If you are going to start a small business in Singapore, you might be wondering how to streamline your costs. You might even be looking into doing your own accounting. Software like QuickBooks, PeachTree, Xero etc. has made this possible. But you if you are doing one of these two things you probably need to let someone else take care of it. Why? Because of red flags like:
• If you are secretly wondering whether you are even doing it right at all; and
• If you are not doing it at all because you don’t know what to do and find it overwhelming.
Now, it is time to let an expert take over. So how do you know who you need to hire; should it be a bookkeeper or an accountant? A bookkeeper maintains your accounting records; they enter in all transactions and balance your funds. An accountant specialises in finances, taxes, budgets, business operations, payroll and money management. There are different types of accountants who specialise in different areas of business. You want to make sure that you find the right person for your business. If you just want your monthly transactions processed, the bookkeeper can do it for a lesser fee but when we’re talking about money management and tax planning, an accountant is ready to step in.
Now, below are ten questions that we suggest asking during the hiring process of your bookkeeper. Remember that it is totally fine if you don’t know everything about accounting or bookkeeping. That is their job and you are there to ensure they will be an asset to your company. So, here are the 10 questions:
• How can you help me with my business? This is an awesome opportunity for them to expound on what is possible with their services and their personal qualities.
• Do you have other home-based businesses or similar businesses that you work with and are you familiar with the tax write-off opportunities for them?
• How available are you?
• Who will I be working with? If you are looking at a specific firm for bookkeeping or accounting services then make sure to get the list of their staff members.
• How can you help me maximise my tax savings and how will you double check this?
• Based on your experience, what form of business structure should I adopt?
• What records should I give you or will I be responsible for keeping them, and how do you recommend I organise them?
• What happens if I get audited? Will you assist me during the process?
• What is your fee structure?
• Is there anything else I should know? This is a great open-ended question and it is placed there so that they can give you their final ideas and insights on how you can best structure and build your business for the future. Moreover, why you should work with them?
The best thing about this whole exercise is going to be how much you learn about your own business. The bonus is going to be that you will be able to make an insightful decision on who is best for your business. If you feel uncertain about your company’s finances, always check out firms offering accounting services in Singapore to see what they have on offer to help you out.