Monthly Archives: May 2013

5 Things to Ask and Know Before you Hire Any Bookkeeper

How many years of experience do you have? – This is a starting point only. But recognize that someone could be very experienced at doing a poor job. So don’t assume 10, 15 or 20 years assures quality. Conversely don’t assume someone with only a few years of experience isn’t qualified.

  1. What training and education do you have? – Here I recommend you seek detailed answers. Did they only take a 12-week course in high school? Did they only work through the tutorial of the accounting software? Find out exactly how much effort they’ve put into learning their profession.
  2. How many hours of training do you take each and every year to keep honing your skills? – This is a significant distinguishing trait. Hire a bookkeeper dedicated to continual learning. They should be dedicated to getting better and better at handling your financial records.
  3. What types of clients do you serve? What industries; size of business; and types of service do you provide? – If the bookkeeper has only done books for the one-man hot dog vendor outside the mall . . . and you own a restaurant with 37 employees . . . you may want to look further. In contrast, some bookkeepers are very experienced in a variety of businesses and offer complex business advisory and consulting services. Dig deep and ask lots of questions to find the bookkeeper who can best serve your needs.
  4. Are you a Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB)? – This coveted credential is only available from the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada (IPBC). Below you’ll find more on why this credential is so important to you. The website offers a job board for companies to place an advertisement for an outsourced or employed bookkeeper.


  5. Are you willing to let me talk to some of your past and current clients?



These questions are a good start to performing your due diligence before hiring a bookkeeper. The financial life of your business is at stake, your business assets must be in good hands. It’s worth the effort to dig deep into a bookkeeper’s qualifications.

You will also have more confidence when you turn your books over to your accountant at year end. The right bookkeeper saves you money and your accountant a lot of time, expense and headaches.

A CPB credential gives you independent
proof of skill level. All CPB bookkeepers must pass a rigorous standardized national exam; adhere to a code of ethics; and take 20 continuing education hours annually. The CPB credential helps ensure your financial data is accurate the first time . . . every time.


                            Dianne Mueller, CPB





The Keys to Unlocking your Business Profits & Growth in Sage 50–Canadian Edition

You know it is important to lower taxes and increase profits. You also know that it is imperative that you have enough money in the bank to pay the bills, but do you know how to access vital information and the Key Performance Indexes to measure your business progress in Sage 50–Canadian Edition?

Let’s start with the Income Statement and Balance Sheet found in the report center on the home page.

The Income Statement indicates:

  • Which expenses are paying you back and should be increased.
  • Which expenses should be cut back or eliminated.
  • Which products are profitable and which are not.

The Balance Sheet indicates:

  • What your business owns – Assets
  • What you business owes – Liabilities (or financial obligation)
  • Shareholder or Owners Equity – ROI (return on investment)

They also provide Key Comparisons information like:

  • Last month vs. current month.
  • Last quarter vs. current quarter.
  • Year to date. Year to date by month.
  • Current month to same month last year.
  • Current quarter to same quarter last year.

Combining these two statement numbers will indicate important ratios you can use to manage your success.

Increase your profits by utilizing the Business Performance Monitoring feature:

The key financial ratios of liquidity, efficiency, operating, financing and profitability are all at your finger tips in Sage 50–Canadian Edition. The software provides a detailed performance measurement explanation and graph to help you analyze the information in an easy to understand format.

You will find this Key Business Performance information in the Daily Business Manager under the Business Assistant Menu on the home page. Click on the radio button indicating Business Performance. To get a complete list of all ratios available go to the view menu and chose options. You are able to add any that do not appear on the main page to your customizable list. (See screen shots below)

It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses, manage spending and credit. Have money when you need it. These are all important ratios that Sage 50 helps you to reach and manage greater success.

Dianne Mueller CPB

Certified Sage Trainer

Soma Small Business Solutions