Search online for great places to live in the United States, and Lancaster County consistently tops the list. Lancaster boasts a vibrant small business community grounded in the area’s robust manufacturing, distribution, agriculture and tourism sectors, as well as a rapid growth in the live entertainment and events technology industry. Additionally, Lancaster is steeped in history and boasts beautiful outdoor landscapes for nature lovers.
This combination of Lancaster County’s attributes – along with its proximity to Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore and Washington DC – has put the county on the map as a highly-regarded place to live and do business. Behind so much of what creates Lancaster County’s quality of life are small business owners and entrepreneurs who bring their ideas, products and services to life for the region and far beyond.
If you are one of these business owners or entrepreneurs in Lancaster, you have the benefit of being surrounded by a strong network of business advisors and professional service firms including bookkeeping firms.
Bookkeeping is often the most time-consuming administrative function that a small business owner needs to perform. It is also one of the most critical, as no business can succeed without accurate and timely bookkeeping. Meticulous and thorough bookkeeping is essential in order to properly manage cashflow, tax compliance, profitability and business planning. Without precise and thorough bookkeeping, a business is ill-equipped to make sound business decisions in the short- and long-term.
If you are a business owner in Lancaster County who is ready to consider outsourcing your bookkeeping to a professional firm, there are several key questions you should ask a prospective firm to ensure you find the right fit:
What Are Your Qualifications?
Understanding the qualifications of a bookkeeping service to meet the unique needs of your business is essential. One size does not fit all.
Look for a bookkeeping service that has experience in your industry and ask for a reference from a current client in your field. Whether you operate a small shop that caters to Lancaster’s thousands of tourists or an auto repair center or hair salon that serves area residents, finding a bookkeeper who understands the ins and outs of your specific type of business matters.
Also ask what certifications or accreditations are held by professionals at the firm.
For example, the Bookkeeping Certification which is granted by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) is recognized throughout the United States as signifying a distinguished level of bookkeeping knowledge and skill. Obtaining the Bookkeeping Certification requires completion of coursework and passing a Uniform Bookkeeping Certification Examination.
2. Do You Have Time For Me?
A busy bookkeeping service is a sign that the organization has a healthy portfolio of clients because the firm does good work. At the same time, it’s important to assess if their workload will prohibit you from receiving the level of service you need, especially if your operation will require higher levels of attention during specific times of the year.
3. What Bookkeeping Tools Do You Use?
Check what software your bookkeeping service uses. You won’t need to be a rock star user of that software, but you will need to have a basic level of competency and be comfortable using its essential functions.
Most bookkeeping firms and small businesses use QuickBooks. If you use a different bookkeeping software and want to continue using it in partnership with an outsourced bookkeeping service, ensure that your bookkeeper can accommodate you.
Most importantly, don’t go at it alone. Gift CPAs has an experienced, talented group of bookkeeping professionals in Lancaster County who know and care about the county’s small business community because it is their home too.
Get Connected Today
Contact Gift CPAs for more information on our full scope of accounting and business services. We have years of experience working with small businesses to help with bookkeeping, taxes and other business needs. Make an appointment to meet virtually or at one of our five locations in Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Myerstown, Ephrata or Lancaster!