Wcalculator1hen it comes to trusting the accounts of your small business to a bookkeeper, you need to look for two things: a high level of trust and a proven level of capability.

If either one is missing, you will not get the service that you need. Worse still, you could lose some of your hard-earned money to either fraud or ignorance.

That’s why the selection of your bookkeeper, their credentials, and the services they can provide are vital, whether you are outsourcing your bookkeeping or using an in-house provider.

Let’s talk first about how to avoid falling victim to fraud.

According to the Competition Bureau of Canada, thousands of Canadians, including small business owners, are defrauded each year. Employees who steal from their bosses are just one example of how fraud occurs, but if it happens to your business, it can be devastating.

The way most thievery from a employee occurs is when they take money from the business and do an electronic transfer of it to their own bank accounts. Others simply steal cash.
When fraud is occurring from an in-house office “manager”, it is often years before it is detected. When that person suddenly becomes ill or has an accident and someone else is asked to step in, the new person discovers the fraud.

Do your best to avoid fraudsters by being very meticulous in your hiring protocols. Do an extensive check on your potential office manager/bookkeeper, ensuring their references are sound and their credentials are authentic.
Protect your firm by insisting that no financial action such as cheque signing can take place without at least two signatures needed.

The best way to protect yourself is to proactively look at your financial reports and books in a random pattern. If you are outsourcing your bookkeeping, look over all reports you receive and ensure that everything is in order.

Outsourcing firms have a responsibility to make sure you consistently have up-to-date financial information about your company at your fingertips.

Among the capabilities we offer at Piligrim Accounting Inc., for example, are:

– Preparing your year-end file for your Certified Professional Accountant

– Providing you with a variety of comprehensive reports throughout the year

– Helping your firm in rebuilding your books

– Working on month-end adjusting and reconciliations

– Offering a general review of your records if you or a member of your staff builds them

– Providing valuable advice on what needs to be changed on the spot to comply with Canada Revenue Agency regulations

– Compiling your books for Canada Revenue Agency audits

We also provide onsite bookkeeping and accounting personally to clients in the Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Markham, North York, Aurora and Newmarket areas of Ontario.

The advantage of using an outsourced bookkeeper is that you have technical support 24/7 and access to your files from anywhere at any time. Your information is always up to date.

Not only that, but should you lose your laptop or one of your authorized employees misplaces their tablet or Smartphone, there is no worry about the security of your financial data. It can only be accessed using a secure login, so nobody else can gain access to your private papers.

In case of a power outage in a snowstorm, or a flood hitting your office, your data is safely stores off-site.

Certified professional bookkeeper and certified tax specialist Elena Ivanova is managing director of Piligrim Accounting Inc., a national accounting and tax preparation service based in Richmond Hill, Ontario. You can reach her at info@piligrim-accounting.com.