There are so many Vancouver bookkeepers, but how do you find the best bookkeeper in Vancouver?
Bookkeeping plays an essential role in running a successful business. It doesn’t matter whether you want to file your taxes or record your transactions. Bookkeeping will still benefit you.
Below, we outline these benefits. We also highlight the cost of hiring a bookkeeper in Vancouver.
The article includes the following sections (you can click on the area that you want to jump to):
- An introduction to bookkeeping and how it is different from accounting
- What a bookkeeper can do for a small to medium business
- Whether you should opt for a freelancer or a bookkeeping company
- How much it costs to hire a bookkeeper
What Is Bookkeeping?
Today’s businesses depend on data-driven decision-making and intelligence. A bookkeeper records day-to-day financial transactions like payments. The bookkeeping method depends on your business needs and transaction flows.
Methods of Bookkeeping
There are several different types of bookkeeping. Here are several methods to help you decide on
1) Single-Entry Bookkeeping
In single-entry bookkeeping, the bookkeeper makes one entry for each company transaction. This entry is in a cash book. Single entries are suitable for small private companies and sole proprietorships. The technique also works for companies with little or no small inventories. The method would also work for companies that neither buy nor sell on credit.
2) Double-Entry Bookkeeping
The double-entry bookkeeping method records debits and credits. The technique works for companies whose transactions affect at least two accounts. The bookkeeper’s role is to ensure that the total credits are equal to the total debits.
3) Cash-Based/Accrual-Based Bookkeeping
The cash-based bookkeeping method keeps track of the business’s cash flow. In this case, the bookkeeper makes an entry whenever you make purchases or sales. Likewise, the accrual-based technique records expenses and their corresponding revenues. Cash-based bookkeeping works best with the single-entry method. Accrual-based bookkeeping works best with double entries.
Recording Entries In Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping entails recording your day-to-day business transactions. The bookkeeper makes these recordings on various business documents like journals and ledgers. In turn, the business can merge and turn the documents into financial statements.
The section below provides an overview of bookkeeping records. We also note why you should use each document.
A cash register performs single-entry bookkeeping. For instance, the bookkeeper only records the business’s sales.
A business journal can be either physical or digital. The bookkeeper keeper makes chronological entries of transactions, their date, and description. The bookkeeper also records the transaction accounts.
The ledger can be a physical or digital book. The bookkeeper makes categorized entries in the register.
The grouping can depend on the transaction accounts. Ledgers also contain the accounts’ assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.
Bookkeeping vs Accounting: What Is The Difference?
Bookkeeping provides a base for accounting. Still, some people use bookkeeping and accounting as one. We outline the roles of bookkeepers and accountants in the section below.
- Filing the enterprise’s taxes
- Recording daily business tractions
- Recording bills and paying them when they are due
- Creating invoices and issuing them
- Processing the company’s payroll and recording it in books
- Reconciling bank statements
Accountants use bookkeeping records to come up with financial reports and statements. Accounting services include:
- Providing financial advice
- Preparing and analyzing the business’s financial statements
- Preparing documents like tax estimates that the bookkeeper is yet to record
How A Bookkeeper Can Benefit A Small To Medium-Sized Business
Small and medium-sized enterprises often forgo bookkeeping services in favour of accounting. These businesses can benefit from a bookkeeper in various ways, including:
- The company’s founders can access financial information at any time. Bookkeepers maintain up-to-date records of a company’s transactions. Thus, the business can access this information whenever they need it.
- The business can experience reduced accounting costs. For instance, hiring bookkeepers costs less than accountants.
- The business can manage its cash flow. Bookkeepers keep a daily track of your cash flow and can, thus, inform you of any abrupt changes.
- The business owners can focus on the company’s core needs, strategy, and marketing.
- Fewer data entry mistakes. Bookkeepers can identify errors as they do their daily recordings.
- Bookkeepers can identify uncategorized expenses, which simplifies your taxes and tax write-offs.
Do It Yourself (DIY) Bookkeeping
DIY bookkeeping allows you to save on hiring costs by recording your business’s records. This method is suitable for companies with low transaction volumes or revenues. But you are likely to encounter oversight issues. For example, you can make inaccurate or questionable entries. So, consider hiring a bookkeeper if bookkeeping is not your strength.
