4 Tips for Hiring a Bookkeeper for Your Small Business

Editorial Team

Hiring a Bookkeeper for Your Small Business

Every business needs a bookkeeper to keep their finances in check, but if you’ve never hired a professional in this area before, you might not know how to check whether or not the candidates up for consideration are up to scratch.

To help you make the right decision, here are a few tips that will work wonders to separate the wheat from the chaff when hiring a bookkeeper.

Ask Basic Accounting Questions, e.g. Can They Name the Big 4 Accounting Firms?

As a starting point, you need to make sure that the bookkeeper you hire is well-versed in accounting principles and practices. So when conducting interviews for potential candidates, it’s important to ask questions about their background in this field.

Start by checking if they can name the big 4 accounting firms, which is a group of the most prominent companies in this space, and includes Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. You can learn more about them at big4accountingfirms.org so that you’re also up to speed on this topic, and can have a meaningful discussion with candidates about it.

Additionally, inquire about any specialized software or programs they may have worked with before, such as QuickBooks. This will give you an idea of their expertise level when it comes to bookkeeping processes and tasks, from balancing out accounts receivable/payable sheets, through financial statements preparation, so that your company complies with all relevant regulations while also streamlining operations whenever possible.

Finally, don’t forget how essential good interpersonal skills are. Choose someone who not only has technical knowledge, but is also approachable and easy going, as you’ll enjoy working with them more.

Make Sure They Understand Your Business Model and Goals

It’s your job to make sure that any prospective accounts professional understands what your business is trying to achieve, and can express this clearly and concisely.

Ask them questions about their experience with similar companies, and how they envision adding value through the implementation of best practices. Also have them explain in detail the processes they would use when managing your accounts, from generating invoices and tracking payments down to reconciling bank statements and reporting on financial performance. That way you can be sure that their abilities align with your needs.

It’s also worth asking if it may be better to outsource part of its accounting needs, such as payroll processing and management. They should be able to advise you on this, based on the size of your operations and the scale of your organization, as well as their own feelings according to their expertise and experience.

Look for a Proven Track Record of Successful Projects

Having a track record of success is important when hiring any new team member, and is especially relevant in the realm of bookkeeping.

Depending on the scope of your business, you might want someone with extensive knowledge in this area, or you could be happy to recruit someone who is just starting out. Either way, it’s important that they have a proven ability when it comes to managing financial accounts accurately.

Ask them about projects they’ve worked on before, what challenges they faced, how were these overcome, and what results were achieved as a result of their contributions.

While there isn’t really one right answer here, as every company has its own unique set of requirements, hearing how potential candidates approached similar problems can give insight into how well-equipped they are to handle whatever issues come up down the line.

Find Out How Often They Will Report to You on Progress

Finally, when hiring a bookkeeper for your small business, make sure to find out how often they will report on progress and issue updates.

This is important so that you can stay abreast of the current financial state of affairs within your company at any given moment in time, including cash flow levels and account balances.

Considering that accurate accounting is essential for informed decision-making processes, especially regarding investments or expansion projects, it’s critical to have access to timely information which reflects the facts as accurately as possible.

A reliable bookkeeper should be able to provide regular reports detailing all relevant metrics, giving you peace of mind knowing that operations are being managed effectively while also allowing enough flexibility if changes need to be made.