questions to as a bookkeeper

7 Questions You Must Ask Your Potential Bookkeeper

When your bookkeeping becomes more than you can handle, it’s time to start looking for a bookkeeper.

The right bookkeeper can literally be worth their weight in gold because they will organize, reconcile and manage your business finances so that you can run and grow your business.

When it comes to hiring a bookkeeper, you have lots of options. But before you hire a bookkeeper, you should ask some questions to find out whether that person is qualified to assist you.

1. How much experience do you have with businesses like mine?

There are many accountants who handle taxes, payroll, and bookkeeping. But that doesn’t mean anyone can be a great fit for your business. You need someone who has experience in handling businesses from your industry and of your scale.

So, find out how many years of experience the person has and whether they have worked with companies similar to yours. If they don’t have experience with businesses like yours, then they might not be able to handle the more complicated transactions specific to your industry.

2. Do you offer services that go beyond basic bookkeeping?

Some small businesses only need a simple, straightforward approach to their books, but many need more. Think about what you expect from a bookkeeper and ask if they can provide those services for you.

For example, ask them questions like:

Do you need someone to help you evaluate expenses?

Do you need someone to help you evaluate expenses and suggest where to cut costs by benchmarking your organization performance with your industry KPI’s?

Do you need someone to help you make informed business decisions with accurate financial analysis on time?

Do you need someone to enable the organization to make inform decision making by providing accurate figures on time?

Such questions will help you evaluate how much more you can depend on them beyond the usual bookkeeping.


questions to ask a bookkeeper

3. What qualifications do you have?

It’s essential to make sure that your bookkeeper is certified by a professional body because they have met high education and training standards. It also indicates that they are bound by a code of ethics and conduct, which will give you peace of mind that your bookkeeper is working professionally.

One of the most essential qualifications for bookkeepers in Australia is to get accredited as a BAS agent by the Taxation Practitioner Board.

4. Are you current on the latest trends and regulations?

Bookkeeping is more complex than it used to be, thanks in part to new accounting standards for private companies. The rules are different depending on what kind of business entity you own — proprietary limited (Pt. Ltd.), sole proprietorship, or partnership — which is why it’s crucial to hire someone who understands your specific situation.

5. Will any of the work be outsourced?

If so, ask where the work is being done and whether or not it will be secure. Make sure every aspect of your bookkeeping will be handled in-house.

6. How much do you charge?

Find out if there are any setup costs or monthly fees for their services. Also, find out if any hidden charges could come up along the way.

7. How will we communicate?

You’ll want a reliable way to contact your bookkeeper when necessary, so talk about a preferred method of communication and make sure you both agree on it. Email or phone calls are often the best way to reach out to your bookkeeper whenever you need to.


The right bookkeeper can be an invaluable asset to your business. The wrong one can cause problems that will take months or years to fix. So make sure to ask questions and check thoroughly before you hire one.

If you’re looking for experienced bookkeepers in Australia for sole trading companies, partnership businesses or trust-based companies, then our experts at SME Accounting can help. Call us at 0403 067 756 to discuss your business bookkeeping and accounting in detail.