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!!

33 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.

  10. It did catch my attention when you said that by hiring a bookkeeper, you will get an overall view if your business is making money. This is something that I’ll be sure to remember because I’m looking to own a small business in the future. My main goal is to ensure that I will be informed of my business’ financial status, so it will make sense for me to hire a bookkeeper. Thanks!

  11. I appreciate the list of things that a bookkeeper can help you keep track of, like what bills are due, and how much cash you actually have. If I had my own business, I would want to have a bookkeeper to help me organize things like that so that I could concentrate on other aspects of the business. It seems like a good idea to have someone dedicated solely to keeping track of the money going in and out of a business.

  12. I liked that you pointed out that a bookkeeper will help you stay really well organized. I am terrible at keep track of things. Personally, I would want a professional to handle bookkeeping for me because I would be really scared of messing it up.

  13. It does help to be very clear on what services you need from the bookkeeper. This will help you make sure that you are hiring the right one for your needs. After all, you will want to make sure that you are choosing one that can provide your business with all of the services you want.

  14. My brother and I are thinking of starting a business, but neither of us are good at tracking finances. I like how you suggest asking for professional references to check up on before hiring a bookkeeper. I’d definitely feel better hiring a bookkeeper that has plenty of positive references from past employers or clients.

  15. I like what you said about making sure that the applicant has experience with the software that your business uses. I think that bookkeeping services are essential in order to maintain the current status of your financial records. If I were to need such services, I would make sure to contact an accounting firm that is known for their reliable employees.

  16. I found it interesting that you state that you will know exactly how much you owe and exactly how much you have. My brother owns a growing business and is starting to want help with managing his finances. I will send him this information so he can start looking into a small business accounting firm to help him out.

  17. I really like how you said that a bookkeeper can help you interact with customers and vendors for administrative reasons. My brother recently opened his own business that specializes in selling insurance to his clients. It might be beneficial for him to hire a bookkeeper who can help him keep his finances and records in order.

  18. I like that you state that by using a bookkeeper you will always know exactly how much money you have. My brother owns a growing business and it’s becoming more difficult for him to handle all of the money by himself. I will send him this information so he can consider hiring a bookkeeper to help him.

  19. It’s true that a bookkeeper can give you the time needed to focus on your business. My mom needs someone to remind her about the clients that have and haven’t paid. I will help her find the right bookkeeper that ould fit her business.

  20. Hiring a bookkeeper service even for a small business is indeed very essential. They can give you the time you need to focus on your business and they can reduce the stress of incomplete books and records. I’ll bear in mind that I need to look for a professional with high credentials and to review their reliability and skills. Cheers!

  21. I like how you mentioned that you will know how much cash you have and when bills are due1 My husband was telling me last night how he wanted to hire one for his office but didn’t know much about them. I’ll make sure to pass this information along to him so he can know the benefits of hiring a bookkeeper.

  22. It’s interesting to know that hiring a bookkeeper for your business will allow you to know exactly how much cash you have. My husband is thinking about hiring somebody to help him with his business, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about the benefits of hiring a bookkeeper for his business and see if it helps.

  23. I found it interesting when you said that every business owner should focus on accounting to avoid the company from sinking instead of expanding. I am planning to put up my own business next month and I want to make sure that the receivables, payables, and marketing expenses are accurately being accounted to avoid confusion. It is said here that hiring an accounting service will be a big help in managing and recording everyday expenses, as well as budgeting the finances in the upcoming weeks.

  24. You made an interesting point when you talked about how one of the advantages of having a bookkeeper is that they can help you know when your bills are due. I have a bad memory and sometimes I have to pay extra fees on my bills because they are late. It seems like hiring a bookkeeper would benefit me greatly.

  25. It’s good to know that a bookkeeper could help me see whether my business is making enough money or not. My brother and I are thinking of going in on a business together next year when it starts getting warmer again. We’re going to probably look for a bookkeeping service to help us get things started right, and we’ll probably use one of those free tests you recommend to make sure we can trust who we hire to do it well.

  26. It’s great that bookkeepers can give you access to someone that understands the routine functions of your business. My sister has been telling me about how she wants to open a store in the coming year, and she wants to make sure that she can keep her finances organized. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for professionals who can help her with this.

  27. Thanks for these tips on how to find a good bookkeeper. I agree that you want to find someone who has experience with your business first. My husband and I are looking for a bookkeeper, so we’ll have to check their experience.

  28. I like how you mentioned that you will know how much cash you have! My brother and husband are wanting to open up a business in a couple of months together and they are wanting to get help with finances. I’ll make sure to pass this information along to them so they can look into hiring a bookkeeper!

  29. My sister and I just started an online shop, although things are fine, we’re currently having difficulty handling the finances. Therefore, both of us have decided that it’s best to hire a bookkeeping service. We’ll remember to prepare invoice postings for our accounts payable and prepare the bank reconciliations.

  30. It caught my attention when you said that having a bookkeeper will give us more time to focus on our business and reduce stress. The small business I work for wants to focus on attracting more customers this year. I’m glad I read your article so I can suggest the idea of working with a business consulting service that offers bookkeeping!

  31. I loved that you elaborated on the importance of hiring bookkeeping to help you understand how much cash you have. My husband and I are thinking about how to improve his company’s financing process, and we are looking for advice to help him. I will let him know about the benefits of hiring a bookkeeping professional to help him.

  32. Thank you for explaining that when you have someone who is keeping track of your books, you can know exactly how much cash you have as well as which customers you still need to collect from. My dad heard of a bookstore that handled their own finances and had to shut down because they didn’t know where their money was going. I think all businesses should use an accounting service they trust so they can focus more on their own business.

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