How to Choose a Houston Bookkeeper for Your Small Business

How to Choose a Houston Bookkeeper for Your Small Business

One of the less exciting secrets behind every great business is great bookkeeping. The never-ending succession of numbers may give you headaches and tax-related stress, but if your books are in order and well-organized, your business is on the right track. 

On the other hand, bad bookkeeping can leave you with serious tax issues. Just as bad, not knowing your financial outlook down to the last cent can put your business at a disadvantage, since you will be missing key information to help you make sound business decisions. 

If bookkeeping is starting to feel like the second job you never wanted or asked for, it is time to think about hiring a professional bookkeeper in Houston!

What Do Houston Bookkeepers Do?

The biggest clue is in the name: they look after your books, or the records of your business’ financial transactions. This is the most basic task of the bookkeeper. 

For businesses that need more help, they can also perform other tasks. Common ones include processing your business’ payroll, filing taxes, managing inventory, creating financial reports, and even giving financial advice after some solid number-crunching. 

While all bookkeepers will perform the most basic bookkeeping functions, other services can vary depending on the specialization of the bookkeeper. This is something that you’ll want to bear in mind as you look for a Houston bookkeeper, since your business will have unique needs that not all bookkeepers will be able to fulfill. 

Bookkeepers Are Essential for Small Businesses

Running a business is no small feat. While it can look easy to the outside eye, only you know just how much hard work goes into starting and growing a successful business from scratch. 

One thing that most business owners never have enough of is time (sigh). Bookkeeping is time-consuming and difficult, making it a great candidate to outsource, giving you more accurate financial records for more accurate decision-making. 

Bookkeepers aren’t just time-savers. Their sharp eyes can also save you some serious headaches from the taxman, whether you’re grappling with local, state, or federal authorities. Keeping track of all your taxes and compliance is a job in itself: one a bookkeeper is adept at. 

Their deep knowledge of your financial status also contributes to your business’ financial stability and growth. Bookkeepers can create reports of your KPIs, helping you to grow through informed decisions without the stress or gray hairs. We also recently wrote an article on whether a Bookkeeper is an Investment or an Expense – read more.

When Should Small Businesses Hire a Houston Bookkeeper?

As the old proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today. In other words, businesses should try to hire a bookkeeper as soon as possible, since their expertise and financial insights are invaluable during the early stages of business development.

If this doesn’t persuade you, think about your situation. If you’re spending more time than you’d like buried in paperwork, you keep finding errors in your finances, and cash flow issues are starting to bite, a bookkeeper can help. 

Many Houston businesses also opt to hire a local bookkeeper when their business experiences a growth spurt. While growth is great, the increased complexity and number of transactions and records to keep up with is also harder to keep up with. 

Your job as a business owner is to focus on the day-to-day running of your business, not to track dollars and cents. You don’t need the overwhelm, stress, or frustration that comes with feeling like you’re doing it all yourself. 

What to Look for When Hiring a Bookkeeper in Houston

Houston has a wealth of bookkeepers to choose from, but finding the best one for you doesn’t need to be difficult. Before contacting anyone, search for bookkeepers who have experience in your business size and industry. When you’ve found five candidates, start to contact them and interview them. 

What questions you’ll ask depend on what your needs are, but here are some questions you should always ask:

  • Do you have any references you can share with me?
  • How do you start work with a new client – what do you need us to provide?
  • What do you do to keep my confidential and financial information safe?
  • How do you communicate with clients and how often?
  • What are your rates? 

For more business-specific questions, you might ask how they would approach a task that your business needs help with. Another good question is how they might tackle a specific challenge that your business keeps running into.

While you’re interviewing your prospective Houston bookkeeper, ask yourself some questions, too. Do you feel that you’re talking to someone who can give you the time you need to focus on running your business? Will they give you the space (and advice) you need to start innovating and creating new services that will give your customers even more value? 

The Right Houston Bookkeeper Is an Invaluable Business Asset

Bookkeepers are a long-term investment who can have a huge impact on your business’ future success. For this reason alone, you should take your time finding a bookkeeper and make sure that you’ve found the right person before you hire. 

You want someone with a strong attention to detail, a firm grip on business strategy, and people skills. We’re not saying that your bookkeeper must have the charisma of a leading Hollywood actor! We simply mean that you should feel comfortable when talking to them and that they communicate clearly. After all, they will be getting up close and personal with your numbers – and they may not always have news you want to hear. 

Books by Berry is a top Houston Bookkeeper with over ten years of experience working for 100+ small and medium businesses in Houston and around the United States. We offer all the services mentioned in this article and can also help with company formation and multiple aspects of payroll.

We are passionate about helping business owners like you to grow and scale without dealing with financial stress. Like you, we’re also a small business, so we understand the challenges that you face. Contact us today to kickstart a free consultation and find out how we can help your business to grow!

April 9, 2024