Hiring A Bookkeeper: Company Or Freelancer?
You can hire either a freelancing or a company-based bookkeeper. A freelance bookkeeper works for single or many clients. In contrast, a company bookkeeper only works for a single client.
Pros And Cons Of Hiring Company-Based Bookkeeping Services
Hiring company-based bookkeeping services guarantee that you will get experienced and knowledgeable bookkeepers. These bookkeepers are professionals with verified credentials and years of experience.
You are also sure of the continued availability of the bookkeeper. This assurance is because the hiring process involves signing a work contract. You can also benefit from the terms of the hiring agreement. For example, the company can refund you upon breach of contract.
The only disadvantage of company-based bookkeepers is that their services might be costly.
Pros And Cons Of Hiring Freelance Bookkeepers
Freelance bookkeeping services are the best option for startups and small businesses. Enterprise with little funding can also work with freelance bookkeepers. These bookkeepers work on a flexible schedule, which is beneficial for limited transactions.
Freelance bookkeepers can also work from their homes. As a result, hiring them is less costly than company-based bookkeepers.
The disadvantage of freelance bookkeeping is that it can be time-consuming.
You have to vet freelance bookkeepers before hiring them. Still, the process will ensure that you hire a professional and experienced bookkeeper.
Factors To Consider Before Hiring A Freelance Bookkeeper
Freelance bookkeepers charge their services based on six factors. You should consider these factors during the hiring process.
1) Geographical Location
Cities are more competitive than other geographical areas. Freelance bookkeepers in metropolitan cities are, therefore, likely to charge more.
2) Level of Education
Most professional bookkeepers have a degree or a higher level of education. You might also find some bookkeepers who only have a high school education. In such a case, consider the work experience before hiring.
3) Bookkeeping Certifications
Bookkeeping certifications are evidence of accreditation. One such certification is the QuickBooks ProAdvisor certification. Often, freelance bookkeepers with certifications charge higher rates than uncertified accountants.
4) Years of Experience
More years of experience equates to higher freelance rates. Aim to hire bookkeepers with many years of experience.
5) Type of Service Provided
Bookkeeping involves three types of services: record keeping, payroll, and tax preparation. The freelance hourly rate covers the complexity of each of these tasks. The cost also includes the total working hours.
6) Duration of Service
The freelance rate varies depending on the duration of service. This length can fall into one of the four categories below.
One-time services have the highest cost. You can hire a part-time freelance bookkeeper to set up and train your company on how to maintain book records and file tax returns.
Monthly services are less costly than one-off services. In this case, you hire a bookkeeper to perform bookkeeping tasks or payroll clients during the month.
Quarterly services mean that you hire a freelance bookkeeper to file your clients’ taxes or payroll every three months. The rate of this service depends on the amount of work the bookkeeper does.
Opt for the annual service if you need a bookkeeper to file your tax returns. In this case, you will provide all your receipts to the bookkeeper once a year.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Bookkeeper In Vancouver?
The average cost of hiring a bookkeeper in Vancouver is CA$51,681 per year. Glassdoor estimated this amount from 113 bookkeeping salaries. Likewise, Vancouver’s bookkeeper costs range from CA$39K to CA$69K.
Bookkeepers also get an average cash compensation of CA$443-CA$54,140. The payment costs encompass cash bonuses, commissions, tips, and profits.
Nonetheless, the cost of hiring a bookkeeper is not definite. The amount you pay will vary depending on the terms of the hiring contract. The number of hours that the bookkeeper will work will also influence the cost. We divide this cost into three categories:
1. Hiring An In-House Bookkeeper
The average cost of hiring a full-time bookkeeper in Vancouver is CA$47,000. The benefit of hiring a full-time bookkeeper is availability. The bookkeeper is always available to clarify any misunderstandings in the records. The disadvantages of hiring a full-time in-house bookkeeper are that:
- You will encounter extra expenses, which are not suitable for a growing business.
- The bookkeeper’s departure will force you to hire and train a replacement. An abrupt exit might cause you extra damage.
2. Hiring A Part-Time Bookkeeper
Part-time bookkeepers are freelancers. These bookkeepers charge for their services at an hourly rate. In Vancouver, this rate ranges from CA$ 20 to CA$ 50 per hour. If you hire a bookkeeping firm, this rate will be CA$40-CA$68 per hour.
