Building Trust with your Bookkeeper

Letting go of your finances and entrusting them to someone else’s care is a big step. After all, there are so many horror stories of businesses getting ripped off by the people they’re supposed to trust the most.

Bookkeepers have access to all your financial information. That’s why it’s so crucial to building a trusting relationship with the bookkeeper you choose to hire. Keeping the lines of communication open and establishing measures and checks will go a long way to maintaining that trust, so let’s take a look at that in more detail.

Steps to Take Before Hiring a Bookkeeper

Trust begins before you even have your bookkeeper on the payroll. It’s your job to do your homework and hire a bookkeeper either from a reliable company or through recommendations. For example, all the bookkeepers at EvolveCFO are qualified accountants and have been through a stringent vetting process to become part of the company.

Reading online reviews and testimonials is another good way to find trustworthy bookkeepers. And, if you have fellow business owners, they should be able to recommend someone reliable.

Have Your Bookkeeper Sign an NDA

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a formal document that legally prevents individuals from disclosing information about a person, company, or other entity. In the case of bookkeeping, the NDA will prevent your bookkeeper from revealing any financial information about your company to unauthorized individuals.

Having an NDA may seem extreme, but protecting you and your business is necessary. Should your bookkeeper ever go against the NDA, you will be entitled to take legal action against them.

Establish Open Lines of Communication

All successful business relationships have one thing in common: solid communication. If you’re not talking with your bookkeeper regularly, how can you possibly know what they’re up to?

Even the most hands-off business owner needs to make an effort in this area. You must know and understand what’s going on with your finances. Otherwise, how can you deal with any problems that may arise? Similarly, if your bookkeeper feels you’re unapproachable, they may not feel comfortable coming to you with any issues.

To establish good communication, you can do the following:

  • Have regular check-in calls or meetings. Whether it’s daily or weekly catch-ups, use the time to get abreast of everything and understand what’s coming up in the days ahead.
  • Let your bookkeeper know they can contact you any time with queries. Actually, answer the call or email. Or, if you’re busy, let them know when you will respond (and then follow through). Don’t leave them hanging for days on end – they’ll simply stop trying.
  • If there are problems, don’t scold your bookkeeper or make them feel like they can’t talk to you. They’re human too. Ask what they think the course of action should be for resolution, then work on a solution together.

Have Shared Access To Everything

Trust works both ways, and if your bookkeeper has to ask you every five minutes for access to financial information, they’re quickly going to become fed up. While it’s tough to hand over your most sensitive information to someone you don’t know, it’s also necessary if you want them to do their job correctly.

The best solution for this is to have shared access to everything via cloud-based bookkeeping software. Your bookkeeper can then obtain and work on the information they need without having to bug you for it. And, you can have a look at what’s going on too.

This setup is also super handy should there be a problem that needs discussion. You can both look at the information simultaneously to see what needs to happen.

Train Your Bookkeeper Sufficiently

A lot of time, particularly in the case of remote bookkeepers, businesses forget to train their bookkeepers in company policies and procedures. If your business has a specific way of doing things or certain protocols need to be observed, then you absolutely must show your bookkeeper what must be done and exactly how to do it.

The danger of not doing this can lead to distrust because you think the bookkeeper isn’t doing their job correctly, and your bookkeeper will think you’re trying to slip them up. Not good on either side.

Make Them Feel Like Part of the Team

Following on from this, it’s easy to forget to include remote bookkeepers in company-wide meetings and events. Even minor things like remembering your bookkeeper’s birthday or their kid’s names are important.

They won’t be a team player if they feel excluded from your team and the business. Treat your bookkeeper as part of the business family and include them in anything relevant. It shows them they matter and goes to great lengths toward building a trusting relationship.

Celebrate Success

It’s easy to be vocal when something goes wrong, but you should take the time to celebrate when your bookkeeper has done a great job or has gone the extra mile. Even a simple phone call to say how much you’ve appreciated their work on something will be valued.

Getting in the habit of praising success builds morale and loyalty. If your bookkeeper knows their hard work will be noticed, they’ll be far more likely to do an excellent job for you.

Hiring Virtual Bookkeepers You Can Trust

We know how tough it is to find great bookkeepers; that’s why at EvolveCFO, we’ve made it our mission to provide high-quality financial support to startups and small businesses.

EvolveCFO is an offshoot of Finvisor, an established firm that provides financial, business, and HR support to more mature companies. That means we’ve got the track record of success and that all-important trust to back us up.

If you’re interested in hiring a virtual bookkeeper, take a look at our attractive pricing plans (you only pay for the service you need), and get in touch if you’d like to know more.