7 Qualities To Look For While Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Franchise Business

7 Qualities To Look For While Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Franchise Business

7 Qualities To Look For While Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Franchise Business

7 Qualities To Look For While Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Franchise Business

Often called a “business in a box,” a franchise is built on a proven concept and provides products or services which have already been market-tested. While your franchisor may have shared detailed manuals with you in regards to running the day-to-day affairs, growing a franchise business is not free from risks.

Managing overhead expenses, dealing with debts, staying on top of cash flow and of course, sorting out the furlough of employees in this economic climate are just some of the factors that could make your job challenging at the moment.

That is why hiring a bookkeeper is one of the most important decisions you will make as a franchise business owner. A bookkeeper will be in charge of your accounts, file your taxes for you and be responsible for keeping you financially profitable and legally above-board.

By understanding what good bookkeeping and what sound professional practices look like, you will be able to choose the right candidate and set the necessary expectations for how you will work together.

Here are the top qualities to look out for when choosing a bookkeeper for your franchise business:

1. Communication skills

It is not enough for a bookkeeper to have accounting know-how. As the franchise owner, you will want to examine your financials from time to time, and you need your bookkeeper to present those financials to you in clear, simple terms.

If there is anything you need clarification on, your bookkeeper should be able to explain it to you without jargon. Similarly, if the bookkeeper needs any information from you, they should be asking for it clearly and promptly. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page at all times.

2. Tech-savviness

The bookkeeper should be thoroughly conversant with the latest accounting software and technologies to give your business the most up-to-date service. For instance, they can find ways to streamline your cash flow, payroll and invoice payments with systems such as XERO so that everything happens much faster.

They should, moreover, constantly be updating his knowledge of tax and accounting practices to be aware of the most recent schemes and policies. This way, your bookkeeping can be completed more efficiently, and they can guide your financials according to the latest practices to keep you ahead of the competition.

We at Agility Bookkeeping offer assistance to help you select and implement across the best system for your franchise business and also provide online training and setup support for your staff.

3. Collaboration and teamwork

You and your bookkeeper need to work together as a team, and this applies to the rest of your employees as well. Your bookkeeper should be willing to reach out to any of your employees actively and to respond openly to any requests that any of you may have.

Moreover, the bookkeeper should have the organisational skills to run his team efficiently. This ensures that you get the best bookkeeping services at all times, as everyone is moving according to the plan.

4. Experience in your industry

A generalist bookkeeper can only take you so far. You should ideally be working with someone who knows the ins and outs of your specific business, can relate to the financial aspect of it and knows the success metrics that you should ideally be aiming for.

This way, the bookkeeper can help you make tax savings specific to your line of work and also offer suggestions on how to increase your profit margins or reduce the operational costs of your franchise business.

5. Integrity and honesty

Your bookkeeper will be in charge of sensitive financial documents and be responsible for filing your returns and managing your cash flows. It would be best if you were sure, therefore, that the bookkeeper you hire is trustworthy.

This is where previous client reviews come in handy, as you get an idea of the bookkeeper’s work ethic beyond the certifications and credentials. Moreover, be sure to have a detailed interview with the bookkeeper before you hire them to spot any warning signs of irregular behaviour.  Do a thorough background check as well.

6. Flexibility to adapt to different working styles

Your bookkeeper should be willing to adjust to any specific working style your business prefers, such as communication over email only, staggered working hours through the day or a weekly call to go over the accounts. In turn, you should work with the bookkeeper to make allowances for any specific requests they have, such as time-off or deadline-setting.

7. Relationship building skills

You may find several highly skilled and knowledgeable bookkeepers, but relationship building is a critical aspect of the equation. The bookkeeper you pick should be committed to prioritising your business needs and exceeding expectations on every count.

They should, moreover, have strong people skills that make it a pleasure to work with them. What you should be looking for is a long-term working relationship that transcends daily calls and weekly reports, and for that, you need to be comfortable with not just the bookkeeping expertise but also the person or team.

Over to you

All franchisors rigorously monitor their franchisees as one under-performing business can threaten the entire franchise. Thankfully, our team at Agility Bookkeeping will ensure that benchmarking is maintained and reported accurately every month, and resolve any issues that may arise to protect your franchise business reputation.

Are you interested to know more about our services? Fill our contact us form, and we will call you at the earliest.

