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5 Things to Think About When Hiring a Bookkeeper

By Enkel 

Balancing your limited time between caring for patients, overseeing staff, and managing finances can be a big challenge for clinic owners. While some clinic owners rely on their accountants to handle their books, finding the right bookkeeper can offer many more advantages – not the least of which is significant savings. A bookkeeper focuses on day-to-day record-keeping for your clinic, providing you with monthly financial statements that help you continuously monitor the clinic’s financial health and ensure you have accurate and current numbers. This offers you the cash flow visibility you need to better operate and grow your business.

Below are 5 things you should think about when hiring a bookkeeper for your clinic.

1. Do they have experience working with clinics?

When choosing a bookkeeper, you want to be sure that they have experience working in the healthcare industry, specifically with clinics like yours. A bookkeeper who’s worked with other clinics can more easily set up your chart of accounts for efficient transaction tracking. They’ll also be able to use your practice management software or EMR to record your revenue, cost of sales, and insurance billings.

A good bookkeeper will consistently keep your books up to date throughout the year and help you stay on top of sales tax obligations. Consistent, streamlined bookkeeping helps you understand how your clinic is performing. Not only will they provide insight into profit margins, but will help you understand and keep your staffing costs in check.

2. Should you hire in-house or outsource?

When selecting a bookkeeper, you really have two choices. You can either hire an in-house bookkeeper or outsource your bookkeeping to a third-party firm.

In most cases, bookkeeping isn’t (or doesn’t need to be) a full-time role, and hiring someone to work in-house can end up being quite costly. You have to pay for their deductions and vacation pay, and dedicate time to train and manage them on an ongoing basis. In the event they decide to leave the business for any reason, it can create significant disruption in your bookkeeping practices, forcing you to push the pause button until to find, hire and train someone new to take over.

Outsourcing to a professional bookkeeping firm is a way to save money, get best-in-class accounting technology, and get bookkeeping expertise with proven processes and workflows. What’s more, when you outsource to an established bookkeeping firm, you always have “backup” expertise should anything happen to your dedicated bookkeeper.

3. Do they have payroll expertise?

Not every bookkeeper is trained in handling matters related to payroll, which means you need yet another resource to help with your back office functions. If this is something that your clinic requires, you need to make sure that the bookkeeper you choose is a certified payroll compliance practitioner. Payroll comes with a lot of regulations and compliance requirements that must be done properly to avoid penalties.

Payroll professionals help you with timely and accurate direct deposit pay runs for both full-time and part-time staff, as well as contractor payments. They can also help you with payroll deductions and the generation of T4s and ROEs. And lastly, payroll professionals are always up to date with changing legislation, keeping your risks of noncompliance low.

Most bookkeeping firms have a team of payroll professionals that work seamlessly with bookkeepers to ensure all your back office functions are running smoothly.

4. Are they experienced with modern technology?

Accounting and bookkeeping technologies are constantly changing and advancing. You need to find a bookkeeper who is familiar with the latest accounting software. They’ll be able to advise you on the best-in-breed programs and tools suitable for your clinic and can help you install and set them up (and migrate your data if required).

The bookkeeper you hire should also be familiar with the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system or the practice management software you’re using to leverage the data for reporting purposes. A bookkeeper who understands these capabilities will more quickly adapt their processes to take advantage of these integrations to minimize data entry, optimize workflows, and obtain better insights into your clinic’s financial performance.

5. Can they grow with your clinic?

Many in-house bookkeepers or part-time bookkeepers juggle several clients and are unable to keep up with the growth of your business. Oh, and come tax season, you may fall to the bottom of the stack as they get spread too thin trying to get everyone ready to file. As a result, you may find that you need to hire more staff to manage your growing bookkeeping needs, adding to the overall cost of running your business.

Ideally, you want your bookkeeping capabilities to be able to scale (up or down) as your clinic does. Suppose your practice increases its number of patients, or you open a new location. Your bookkeeper needs to be able to keep up with the changes in transaction volume, staff, and expenses and provide you with reporting on the performance of each location.

Unlike in-house bookkeepers, outsourced bookkeeping teams can scale along with your company because they have more staff on hand to pick up the slack. You avoid paying for staff deductions, benefits, and other expenses, but still get the expertise and scalability you need.

Hiring a bookkeeper gives you financial clarity and peace of mind to more efficiently operate your business and places the tedious task of bookkeeping into the most capable hands.

If you are considering outsourcing your bookkeeping or would like more information on how an outsourced bookkeeping team can help your clinic, contact Enkel today. Our team of professionals can help keep your books in order, make sure your staff are paid accurately and on time, scale alongside your business, and ensure you are always ready when tax time comes along.

Please note that this is a guest post and may contain affiliate links.

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