The advantage of hiring a part-time self-employed bookkeeper is flexibility. The bookkeeper is present and works on a flexible schedule.
The disadvantages include:
- Handling many clients might interfere with the bookkeeper’s work schedule.
- Part-time bookkeepers work best for small businesses. Thus, increased workload might be challenging to them.
3. Hiring A Bookkeeping Service
A bookkeeping service means outsourcing all your bookkeeping tasks to an external source. This option is an alternative to hiring a full-time bookkeeper. Bookkeeping services provide experienced bookkeepers.
The service manages your records, customizes your books, and charges flat monthly rates.
The service also charges one-time onboarding fees. The average monthly rate of bookkeeping services depends on the service provider. In Vancouver, this price starts from as low as CA$500.
Bookkeeping Charges In Vancouver
This section provides a list of top bookkeeping service providers in Vancouver. Do not limit yourself to this list. We suggest that you search Glassdoor if you are looking for freelance bookkeepers.
Enkel Backoffice Solutions
Sectors: e-commerce, food/beverage, healthcare, non-profit, and retail businesses.
Enkel uses cloud-based technology to provide reliable bookkeeping and payroll services. The company works with small and medium-sized businesses. Enkel Backoffice Solutions also support three bookkeeping platforms: NetSuite, QuickBooks, and Xero.
Valley Business Centre – Bookkeeping and Payroll
Sectors: construction, hospitality, real estate, restaurant, and non-profit sectors.
Valley Business Centre provides bookkeeping and payroll services to small and medium-sized businesses.
The company operates in Vancouver and other parts of Canada. The firm supports various bookkeeping platforms like QuickBooks, SageOne, and Xero.
Touchstone Administrative Services
Sector: automotive, food/beverage, restaurant, and retail industries.
Touchstone Administrative provides bookkeeping services to small and medium-sized businesses. The firm also works with startups. Touchstone supports three bookkeeping platforms: NetSuite, QuickBooks, and SageOne.
Zen Bookkeeping provides affordable bookkeeping services to small businesses in Vancouver.
Vancouver Bookkeeping provides professional bookkeeping services at affordable rates.
Ledgers Online is a North Vancouver firm that provides bookkeeping services with accounting support. The company charges a fixed price for its service.
Digits & Decimals
Digits & Decimals focuses on small and medium businesses. The company offers bookkeeping services and training as well as managerial accounting.
Lohn Caulder is an independent firm. The company provides proactive and innovative bookkeeping services to all business types.
Homeroom Small Business Solutions
Homeroom provides customized bookkeeping and accounting services to small businesses in Vancouver.
Acton Accounting & Bookkeeping
Acton provides both professional accounting and bookkeeping services to businesses in Vancouver.
Nothing is exciting or sensational about bookkeeping, yet many businesses and organizations failed after undermining its importance.
Bookkeeping is simply the process of tracking financial resources, but many overlook the importance of having a capable bookkeeper. It can be frustrating and confusing when you come across unexpected financial issues when you don’t have sufficient accounting knowledge. This is where the value of a bookkeeper comes in.
Bookkeepers generate reports relevant to each aspect of your business operations, i.e., sales, expenses, payrolls, taxes, and insurance premiums. They’re expected to do these jobs, too:
- Prepare and manage invoices for sales and purchases
- Analyze sales and expenses
- Create reports for your reference and business growth
Even small and medium-sized businesses need a bookkeeper to handle bookkeeping jobs that will make or break them. For some, it’s a stretch, considering the budgetary constraints. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to spur growth within a company or organization without the services of a bookkeeper.
Tips For Finding The Best Bookkeeper In Vancouver
Once you recognize the immediacy of hiring a bookkeeper, the next step is to find the best prospect. Whether you’re an upstart or thriving business in Vancouver, you must follow these tips in finding a reliable bookkeeper:
Tip 1 – Ask for a referral.
Most bookkeepers are hired through referrals. This is where you talk to your business associates or friends about their experiences with accounting firms or bookkeepers they’ve worked with before.
It only takes the referral of one person for you to consider having an appointment with them. Suppose you can schedule meetings with at least three prospects. Sitting down with multiple candidates means you get to compare and see what you can expect in terms of their expertise, hiring process and professional demeanour.
