“Should I find a local bookkeeper?” Many people want to know what to look for in a bookkeeper, and where to find them. When you are searching for a good bookkeeper and accountant, our advice would always be to keep it local. You bookkeeper and accountant will be an essential part of your business, keeping track of cashflow, sorting out your taxes and generally taking care of your finances. You will inevitably build up a relationship with them over time, which is very important, forming strong foundations for your business correspondence. When your accountant is based locally, it’s much easier to receive a bespoke and personal service.

There is nothing stopping you from hiring a bookkeeper who is based further away, but there are also many reasons why hiring a local bookkeeper will be beneficial for your business. Where possible, we would recommend that your hire a bookkeeper who is local, knowledgeable and on hand in your area, to help you build your business.

What can a bookkeeper do for you?

Perhaps you don’t have a bookkeeper at the moment and you’re wondering if it’s worth the money. Or perhaps you haven’t been getting the most out of your bookkeeping services and you’re not sure of the value a bookkeeper can provide. If you choose the right bookkeeper, they can help you in countless ways, freeing up your time so you can concentrate on running your business. They can also help save you money – did you know that your accountancy fees are tax deductible? The best accountancy practices and bookkeepers will give you invaluable advice.

To help keep track of your day-to-day finances, a bookkeeper can:

Keep a balance sheet – this gives details of revenue and expenses at a particular point in time, to keep you up to date

Maintain purchase ledgers – they can look after your ‘accounts payable’ and maintain accounts for your suppliers

Give you income statements – these will show your revenue against expenses, so you know your profit or loss

Provide cash flow statements – you will know how much money is leaving and coming into your business

During a reporting period, a bookkeeper can provide a statement of changes in equity, which shows changes in retained earnings and share capital.

They can also use the records they keep to complete and submit tax returns on your behalf. With the advent of Making Tax Digital, your bookkeeper can advise you on keeping all records digitally and submitting them to HMRC in the correct manner.

Why should you choose a local bookkeeper?

Hiring a local bookkeeper is the simple and convenient way to keep track of your business finances. And because they’re local to you, it will be easier to complete the tasks you need to achieve.

These are some of the reasons why we advocate local bookkeeping services:

It’s easier to work together. Every good bookkeeper should offer face-to-face advice and support when you need it. If they are close by, you can reach them quickly and easily if problems arise, or if you just need something explaining in person. Our clients are always welcome in our Kent and Surrey offices and often pop in for a chat.

You can keep your costs down. There won’t be high travel costs if you need to go and see your bookkeeper, allowing you to have meetings with them whenever you need to.

They may be able to offer you other services, too. With some accountancy and business services, it’s much better to use the options provided by a local business. This is especially true if you require company secretarial services , where you can use the accountant’s address to register your business.

Support other businesses in your area. It’s great to be a local business and we all love the areas where we are based. Working with other local businesses can give you a real sense of community – businesses should be there for each other. We are proud to play an active part in the areas of Chislehurst, Kent and Kenley, Surrey, where our two practices are based.

How to find a bookkeeper who is local to you

If you are in the market for a new bookkeeper, these are some of the ways you can find the perfect financial partner for your business:

  • Networking. Get out and about in your local area and meet other likeminded businesspeople.
  • Listening to recommendations. Ask those around you if they work with a good bookkeeper.
  • Looking online. The internet will present you with many options. Take a look at their websites to see what they offer.
  • Meeting the bookkeeper face to face. Nothing compares to a chat in person. Arrange a meeting for an initial discussion.

Is it difficult to switch from my current bookkeeper?

Not at all! Many people are put off from switching their accountants or bookkeepers due to the misconception that it will be a long and arduous process. This simply isn’t the case; all you need to do is notify your service provider that you are going to be moving. If you feel awkward about saying you’re unhappy with the service, or you’re concerned about damaging working relationships, you don’t need to go into any great level of detail. It’s perfectly acceptable to say that you have found a bookkeeper closer to home, or a bookkeeper who offers better rates for your business.

If you would like some help with notifying your current bookkeeper that you will be moving your services away from them, we can provide you with a template letter. You can then personalise this to make it right for your business and current situation. Do be aware that you may have to give your current bookkeeper or accountant some notice if you are in a contract with them, but once this notice has been seen through, you are free to move your services wherever you please.

How to find a good bookkeeper – personalised advice from Bells Accountants

“The relationship you have with your bookkeeper is integral to your success as a business” says Joanne Bell, Director of Bells Accountants. “When you know and trust your bookkeeper, you will be much happier to hand your financial record keeping over to them. We often meet business owners who are nervous about appointing a new bookkeeper, and rightly so – the job carried out by accountants and bookkeepers is essential, and nobody wants their business to suffer. Make sure you meet your bookkeeper or accountant before making any decisions and don’t let yourself feel rushed. You need to be completely comfortable with your decision.”

Bells Accountants – local bookkeepers and accountants

At Bells Accountants, we never rush you. Our clients are welcome to pop in for a chat, or to book a meeting whenever they need to. We don’t charge by the hour and your bookkeeping or accountancy package includes everything you need.

We are part of a thriving local network of businesses in Kent and Surrey. We have branches in Chislehurst and Kenley, working closely with clients who have a range of bookkeeping and accountancy needs. Our founder and director, Joanne Bell, was named Kent Business Women of the Year 2019 , so we really know and understand the world of business. Please feel free to chat to us, any time.