How to Start with a New Bookkeeper! Documents You Need
I’m so excited that you’re ready to start with a new bookkeeper! Yaaaaay!
Culture Makers (which is what I call us small biz owners who are working to change the world!) often decide that they want to start with a new bookkeeper when they:
- start a new business,
- a new section of their business,
- make more money or
- are just out of time to do the bookkeeping themselves.
After deciding on the who, and when, for how much, the next big bookkeeping question is: What do I need to give my shiny new bookkeeper in order for us to work together?
That’s a great question!
Starting your bookkeeping business off on the right foot is a big deal!
I’ve put together a list of documents that you’ll definitely and one that you might need in starting with a new bookkeeper.
Keep in mind that you’ll need these documents starting as of the date of either: the opening of the business or the date of beginning the new records (whether you’re choosing QuickBooks, Xero, Excel, or some other method, you’ll have to choose a starting date.
Choosing a Start Date for your Bookkeeping
The Documents You Need to Gather to Start Your Bookkeeping!
There are some things that you definitely need and many things that you might need. This is a list focused on service providers (Culture Makers, I got you!).
If you work with us, you get a detailed list of everything you need to bring to an on-boarding/kick off meeting!
The Must Have Bookkeeping Documents:
- Business bank statements (checking, savings, etc.)
- Business loan information (lines of credit, personal loans/equity, asset purchases, etc.)
- Business credit card statements
- Business expenditures made with personal funds (check, cash, credit card)
- Subcontractor/vendor information (name, address, taxpayer’s identification # either EIN or SSN)
- Customer/client information (name, address and how much they owe you)
- Business taxpayer’s identification numbers (federal & state)
- State & Federal applications for filing online payroll taxes
- Employee information for payroll tax returns
- Federal and state tax returns for previous year’s filing, if applicable
- CPA, tax attorney or tax professional’s contact information, if you have one!
Things you MIGHT need depending on your bank and how much they keep online:
- Checkbook stubs or checkbook register with vendor names, dates, and amount information.
- Copies of deposits including descriptions of income
- Receipts or access to receipts for expenses
- Car/mileage logs
- Depreciation information for assets
So that’s a lot of things.
These are primarily documents that you can find in your filing cabinet (if you still have one of those) or can them get from your bank. If you’re looking for payroll information, you can get that from your payroll provider.
Remember that institutions that have your financial information have to keep it for at least 7 years. They might not always have it up on their website and immediately available, but they have to keep it. And with some inquiry, you should be able to have access to it.
Some documents might take a bit more work.
If you want documents from closed accounts for example, you might have to get by calling the bank. Typically then the bank physically mails them to you (such a drag in this paperless world). But sadly, them’s the breaks.
Someday I hope we live in a world where we don’t have to kill trees to have our financial information.
Getting your documents together before yuo start working with your bookkeeper will save you time and money with your new team member.
Can my Bookkeeper Help Me?
There are some documents that your bookkeeper can help you get. You’ll need to provide them access to the accounts for that to happen. So if you don’t yet have your online access set up, that’s off the table. Some bookkeepers can sit with you while you do this. But really the best way to handle this is to make this call yourself or to have your handy administrative support person help you get what you need.
Finally, Make Sure that you Set Expectations for your Bookkeeper early!
Do you need your Profit and Loss by a certain date each month? Do you know that the best way to reach you is by phone and not email?
Set yourself and your bookkeeper up for success by telling them exactly what you need from them and when. But make sure that when is as early as you can. Ee bookkeeping types are happy to get you information but we need to know the deadline far enough in advance that we can get it to you in a timely way for you to review the work and give feedback.
Usually changes will need to be made to reporting – no one gets it perfect on the first pass. So make sure to add a few days in there for you to review the work and give feedback and the bookkeeper to make updates!
Remember this is a partnership! Your bookkeeper wants to help you and making clear deadlines with lots of notice and time for changes will help you and your bookkeeper be an awesome team!
Ok, now that you have your documents together, you might also like: