Posted by: The Ellis Team

Choosing the ideal bookkeeper

Finding the right bookkeeper for your business can enable you to keep on top of your day-to-day bookkeeping responsibilities, as well as ensure your records are kept fully compliant with statutory regulations. The right firm can also create time and space for business owners to concentrate on growth or development or improve work-life balance.

So how do you go about choosing the ideal bookkeeper for you and your business? 

What are your business needs?

Think about what you need, how you like to work and what is important to you. How much work is there? How big is your business and how much work/time is likely to be involved in taking care of the books? What do you need from your bookkeeper? Do you already have software in place and are your books up to date?

The volume of work and data entry can vary vastly depending on the nature of your business so consider this too. When you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a clearer idea of exactly what you need and will be in a strong position to choose a bookkeeper who is the right fit for your business.


Do you prefer face-to-face meetings or are you happy with online and phone calls? This might determine whether your search for the perfect bookkeeper is driven in part by where they are based.

Some people are happy working virtually and might even have a bookkeeper on the other side of the world. Others find peace of mind in the knowledge that their bookkeeper is in the same time zone and can meet them in person if they need to.

Whatever your preference be clear so that when you appoint someone, they understand exactly what your expectations are. Think about how often you would like them to communicate with you and whether you prefer email, phone calls, in-person meetings or video calls. Have an idea of how often you would like to see figures and whether you will need to discuss with them monthly or quarterly for example.

Relevant experience and qualifications

Look for a bookkeeper with experience and qualifications. Check if they are affiliated with a professional body.  Ideally, you want to work with someone who has experience and a good understanding of your industry or of working with businesses of a similar size.

If you are a charity or CIC, for example, you might want to look for someone with specific experience of working with these types of organisations. If you specialise in a particular niche, someone with experience and knowledge of your niche might be what you need.

Attention to detail 

When it comes to bookkeeping, you want someone with an eye for detail. Your bookkeeper will be responsible for keeping accurate records of all your business’s day-to-day transactions. It’s an important role and accuracy is key.

Trust and reputation 

Perhaps most importantly you need to find a firm that you trust. They will be dealing with every aspect of your business’s finances, so this is an absolute priority.

Recommendations from other business owners and managers will help paint a picture of the sort of service a bookkeeping firm can provide. If you are part of any business networks such as your local chamber, then ask your connections for recommendations. It may also be worth checking online reviews on Google and other review sites. Do they have longstanding, happy clients?

If you think you’ve found the right person or accountancy firm, then don’t be afraid to ask for references and testimonials from existing clients before committing.


Whilst cost is an important factor, it is important to ascertain exactly what is included in a bookkeeping service. Offerings can vary from firm to firm so be sure to compare like for like. You could incur additional charges if you choose a service which isn’t adequate for your needs. 

One thing to be aware of is online services offering cost-effective solutions but no personal service. Be cautious, if something sounds too good to be true then it might be a red flag. Do your research, ask lots of questions, and find out how long they have been established and if they retain their clients over time.

Are you looking for bookkeeping services? At Ellis & Co we can help. Find out more about our bookkeeping service here or simply complete our online contact form.

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