The job of a bookkeeper is more than just recording transactions – it’s about being a part of the growth and even the day-to-day operations of a business. It’s about maintaining and regulating an organized process in order to help ensure that the business continues towards success. That’s why when looking for a bookkeeper, you want to find someone who will be committed to helping your business succeed and keep things running smoothly.
If you’re looking to hire a bookkeeper, first off, congratulations, this is one of the best decisions you can make for the betterment of your business, but here is what you should be looking for in your bookkeeper.
What Is The Bookkeeper’s Reputation?
To begin with, look at how previous clients feel about their accounts after working with the bookkeeper: from detailed reporting to efficiency in processing payments, make sure they’re happy with the time spent on getting things done.
What Is Their Experience?
You want a professional who knows how to handle finances, but you also want someone who is experienced in working with your specific business: what is their experience with managing small businesses like yours, and does it fit with your overall goals for growth? Do they have experience dealing with similar clientele as you – small businesses are all different in what they need assistance with, having a bookkeeper with a history of experience can help ensure that they’re already comfortable working with your particular situation. An existing knowledge of your industry can be helpful because this means that they’ve worked with other businesses like yours before, or have an intrinsic interest in what you’re doing. This prior knowledge will help them understand your situation (and any potential issues) right off the bat.
How Can They Contribute To The Business?
Aside from their overall reputation, you want to know what the best ways for them to contribute are. How many years have they been in business? What is their training and background like? You want to make sure that the bookkeeper will be able to provide value and insight into your business alongside managing the financial records; after all, it’s important that they work well with other members of staff while still being able to bring something special in terms of contributions.
What Do They Charge For Their Services?
When comparing quotes from different professionals, make sure not only do they offer competitive rates, but also it’s within your budget. It can be easy to get overexcited by having found a bargain, so make sure that the price fits with what you were expecting and also makes sense for your business.
What Is Their Communication Like?
If you want someone who is going to be an active part of making your business grow, then communication should be clear throughout all stages of getting things set up – from speaking with them on the phone to drafting a contract, it helps to build rapport when everyone involved feels like they’re being heard through everything. On top of this, continued communication is key in order to check that everything is working as intended: make sure there are no problems or concerns coming up, and if there are any clear communication issues, find a different bookkeeper.
How Do They Deal With Errors?
Mistakes are going to happen – there’s no way around it, and you don’t always need someone who has an air of infallibility about them. The point is that when errors do occur, how does the bookkeeper deal with them? Is there a process in place for error correction or a simple fix that can have been incorrect in the first place? Trust your gut feeling here: if they’re willing to acknowledge things when they go wrong, then it’s likely an honest mistake, but if they expect everything to always be perfect or deny any responsibility for errors, then that is a warning flag.
What Services Do They Provide?
Sure, a bookkeeper’s job is to keep accurate records, but what else do they do? Look into the services they offer as well – do they specialize in things that will help benefit your particular situation? Are they able to provide value-added services like payroll or tax planning assistance? These kinds of details can go a long way to making sure that the bookkeeper works directly towards helping your business stay strong.
Make sure they outline exactly what services and deliverables. Make sure they set expectations of all the things you will be getting from them: no matter what kind of services you need (or don’t need) – it’s important that there are clear expectations about what work is going to be done, how often, and when it needs to get done.
What Will They Do With The Data They Collect?
You want them not only to gather up all of the financial records but also presenting useful information for your business: do they create quarterly or yearly reports for you? If so, what kind of information does it contain, and is it presented in an easy-to-understand format? Do they offer specialized services like cash flow or budgeting analysis to help you take your business further and use the data that they have gathered?
What Technology and Tools Do They Use?
Beyond skills and experience, you will also want to understand what tools and technology a bookkeeper uses. Are they able to provide reports in a way that works for you and your business needs? Some bookkeepers prefer to do everything manually by hand, while others will use sophisticated software like QuickBooks Desktop. Using the right technology is important so that it’s compatible with the business and also secure, reliable, and stable.
Does Their personality Fit With Yours?
How they handle things both in business and out of it is going to be an indication of how your business will work together. Make sure you think about their demeanor in terms of working closely with you for months or years on end: someone who is better at long-term relationships than short-term ones could be a better choice for this reason – especially relevant if you do not plan on hiring a new bookkeeper (or finding an existing one) any time soon.
What Else Should You Look For In A Bookkeeper?
While professionalism, competency, communication skills, clarity of pricing structure along with other general traits are all very important when considering a bookkeeper to hire – there are a few specific personality quirks that can also tell you things about the person who is going to be working with your money. Be sure to ask yourself if: their interests fit with your overall goals for success. How you handle your business is going to affect how successful it is, and if the bookkeeper isn’t interested in what you are doing, then their passion won’t show through the work that they do. Looking for someone who shares similar interests or even a general drive towards success can be a good indicator that they’ll have the right attitude towards helping your company grow.
Final Thoughts On Hiring A Bookkeeper
Hiring a bookkeeper is one of the best decisions you can make for your business, but there is a lot to consider before doing so. Be sure to interview any prospective bookkeeper for your business more than once and review all the points mentioned above. While some business owners end up working with a professional bookkeeper without knowing any of this information upfront – most find that having these conversations before deciding on one person or another can help your business run smoother.
Even though bringing on a bookkeeper is an initial expense, getting everything set up correctly from the beginning and hiring the right bookkeeper will save time and money down the road.