Are you looking for reliable bookkeeping? Do you need expertise who can play with numbers and keep extensive accounts of your hotel’s financial performance? If so, outsourcing your bookkeeping might not be the best move.
You’re more than likely spending a lot of time crunching numbers and filling out detailed reports and spreadsheets at the end of each month. Why not just hire someone who can do that for you instead?
A reliable bookkeeping service provider should be able to collect daily sales info, prepare financial statements, issue checks, handle payroll taxes, process invoices and deposits. They should also be able to recommend changes in order to save money from year to year.
If you’re not comfortable calling your accountant over to your office, or if you have to schedule time with her for every little thing, outsourcing might not be an option for you.
Any reliable hotel bookkeeping service provider should be able to deal with all of the above in a professional manner, however. It can be very rough on the nerves if you have to call your bookkeeping team every couple of days to ask him/her what he/she did with a certain report.
Before you hand over that huge check and bring an end to your accountant’s job, ask these top questions of your hospitality accounting software:
1. How long have you been doing business?
Bookkeeping is a very precise field. If you’re not confident that your potential bookkeeping service provider has been doing his job for long enough, trust your gut and go with someone else. They may seem very impressive at first, but the question is always “how long have they been doing this?”
It’s best to look into a bookkeeping service provider’s background before you hire him or her. Ask to see a list of previous clients, and make sure that each client deals with them personally rather than through a corporate representative.
2. Is there an office you do business from?
When dealing with an accountant on multiple sites, it can get difficult to manage communication between them all. Even with the best communication channels, there’s always the chance that you’ll get lost in translation.
If there’s an office that your potential bookkeeping service provider operates from, you won’t have to worry about scheduling and making sure his schedule is open. There will also be a number where you can contact your bookkeeper when needed. This way they can even open up their own office in their own company where they will offer services such as Payroll Services, Tax Preparation and more.
3. What else do you do? Will that affect our business relationship?
A good bookkeeping service provider should have a separate area of expertise outside of lone bookkeeping work.
New business is always a good sign, and a bookkeeping service provider who’s able to work on several books at once should be able to bring that experience over to your account.
There’s no reason to feel uncomfortable if you’re dealing with an accountant who also offers other services, though. If anything, having another area of expertise makes someone better at their job and allows them to relate more easily with other professionals in the same field.
You’ll be working closely together, after all! It’s not unreasonable for you to expect that your bookkeeper will be completely dedicated to your needs.
4. Do you charge for any time spent out of the office?
Bookkeeping is a task that will often be done on your schedule. You won’t always need access to your bookkeeper, and a good one should be aware of this fact.
A good bookkeeping service provider shouldn’t charge you for every little thing that he/she does outside of normal business hours. If he/she needs to work on your books at home after hours, that’s something that will come as part of the subscription package.
If it has to go over transactions from previous years because you’re running a deficit or need more information about your last tax return, then any time spent out of the office should be covered by what was agreed upon in advance.
5. Is there a contract involved?
A good bookkeeping service provider should welcome the idea of a contract. The best way to get to know how people work is through a formal series of tests and meetings, but that’s not always possible. A contract will ensure that both parties are clear on what they’re getting into, and it will also protect you from any possible problems in the future.
A good contract should list things such as your preferred methods of payment and your preferred forms of communication. It should also detail exactly how long you’ll need to pay for your bookkeeping services, and how much time you’ll have to give notice if you decide you no longer need them going forward.
6. Does your service come with a guarantee?
It’s important to have a solid idea of how your bookkeeping service provider will accomplish her job. Will she be able to answer questions, for example, or does she simply want you to write a check and send her the excess?
A good hotel bookkeeping service provider should be able to guarantee her work without making large claims that can’t be backed up. A professional accountant should provide services that meet both your business needs and provide long-term value without asking for payment in advance.
7. How do you ensure quality of work?
No one wants to deal with a bookkeeping service provider who simply isn’t as good as she thinks she is. It’s important to know that a good bookkeeping service provider will provide quality, accurate work. She’ll be able to communicate effectively with your accountant, and her reports should be clear and easy to understand.
A professional account manager should also have insider connections to her field. She’ll know what’s going on in the industry, and she’ll also have some experience working with clients through previous projects. This will allow her to provide more customized services which will appeal more than those of an inexperienced accountant.
8. What is your role in the business?
You want to know if you’ll be working directly with a bookkeeping service provider or if she’ll just work on your books behind the scenes. A good bookkeeper should feel comfortable enough with your relationship to ask you questions and address any problems as they occur. It’s up to you whether or not you want to offer your bookkeeper this level of access.
If she’s operating behind the scenes, however, make sure that she can offer a report at least once a month that will detail her activities and make suggestions for improvement.
Overall, dealing with quickbooks for hotel accounting can provide value and stability for hotel businesses. It’s important to know what you’re signing up for, however, so make sure that you ask all of the right questions of your potential bookkeeping service provider.