Question #4: Why do you need my statements?
When I meet with new clients I tell them I will need all the bank statements, credit card statements, lines of credit statements and the like in order to get started on their accounting project. I’m frequently asked why I don’t just take their receipts and go from there.
Bank statements provide a clear indication of what has happened with your business. Bank activity can also be printed from most bank websites, but this isn’t enough for a diligent bookkeeper. True bank statements provide a beginning balance and an ending balance so that your bookkeeper can reconcile your account each month.
Banks now offer downloads directly into your QuickBooks software, and it is possible that these downloads can save you time and money. Retail businesses, bars and restaurants, and businesses that don’t use job costing can all benefit from bank downloads. Businesses that have real estate or utilize job costing do better to have manual data entry done on a QuickBooks file to ensure that each transaction is correctly coded; bank downloads aren’t right for these types of businesses.
No matter whether you utilize bank downloads or not, it is still important that you provide any and all bank statements for accounts used in the regular conduct of business to your bookkeeper. This will ensure that they have all that they need to provide you accurate, balanced books for year-end tax preparation.
Providing statements will also allow your bookkeeper to accurately quote you a price for your accounting project, saving you both the hassle of surprise bills and overages.