9 Things to Look for When Hiring a Professional Bookkeeper

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Bookkeeper

Are you planning to hire a professional bookkeeper? Not all bookkeepers are created equal. Use this guide to learn 9 things to look for when hiring a bookkeeper for your business.

Thinking about hiring a professional bookkeeper to help you manage the financial side of your business?

Hiring a bookkeeper can help save you time so you can manage other aspects of your company. A bookkeeper can give you insight into the big picture of your company so you can grow your company.

But what exactly does a bookkeeper do?

Some of the payroll and accounting tasks bookkeepers perform are as follows :

  • Track your sales and revenue
  • Send out payment reminders
  • Create invoices
  • Manage cash flow reporting tasks
  • Review expense reports and payment records
  • Set up payroll for new hires and employees
  • Coordinate and manage other financial transactions

While the job market draws a wide pool of bookkeepers, not all bookkeepers are alike. Their skill sets and abilities can vary greatly.

But how do you find someone worthy of the task who you can also trust with your sensitive financial data?

Here are nine tips to help you find the right bookkeeper for your business to keep your cash flow healthy

1. Define The Job Requirements

Make a list of the tasks you need help with and consider what tasks you’ll manage yourself.

Once you’ve analyzed the requirements needed for the position, you can be clear on what skills you’re looking for.

Bookkeepers need to master a variety of skills.

These include possessing excellent organizational skills, strong problem-solving abilities, good people skills since they interact with employees, business partners and vendors often on a daily basis.

Professional bookkeepers also need to work with minimal supervision. It’s a good idea to work with professionals that have accounting skills like the professionals at Scrubbed.

2. Look for Candidates Who Know Your Accounting Software

It’s good to find a bookkeeper who knows your specific industry niche and software programs.

These professionals should know the subtle nuances involved in your work.

Make sure they have used your accounting program previously on the job. It can take endless hours for you to train a bookkeeper to learn a new accounting program.

3. Research Their Professional Qualifications and Membership Affiliations

Many experienced bookkeepers maintain professional qualifications. They also hold active memberships of professional groups and organizations.

Similar to other dedicated professionals, the best bookkeepers don’t take their professional development lightly. They regularly enroll in coursework to update their skills and know the trends of the industry.

Some professional organizations include the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers [NACPB] who offers certifications.

4. Write Challenging Interview Questions That Test their Abilities

When making up interview questions, think of questions to test their knowledge  and abilities.

You can find this information through online research. Using questions during the interview process will help you learn about each candidate’s knowledge, experience and learn how they think on their feet.

These questions are a good tool to inform you how they’ll fit into your team.

5. Have Candidate’s Complete A Bookkeeping Test

If you’re not familiar with bookkeeping, research online to help you evaluate your candidate’s bookkeeping skills. These tests are available on industry websites such as NACPB.

Another good way to test an applicant’s skills is to observe while they perform bookkeeping tasks they’ll do for your company.

6. Get References From Former Employers

Professional bookkeepers have access to company bank accounts. That’s why it’s essential to ensure their trustworthiness. You need to know they will protect your private financial data.

Speak to a former employer to learn the duties of the job and if they would consider the candidate for rehire.

Make sure to call or email the references your candidate provides. Don’t let this important action slide. You need to trust the bookkeeper you hire. Contact all references, not just the first name on the list.

7. Find Bookkeepers Who Are Up To Date With Tax Laws

Hiring a bookkeeper who makes errors with tax rules and regulations can cost you a lot of money.

You’ll have to fix the financial errors, so it’s essential to prevent them at all costs. Make sure your candidates keep abreast with current tax laws and accounting regulations.

Question them about tax practices, specifically the ones associated with your industry.

8. Does Their Availability Suit Your Preferences?

If you’re outsourcing a bookkeeper as an independent contract, they’re likely to be working with other clients. When this occurs, it’s important to know their availability.

Do they meet your expectations? Discuss the hours you need them to be available, Also communicate your expected turnaround time needed for your business.

It’s important your business needs match their availability. Also, discuss a plan to reach them outside the normal business hours if you need to. Are they available evening or weekends if the need arises?

9. Hire Your Bookkeeper For A Trial Period

Working with a bookkeeper regularly can be a trial run. You might be fortunate and hire a dynamic bookkeeper the first time out the gate that satisfies your financial needs.

In contrast, it might take a couple of tries until you find the right person that’s a good fit for your company. It’s similar to the probationary period in other staff positions.

A good rule of thumb is to set up a 90-day trial period to evaluate if you and the selected candidate make a good match.

The Takeaway of Hiring A Professional Bookkeeper

Hiring the right bookkeeper can free up your time and provide you with more freedom to manage your business more efficiently.

They’ll manage vendor relationships and work in sync with your accountant to make your business more profitable.

Incorporate these nine tips to know what to look for when hiring the right applicant.

Our company provides sound financial advice, education, tips, and trends to help businesses manage their finances more effectively. Visit our website today to learn more about how you can improve your finances.