FINDING THE RIGHT BOOKKEEPER FOR YOUR SMALL LAW FIRM - THINGS TO CONSIDER Managing either a new or existing law firm is a complicated business. There are procedures, formalities and loads of financial aspects that few field professionals know how to properly embrace and coordinate with legal bookwork stacked high up on the priorities list. As your law firm expands there'll be plenty to consider in terms of onboarding a bookkeeper to handle what's possibly your most tedious area of business. Here are a few things to ponder once your business outgrows your expertise finding yourself on the hunt for the perfect bookkeeping or accounting team! Experience While some of the best bookkeeping firms present themselves as diverse, experienced all-rounders, a team that can confidently showcase a solid track record in legal accounting should most definitely be making your shortlist. You need to ensure the bookkeeper you're opting for can undoubtedly handle a range of industry-exclusive financial processes. If you are using a contract bookkeeper, you need to make sure they're also insured against errors as well. You'll need a bookkeeper that can help you make better informed business decisions not overlook them. It's also imperative to remember that the financial management associated with running a law firm is completely different to that of an auto parts business or a funeral director for instance. The point here is to explain the importance of hiring a bookkeeper who's worked within your particular niche and knows how to complete the puzzle. Capabilities and services
Asking a bookkeeper about their years of expertise is generally a great place to start. But what you really want to pinpoint is how well that experience reflects on their capabilities and quality of their services. Some firms might employ a number of bookkeepers assigning multiple personnel to your books while others might do it all on their own or even outsource the work. Discuss with them how their team can guarantee accuracy and have them reassure you the quality won't change between bookkeepers. Another thing to ask is whether they’re affiliated with accountants that may be able to handle more complicated tax affairs among other financial duties. Chat to Ironbark Industries Bookkeeping's Tracy Sellers to find out more regarding how we integrate our services with Australian law farms.
What does their pricing structure look like? Understanding the ins and outs of how a new B2B relationship will function is one thing, however comprehending how your bookkeeper prices their services and bills you is another. Find a bookkeeping firm with a simple pricing structure making sure you thoroughly understand and agree upon the terms before signing on any dotted lines. A reputable, high quality bookkeeping firm will expectedly be more expensive but will often be worth your while in the long run. Although searching for the perfect bookkeeping team can be a challenge, you should note that its always less of a headache to find a good fit the first time around. Having to rehire someone fresh down the track can cause all kinds of problems and setbacks so just keep in mind this trade-off when contemplating rates and pricing. Establishing a relationship with your bookkeeper over several months allows them to properly learn how your law firm operates, helping accounting staff become accustomed to your processes. How do they operate? Perhaps one of the most significant areas of your bookkeeper-law firm relationship is knowing how they'll be looking after your numbers. Consult your bookkeeper on their processes and get them to detail all the options. Do they predominantly work remotely through cloud-based software? Will they be splitting up their time between remote correspondence and in-house work? Will you need to change, update, adopt or learn how to use new software? With modern firms beginning to go paperless, you could also view this as a learning opportunity or a chance to overhaul your operations. It's crucial for a bookkeeping firm's operations to suit your business ensuring everything can be smoothly incorporated without any major hiccups. Will both your scheduling processes align? As you’d already be familiar with, law firms tend to breed chaotic, unconventional schedules which require a level of efficiency that other businesses would find themselves overwhelmed by. Bookkeeping firms are often more reliable than freelancers in terms of scheduling as a freelancer may not always be available when you need them. Remember to ask about these sorts of things in advance regarding availability and tax season to avoid panic during your most hectic times of year. Make sure you hire a bookkeeper who won't leave you in the lurch when you're counting on them the most. Ironbark Industries Bookkeeping ensures you'll never have to worry about service gaps or unexpected downtime with a fully committed team constantly at the ready! Not only will your new bookkeeper be there to take over your financial frustrations, you'll soon view this new found relationship as an opening to better understand your business and how certain particulars may be optimised to your benefit. A small law firm's future depends on the quality of the plans and the path mapped out in front of it. Sourcing the most suitable experts for your firm is the first step in establishing an improved, more efficient business model. Want to learn more about how an experienced law firm bookkeeper can help you? Contact Ironbark Industries Bookkeeping today to discuss our accounting and bookkeeping services, your specific requirements or any other financial management questions or enquiries.