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7 Questions to Ask Bookkeepers for Perfect Offshore Partnership

bookkeeping questions

“What to ask a bookkeeper before hiring?” is one of the most commonly asked questions by businesses and CPAs that are planning to outsource. And it’s pretty clear why. As businesses thrive, bookkeeping and accounting become more challenging and time-consuming

Engaging a bookkeeping agency will empower your company to manage routine bookkeeping work without investing in accounting staff and office resources. But the process of finding and hiring the right bookkeeping partner is not easy.

A lot of businesses and accounting firms don’t know what questions they should ask before hiring a team of offshore bookkeepers. If you are one of them, keep reading!

In this blog, Finsmart will share 7 important bookkeeping questions crucial to finding the perfect offshore accounting partner for your organization. Read on!

#1 What is the scope of your bookkeeping services? 

Now some of you might feel this is too basic a question but there is a huge deviation between the services offered by bookkeeping firms across the globe. While some agencies function like full-fledged bookkeeping and accounting department, others offer a limited number of services.

Identify your unique bookkeeping requirements first so that you don’t end up dissatisfied at the end of the month. Afterward, ask what kind of services and support will be offered.

A seasoned bookkeeping outsourcing company usually takes care of the following tasks:

  • Bank and credit card reconciliation.
  • Reduce your delivery cost.
  • Update your Book of Accounts on time.
  • Work like the extension of your staff.
  • Enter accounting entries for your business including sales entry, purchase entry, bank receipts, and bank payment entry in automated software.
  • Prepare tax returns for clients.
  • Explain bookkeeping reports and tell the story behind all numbers.

#2 How much experience does my offshore bookkeeping team have? 

Bookkeeping is no child’s play and nothing less than an experienced team of bookkeepers can get the job done. While interviewing candidates, you will come across talent with associate degrees; some will have diplomas as well. Some bookkeepers are whizzes while others are generalists.

A generalist can handle the day-to-day workload but a whizzy can handle more challenging and consequential aspects of your business bookkeeping. Choose your bookkeeping talent based on your accounting goals.

#3 How familiar is your bookkeeping outsourcing company with my industry? 

This is literally one of the most important questions to ask a bookkeeper during an interview! Having industry-specific know-how provides a competitive edge to any business. Ask your shortlisted bookkeepers whether they have earlier worked for the same industry as yours.

Since bookkeeping practices are different in some industries, it is possible that a bookkeeper who has the proficiency to work well in one industry might fail to work in your industry. Therefore, we recommend confirming industry-specific expertise.

Ask bookkeeping vendors to share references of similar businesses they have worked for. Also, double-check expertise by asking bookkeepers to give examples of common bookkeeping issues concerning your industry and what practices and techniques they will use to resolve them.

Best bookkeeping outsourcing services in India for accounting firms and CPAs.

#4 Which bookkeeping technologies are you proficient in? 

It’s true that manual bookkeeping still exists but most bookkeeping tasks nowadays are controlled and executed using accounting software. This has improved the bookkeeper’s ability to manage finance and accounting data efficiently and effectively.

During the interview, ask the shortlisted bookkeeping firms if they embrace the use of modern bookkeeping technologies. When the answer comes affirmative, ask about the technologies they have worked with.

Bookkeepers at Finsmart work with a wide range of software including Quickbooks, Zero, Sage, Tally, and Oracle. By partnering with us, you will get an unparalleled and seamless bookkeeping experience.

Watch what the leading bookkeeping firm of South Florida has to say about Finsmart:

#5 How do you communicate with your clients and what kind of support is rendered? 

Effective communication is crucial for any business that deals with employees as well as third-party vendors. And since bookkeeping is a congenital function of any accounting firm or international business, having good communication skills and the right collaboration tools in this area is almost obligatory.

Ask your offshore bookkeeping company about channels it uses to promote collaboration and manage conversations. A lot of offshore bookkeepers nowadays are making the most of the following communication tools:

  • Slack and WhatsApp for instant communication
  • Zoho and Asana for business project management
  • Basecamp and ClickUp for collaboration
  • Google Meet, Skype, and Zoom for video communication

#6 How many years of experience do you have in bookkeeping and accounting? 

Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”. Working with a bookkeeper who never tackled a range of accounting and bookkeeping issues is less rewarding. Consider engaging an outsourced bookkeeper who has worked on multiple projects and has at least 10+ years of experience.

During the interview, look for tech familiarity, analytical skills, industry know-how, and strong attention to detail. You can ask the shortlisted candidates the following questions for further clarity:

What work have you previously done interacting with your clients? How exactly did you help them understand the
bookkeeping numbers?

  • What is your experience working under tight deadlines as a bookkeeper?
  • How would you describe a bookkeeper’s relationship with a business?

Asking questions like these during the interview will help you learn about your bookkeeper’s expertise and also help figure out strengths as well as weaknesses.

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#7 What are your delivery and turnaround times? 

Another important question to ask an offshore bookkeeper during the outsourcing interview. A common complaint that most businesses make about bookkeepers is that they are slow to respond to emails and that they don’t deliver assigned bookkeeping tasks before the given deadline.

While putting questions to selected bookkeeping candidates during the interview, find out when you can expect your monthly reports. Also, ask about the expected response time of the bookkeeping outsourcing provider for your bookkeeping request, corrections, questions, and queries.

Questions to Ask Bookkeeper During Interview: Final Words

Above are some questions that you can ask bookkeepers during the interview for a perfect offshore partnership. Asking these questions will help you determine the right bookkeeping fit for your business. Although the bookkeeping outsourcing process isn’t going to be easy, proceed with patience and put your trust in expertise to hire the right team.

With our insights, we are certain you will be able to hire the right team of bookkeepers for your business! Got questions to ask? Send them to and have them answered by our accounting and payroll experts.

Check out our recent blogs and resources:

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Maanoj Shah

Maanoj Shah

Director Growth Strategy & Alliance at Finsmart Accounting

1. Thriving in the Future of Accounting: Strategies for CPA Firms to Stay Ahead 2. The Art of Managing Client Expectations in CPA & Accounting Industry 3. Adapting Emerging Technologies in Your CPA Firm: 2023 Guide 4. Navigating Accounting Regulatory Landscape: A Challenge for CPA firms

Maanoj Shah is a finance and outsourcing expert with strong Business Strategy and Scaling-up experience. Over the last 20 years, he has incubated multiple businesses and helped build global enterprises in verticals as diversified as hospitality, technology, and healthcare.

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