Tip 2 – Look for a pro.
One advantage of going through referrals is that you already have a benchmark in choosing the most competent and professional candidate. Therefore, their skills, services, and rates should be better than their competitors.
You might also want to look for prospects with various backgrounds. Aside from bookkeepers working in traditional offices, some are freelancers servicing multiple industries at once. People working from home can give you discounts and lower rates but bear in mind that there’s a greater risk of errors when their base is outside the workplace.
Once you’ve found a viable prospect, go ahead and ask for samples of their work. You might need to invest in training materials and other resources to help them hone their skills.
Then, assist them in building a reasonable plan of action to deliver quality work without issues arising because of lack of time due to multiple tasks.
Most bookkeepers have the same job description but determine whether you’ll be satisfied with their services by assessing their commitment and enthusiasm during your first few meetings with them. Once you’re satisfied with their work and track record, it’s time to sign a contract.
Tip 4 – Choose local.
Focus your search on bookkeepers who live and ply their trade in Vancouver. Hiring a local makes sense because you can quickly meet and talk with each other regularly.
In addition, there’s no need to worry about the hassle of paying airfare and travel costs to meet them, which is usually included in their expenses as part of your hiring agreement.
When you hire an outsider, it might lead to communication issues and distance problems which can cause your business or organization to suffer losses. Your bookkeeper must know the ins and outs of your operations to produce reports that will help you assess your business.
Tip 5 – Consider industry experience.
Hire a bookkeeper with industry-specific knowledge. For example, a person working in the real estate industry might not be suitable for an architectural firm dealing with construction projects, even if they are bookkeepers by profession.
Asking for samples of their work will help you assess their ability to handle multiple tasks related to your industry. Look for references that you can contact to determine their credibility and skills in providing valuable reports for your business or organization.
Tip 6 – Hire a Bookkeeper with a CPA.
Since bookkeepers will spend most of their time in front of a computer, it’s understandable why they aren’t expected to hold an accounting degree. However, hiring one with a relevant background has its perks while working with your business or organization.
A deep understanding of accounting means the bookkeepers will deliver reports faster and with better accuracy because they’re already familiar with the terminology and concepts. They also understand what you want to accomplish in terms of your finances, which means they can give more accurate estimates on how their work will benefit your company.
Tip 7 – Discuss terms of payment.
Before you hire a bookkeeper, determine how they’ll be paid for their services. Salaried workers must have fixed rates – this covers weekly or monthly fees – but freelancers can charge the client directly by the hour or project.
Freelancers or part-time bookkeepers will most likely ask for a deposit so that you won’t go over budget, but if it’s not your usual practice to pay upfront, inform them about the terms of payment. Make sure they understand how your company handles transactions before you seal the deal.
Tip 8 – Don’t forget about communication skills.
A bookkeeper’s role is to provide accurate information that will help you assess the status of your company, especially regarding finances.
However, if they can’t communicate well with you and your staff, they’ll only create more issues caused by misunderstanding. For instance, financial reports for high-level managers might not be suitable for those at the front lines, so you’ll need a trusted bookkeeper with impeccable communication skills who can deliver reports tailored to every level and person within the organization.
Tip 9 – Assess their ability to see situations from your perspective.
A good working relationship between a business and its bookkeeper is based on mutual trust and respect, which is why you must assess their understanding of your perspective. You can do this by asking them about their experiences working for different types of organizations. If they don’t understand how your business or organization operates in terms of finance, they won’t provide the accurate reports you need.
Tip 10 – Look for someone eager to learn.
A good bookkeeper will ask questions and always want to learn more about your business or organization – its operations, people, and procedures – so they can deliver the best possible results every time.
As much as you hate to admit it, a bookkeeper is one of the keys to business success. Even if you don’t feel the necessity to hire right now, the fact that you expect your business to grow and expand means that you will need an expert to handle your books sooner or later.
Bookkeeping is a necessary business operation in today’s world. This assumption is especially true if you want to remain relevant and competitive. It does not matter whether you are a startup or a struggling enterprise. There are many bookkeeping options to consider and benefits to reap. Contact us here at Intrepidium and find out how we can help.
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