storage do they use? Or, you may be looking for someone to come to your office to pick them up, and there could be fees for that... so, it’s best to clear the air on this up front.
What are the next steps after our call? Never leave a discovery call with more questions than you came with. If you’re not clear on what happens next, reach back out to clarify.
When can we start? If you’ve decided on a start date, you’ll want to know exactly when your bookkeeper can get started with you. Pro tip: October — April is busy season for accountants and bookkeepers, so keep this in mind if you're waiting until then to reach out.
Over the years, we’ve chatted with so many business owners on discovery calls. And, we’ve found that asking the five questions here makes a gigant-o difference in how comfortable prospects feel during and after the call.
Remember: NEVER be afraid to ask questions — all of 'em! We want you to have all the answers you need to grow your business with total ease and confidence.
Ready to schedule your discovery call? Contact us today.
And, don't forget to save time finding the right bookkeeper fast by grabbing your free Discovery Call Prep Guide today.