In a recent Bookkeeping services review on Yelp, reviewer name Girlie commented that “If you are ever audited, hire an accountant who is organized, respectful, a good communicator, and a good listener, someone who respects the IRS and treats them seriously.”
Girlie summed up the qualification for a good accountant but more importantly of a good bookkeeper. A good bookkeeper can make an IRS audit as easy as eating a pie. Having a bookkeeper who works under the direct supervision of a certified public accountant or one with the number of years experience can be very helpful. Apparently, Girlie didn’t do enough research and further explained the frustration “First of all, he is not a CPA. This is a personable guy who opens up a chic office in Noe instead of working at HRBlock.”
So, how do you pick a good Bookkeeping service in the San Francisco Bay Area?
Not required but strongly recommended that you stick with a CPA firm that also provides bookkeeping services. Check their reviews on Google, Yelp, Yahoo or other online sites. Ask for reference letters from their past client or current clients. You may even ask for a client phone number and speak with other business owners to get an understanding of the CPA firm and their process.
You don’t have to be super picky but you want to do business with a firm you can depend upon. You want to know the truth before you end up in an Audit or some other serious tax trouble. You can take advice from Girlie, ” the CPA I finally hired to take over my tax situation had 30 years experience, advanced degrees in accounting and tax law, and charged 30% less than Mark. His financial advice is golden. So if you want to pay for a real accountant, you can find one.”
Before picking your next bookkeeping service provider, make sure to:
- Check the reviews
- Check the degree
- Check the references and
- Check the fees
What are some of the red signals you can look out for?
Picking a new bookkeeping services provider can be challenging. After all, you will depend upon this person to be a safe keeper of your financial documents and ensure complete compliance with current tax laws. There are some things you can look out for that can help you avoid trouble.
Inexpensive or Cheap: Sure, you want the best deal in town. But you get what you pay for. Is it worth paying hundreds of thousand dollars in taxes to save a couple hundred dollars of bookkeeping fees?
Office and Staff: We live in a society where companies like Google and Facebook came to life from a garage. But those are just a couple of examples. Truth is that hundreds of companies are born and die in a similar garage. If the office and staff of your CPA or Bookkeeper look unorganized than you are surely heading for trouble. Look around the office to see if paperwork is properly filed. How is the desk of accountants?
Pay attention to phone calls. How is staff answering the client's phone calls? If possible, ask to see the profile of the office staff. Good CPA or bookkeeper will happily share the work experience of their staff.
Office Hours: Odd office hours or office that is only open during weekends can be troubling. Make sure that your CPA or bookkeeper will be available when you need them.
We hope that your next bookkeeper is better than your expectations. Please share your experience regarding bookkeeper or CPA services.