Tips for Hiring a Bookkeeper

Tips for hiring a bookkeeper

When you have someone to help you with the accounting side of your business it frees you up to focus on what you do best. Why did you get started in your business in the first place? I’ll bet it wasn’t to create invoices, pay bills and reconcile bank accounts. Having someone help you with your accounting can be the help you need that really helps you sleep at night.

Immediate benefits of having a bookkeeper:

  • You’ll know exactly how much cash you have
  • You’ll know exactly what bills are coming due
  • You’ll know exactly which customers haven’t paid you and when those payments are due
  • You’ll know the results of your efforts to date – are you making money?

Additional benefits of having a bookkeeper:

  • You don’t have to try to “remember” everything because it is all documented in your system
  • You have someone that understands the routine functions of your business
  • You have someone that can interact with your customers and vendors for administrative reasons
  • You have someone that can organize your communications with outside parties

All of these benefits can be great! They can give you the time you need to focus on your business and not be bogged down with the stress of incomplete books and records. BUT….if you hire the wrong person or company your problems can be bigger than before you started. It is important to hire the right service. If you are not an accountant or bookkeeper you may not know the questions to ask. Below I have listed 7 steps to hiring a bookkeeper. If possible try to have an accountant or bookkeeper with you to help interpret their responses.

1. Be very clear on the services you are requesting (for example):

  • Perform invoice posting for Accounts Payable
  • Perform invoice posting for Sales/ Accounts Receivable
  • Prepare bank reconciliations
  • Assist outside payroll service by compiling employee data and recording payroll
  • Generate monthly financials (Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss Statement)
  • Identify anything that happened during the month that you consider out of the ordinary
  • Review Accounts Payable aging and Accounts Receivable aging with the owner regularly

2. Make sure that the applicant has experience with the software your company is using.

3, Ask for professional references and check them! When you check the references ask very specific questions about the candidate’s reliability and skills.

4. Prepare a list of interview questions that will allow the candidate to convey their work attitude.

5. Find a way to test their skills. If you do not have anyone that can assess the candidate look for ways to evaluate them on-line. For example: http://certifiedpublicbookkeeper.org/free-resources.cfm and ask them to take the Free Bookkeeper Certification Practice Test. Or http://www.bookkeepingtesting.com/practice-skills-tests.html and look for an applicable Skill Test.

6. Make sure they can offer a work schedule that will allow them to meet your deadlines

7. Start with a two-month trial period – Just in case!

Karen Dzupinka – WE WANT TO SEE YOU SUCCEED!!

9 thoughts on “Tips for Hiring a Bookkeeper”

  1. I like that you talked about how hiring a bookkeeper can help you to manage your accounting which can make everything easier for you. I also like that you enumerated the benefits of hiring a bookkeeper. Among your list, what appealed to me the most is when you talked about how hiring a bookkeeper can help you to determine if you’re making a profit out of your business. My mother is looking to open a business by the end of the year, and it’s important for her to monitor her business’ profits in order to make sure that she’s making money out of her business. I will make sure to share your blog with her so she can consider hiring a bookkeeper.

  2. I can see why checking the references provided would be a good idea. It seems like a good way to get more insight on the bookkeeper. Even though it might take a little time to do that, it seems worth the effort.

  3. Hi there, thanks for the great tips by the way. However, I do have a
    question that I think you could answer for me. I was wondering should a
    small business use a bookkeeper all year around? If you could give me some
    insight I would greatly appreciate it!

  4. You made a good point when you said to ask for professional references when planning to hire the services of a bookkeeper. It is recommended that you ask a list of some of the names of the bookkeeper’s most recent clients for you to gather some feedback regarding their own personal experience. The responses they would provide would somehow give you an indication if the bookkeeper meets your expectations and qualifications. If I were to hire professional bookkeeping services, I would make sure to keep this in mind. Thanks.

  5. What I liked the most was when you said that hiring a bookkeeper will allow me to figure out whether or not my efforts were working out and if I really am making money. I was planning to start my own restaurant next month, and I thought that I already have everything prepared. As it turns out, I am still missing one vital part necessary for the success of my business– a bookkeeper. Thanks. I’ll outsource one right away.

  6. Of the things that you mentioned, the part that I liked the most was how you suggested preparing a list of interview questions for the prospective bookkeeper in order to determine their working attitude. That’s an advice that I really liked considering that working attitude was important to different sectors of business as well. I actually don’t have a company or a business yet, but I do dream of starting one in the near future. It’s good practice to begin preparing as early as possible, so I’m researching. Thank you for the tips.

  7. It’s awesome that this article talked about preparing a list of questions that will allow the candidate to convey their work attitude. If my dad were a business owner looking to hire a bookkeeping service I think he would find great value in that tip. I think I will talk to him about it just in case he is ever in need.

  8. The best part of your article for me is when you talked about how you can get an overview of what your business’ earnings are by hiring a bookkeeper. My sister is dreaming of owning a business in the future. It’s important for her to make sure that she’ll be aware whether or not her business is earning the profit that she’s expecting. This is to make sure that she can think of the best ways to boost the productivity of her business. I will make sure to share your blog with my sister so she can consider hiring a bookkeeper. Thanks!

  9. You make a good point that if you get a bookkeeper you will have someone working with you who can let you know how much money you have and when your bills are due. I’d think that they’d also help you and your employees focus more on your business and not have to worry too much about the money. They’d just know that a pro has it all under control. It seems like there are a lot of great reasons to get a general bookkeeper for your business.

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