Finding a bookkeeper and working with one is essential for a small business’s success. However, one common mistake that many small business owners make is hiring the wrong bookkeeper. Try to avoid making the same mistake by following the above expert tips on how to find a bookkeeper right for your business.
1. Hire Someone With Attention to Detail
Max Soni, Founder & CEO, Delancey Street
A good bookkeeper is the one who annoys the heck out of you. If your bookkeeper lets things fall through the cracks and doesn’t follow up on every single line item, then he/she is going to let you and your business down. Bookkeepers have to be hawks – they have to obsess over every single financial line item. They should fuss about being able to account for everything correctly.
2. Ask for a Referral From a Trusted Source
Josh Zimmelman, Owner, Westwood Tax & Consulting
The best way to find a good bookkeeper is to ask for a referral from someone you trust in your industry. If you already have an accounting firm that you trust, you should see if they offer bookkeeping services or have a relationship with a bookkeeper they can refer you to. You can also find qualified bookkeepers through a professional bookkeeper association like ICBUSA or through your local small business development center.
3. Consider the Accounting Software They Use
Jaclyn O’Brien, Founder, FreshEye Innovative Solutions
Before you hire a bookkeeper, you have to know what accounting software they use and whether you will have administrative rights for that software or not. The last thing you want is working with someone who withholds your own information from you. It’s important to ensure that you have access to the accounting files so everything is clear and transparent.
4. Hire Someone Who Understands Your Business
Natalie De Vincenzi, Director of Operations, Lykke
The most important qualification you should look for in a bookkeeper is how they understand your business. The right bookkeeper should know your business inside and out – including how you operate, who you bill, and what your main expenses are. Not fully understanding your business is often the cause of costly errors.
5. Choose a Trustworthy & Credible Bookkeeper
Lynn Gastineau, Founder, Gastineau Log Homes
Yes, a great bookkeeper will be knowledgeable about your business and have sufficient industry experience, but more importantly, he or she will demonstrate credibility and honesty. Even the most advanced bookkeeper can mess up your books and embezzle money without you knowing it. Hiring someone you trust will give you peace of mind from the get-go, making it easier for you to delegate from day one.
6. Look for Professional Bookkeepers
Barbara MacDonald, Quickbooks ProAdvisor & Sage Certified Consultant, My Bookkeepers
Take your business seriously and hire a professional bookkeeper – one who has dedicated their career to helping businesses succeed. A professional bookkeeper is resourceful, independent, and has initiative. Hire the one who is organized, meticulous, and can foresee certain aspects of your business that require immediate attention, and he/she should be able to keep your books and transactions clean before you are penalized.
7. Hire an All-in-One Bookkeeping Service
Crystalynn Shelton, Staff Writer, Fit Small Business
To maximize your return on investment, you should hire an all-in-one bookkeeping service like Bookkeeper.com. It offers bookkeeping, payroll, and tax services for both cash and accrual-based businesses. Not only that, it’s compatible with accounting software such as QuickBooks, so you can maintain access to key reports. Bookkeeper.com enables experts to manage multiple financial aspects of your business for one low cost.
9. Do Not Go With the Lowest Bid
Ryan Gallagher, Owner & Bookkeeper, Vacation Rental Bookkeeping
Many businesses are looking for a bookkeeper on a budget, and unfortunately, that is their first mistake and likely will not be their last should they hire the cheapest bid. When it comes to working with bookkeepers, the cliché “you get what you pay for” is often quite true. If you think hiring a good, knowledgeable, and experienced bookkeeper is expensive, hiring a bad one will cost you more.
10. Understand what you need
In order to hire the right bookkeeper, Xero recommends that you should first assess your business’s needs and priorities. You need to understand your own requirements because this is the only way you will be able to find the right person for the role. Consider the type of business you run, the number of transactions you handle, the accounting software you use, and the services