A good bookkeeper is pivotal for the long-term success of any business; therefore, hiring the right bookkeeper is equally critical for the development of your business.
There are many things to consider when you’re seeking out a new bookkeeper, and there is no secret or perfect formula for how to choose a bookkeeper (or any other employee). That being said, there are a few fundamental qualities that every bookkeeper should have if you want them to be a great addition to your company.
Below, we’ve listed a few qualities that you need to search for while choosing an accountant, financial advisor, or bookkeeper:
Bookkeepers have access to much of the most critical personal/private information regarding a company. Considering bookkeepers maintain all of the essential financial records of a company, they’re frequently a pivotal individual for making sure there are no issues with invoicing, payroll, and taxes.
Your bookkeeper is someone that you need to be able to trust wholeheartedly. Before hiring a bookkeeper (or a bookkeeping service), ask them all the questions you can think of regarding their methods and processes for safeguarding your financial information. If you don’t feel that you can 100% rely on an individual to be accurate and transparent, you need to find a different bookkeeper.
You should always hire a fully licensed and certified bookkeeper. In an attempt to save money, some businesses feel tempted to hire unlicensed individuals to maintain their books. Hiring uncertified bookkeepers can be a shortsighted mistake because even though unlicensed bookkeepers might save you money in the short-term, they are more likely to make errors and cost you money in the long-run.
A bookkeeper is a person you rely on to keep track of your numbers; therefore, this is an individual that you’re going to be in communication with regularly. Some bookkeepers might be excellent at keeping track of the numbers, but if they fail to communicate with you, they can still be a detriment to the overall well-being of your company. Part of being an excellent communicator is being a fantastic listener, so your bookkeeper should be attentive and interested when you’re discussing the details of your company. Ultimately, you and your bookkeeper should have a harmonious relationship that allows for information to routinely and accurately flow between the two of you.
A bookkeeper is a financial record keeper, and they need to maintain a filing system that reflects the importance of their job. There should be an immediate answer to most financial questions that you might have for your bookkeeper. If a bookkeeper organizes well, there should never be an issue with answering basic questions regarding company finances and expenditures. A bookkeeper that appears disorganized, or is inconsistent in how they file important company paperwork, should not be trusted to maintain the financial records of an entire business.
When seeking out a new bookkeeper, make sure your company selects an individual that has a clear and concise system for keeping track of paperwork. Remember, paperwork filed away today might still need to be looked at 5 or even ten years from now.
When most people think of bookkeepers, they imagine an individual immersed in the details, too busy to look up from their various papers and calculators, and someone who is far too busy to worry about the bigger picture associated with running a business. This stereotype should be far from the truth; yes, a bookkeeper should have incredible attention to detail that allows them to keep track of various small numbers. However, a bookkeeper should have an understanding of your industry and should share the greater vision of the company that you’re trying to build. Considering bookkeepers are such a critical part of the day-to-day finances of the company, they’re also a team member needs to be in tune with the more significant goals of the company.
In summary, you should put some time and thought into who you choose to be your bookkeeper, and you should not hire anyone that lacks the qualities we’ve mentioned above. Bookkeepers have access to all of your most important and sensitive financial records; therefore, it’s essential that your bookkeeper be somebody you can rely on to be timely, courteous, and trustworthy. While many companies are tempted to hire uncertified bookkeepers so that they may save money in the short-term, you will likely avoid many costly blunders by assuring that you hire a fully-licensed bookkeeper. Finally, remember that a bookkeeper is a critical member of your business team; so they should be someone that you can easily communicate with, and a professional that shares the greater vision and goals of the company.
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