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.
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.