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!!