7 Bookkeeping Tips To Save Your Holiday Season

7 Bookkeeping Tips To Save Your Holiday Season


7 Bookkeeping Tips To Save Your Holiday Season

As Christmas fast approaches, businesses everywhere are likely to see a slack period as employees and clients take time off for celebrations – even if it means staying home, practising social distancing, and spending time with loved ones virtually.

This also means that the revenue of small businesses is likely to go down somewhat, a trend that will continue into January as people recover from New Year festivities. Plus, with staff celebrations, your in-house business expenditure is likely to go up.

This is the time when many small businesses lose out from not having planned their finances. If you think you could use some help, here are some expert bookkeeping tips to help you avoid those post-Christmas financial blues:

1. Know your cash flow

The first step to successful holiday bookkeeping is knowing the details of what is coming in and what is going out. Keeping your receipts safe is a big part of this – you should ideally have a designated online folder where all your receipts go rather than distributing them in random places such as email, desktop, cloud drive.

Or, why not try the XERO app? Simply photograph your expenses and send them straight to your XERO account.

Moreover, knowing your cash flow does not just mean keeping track of your office bills – it also means knowing precisely what products or services you have sold to your customers.

It is a good idea to invest in project management software for complete transparency on how much work there is in the pipeline and how much each task is worth, along with a breakdown of the time it takes you to complete the tasks.

You can even use XERO’s built-in project management software for a small monthly charge.

2. Track your business expenses

While it isn’t always possible to avoid unexpected expenses, you should try to forecast your business expenditure for the quarter or year as far as possible.

One way to do this is by keeping a proper record of all your expenses, including supplies, payroll, insurance, rent, utilities, and so on. You should also budget for an emergency fund that you can use if any unexpected bills crop up.

We recommend using the Float app which allows you to try different budget scenarios and links seamlessly with XERO.

3. Chase late payments

Now is the time to give your customers a friendly nudge about what they owe you. Do not be shy about following up with customers who are behind on their payments, especially if they are in the habit of not paying on time.

If you use XERO, leverage its built-in reminder system and check your aged payables every week or month to ensure customers don’t fall behind.

You can even add a late payment fee for delays beyond a specific date. At the same time, be sure that you pay off your creditors promptly – and if you happen to be struggling, reach out to them and arrange a more favourable payment timeline.

4. Change your payment terms 

If you’re looking to boost your cash inflow before Christmas, consider altering your payment terms to benefit you more. For instance, you can charge an upfront payment before a project begins, especially if there are some project expenses you need to cover at the start.

You can also reduce your payment terms from, say, a month to two weeks. Be sure to include all this updated payment information in your invoices to avoid confusion. Plus, if you perform special services such as a rush job or a last-minute project add-on, don’t hesitate to charge your client extra.

5. Work out your tax deductions on expenses

Some of your festivity expenses might be claimable, and some are not. Before going all out on your (virtual) Christmas celebrations, therefore, look up which expenses (including client presents, staff presents, office celebrations, and cash bonuses) have deductions and which have extra tax liabilities attached. This will help you plan your expense budget better so that you can have a good time without dreading the bill.

6. Try cloud accounting tools 

Cloud accounting tools have completely changed the game for business finances. With a tool like XERO in place, you can handle all your finance-related tasks such as payroll, invoicing, reporting, and expense claims from one comprehensive dashboard.

Cloud-based tools also have the advantage of high security, unlimited storage, easy scalability, and access from anywhere. That means if you take help from an external bookkeeper, you can access real-time information quickly and maintain control of your data.

7. Dedicate time for admin

Admin-related tasks might be last on your priority list, but to avoid having to wade through a pile of paperwork right before Christmas, it is ideal that you set aside some time for admin work every week. This also helps to clarify what is happening on a day-to-day basis and take any corrective action you need to. 

Get professional help if you need it

If you are struggling to manage the ins and outs of bookkeeping along with your primary business, you can consider outsourcing the job to a professional. An experienced bookkeeping service provider will save you time and money and advise you on making the most of tax returns.

Thankfully, Agility Bookkeeping is fully equipped to handle all your bookkeeping tasks and enable you to put up your legs and relax over the holidays. If you’re interested, please complete the contact form, and we will get back to you for an initial, no-obligation chat.