If you are running your own business, then you'll be aware that there are three main areas to focus on: 1. Making the widgets (production) 2. Selling the widgets (marketing) and 3. Counting the widgets (finance).
Many people are great at the production side of things – doing the product and/or providing the service, because often that's what made them start the business in the first place… they spotted a gap in the market, saw there was a demand and created a business to fulfil that demand… however, what can really let you down, is not having anyone on your finance team to ensure that the business is actually making a profit, and that you're putting enough money aside for taxes and other contingencies as and when they're due.
The difficulty many face is how or where to go, to find a good bookkeeper! Some will approach their accountant to help out with their bookkeeping – and this is actually the worst possible thing that you can do. An accountant is not a bookkeeper. An accountant is likely to charge you over the odds and either send you a very junior member of staff (and charge over the odds), or you'll have to send your books into them, which is time consuming and you'll then lack control over what is actually going on inside your own business.
What you want, is for someone to come in, on site, to sort out your bookkeeping on a regular basis, in a timely manner, and to explain any notable findings to you, so that you know how your business is doing. Finding out that your business is going down the pan, three months into it's demise isn't very helpful, as its three months that you've been blissfully unaware, and three months of falling behind that you now have to recover from.
Your accountant may be able to introduce you to a good bookkeeper – by all means ask them, but then they may just want to try and keep all your work for themselves – so this is a danger.
If you are a good networker, with lots of contacts, you could put the question to your trusted contacts and see if they know of anyone. But be careful here, as sometimes, people don't want to pass on the information, because they themselves know how difficult it is to find a good bookkeeper, and they may not want to share theirs with you, for fear that their bookkeeper may then become 'too busy' for them and want to drop their account! Yes, I have heard this with my very ears.
So what is the alternative? Where could you go? Why not try http://www.FindMeABookkeeper.com – a UK network of bookkeepers who are tried and tested and who have the capacity to do your work or at least know someone who can. Created by the award winning Boogles Bookkeeping Ltd, (winner of the Accountancy International award for best bookkeeping company London), they rolled out their bookkeeping business model to cover the UK to help more business owners find a local bookkeeper that they need.