It might be easy for you to find a bookkeeper, but how do you know they are the right bookkeeper? Since you might have many choices, you must know some criteria to judge who is the right bookkeeper for your business. That’s what this post is all about.
In my previous blog, I discussed the differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper. You may be thinking, do I need a bookkeeper when I already have an accountant?
To some, the roles may appear synonymous since bookkeepers and accountants both deal with financial information. In reality, though, they manage different aspects of it. Similar to the relationships of nurse and doctor, or carpenter and architect, one handles the day-to-day while the other focuses on the big picture. Every entrepreneur should understand their particular needs and what to look for as they search for a bookkeeper. Below are some of the search criteria I have found to be particularly helpful.
Right Bookkeeper Criteria
The bookkeeper should be experienced with your accounting software and should be certified in all of your business applications. They should also be familiar with your particular area of industry.
They needs to have experience. Whether an independent contractor or operating through a firm, a great bookkeeper should have knowledge, preferably in your client’s industry and with the same accounting software you use. When interviewing bookkeeping prospects, business owners should ask in-depth about knowledge to avoid incorrect assumptions.
With enough time and attention to detail, anyone can enter numbers into a ledger, but that’s not what makes a successful bookkeeper. A skilled bookkeeper is committed to working hard for your business, spots red flags, and recognizes opportunities for improvement and growth. He/she will ask questions to allocate things correctly and will want to solve problems and implement processes that offer you and your business maximum value.
More than qualifications and good references, the best bookkeepers are people you can trust. They should be honest and transparent and should be easy to reach via phone or email. Whether employed full- or part-time, their personality should match well with your company’s culture, ensuring a good fit for all. According to the Harvard Business Review, in an interview, signs of trustworthiness are often shown by a person’s warmth and competence.
When all is said and done, follow your instincts when you hire a bookkeeper. If you do this while keeping the above criteria in mind, you should be able to find someone who will seamlessly be absorbed into the life of your business.