United States
Staffed with 100% US Employees

Great Tips for Hiring a Bookkeeper

April 3, 2014 by Ed Becker

Of course you need a bookkeeper that has excellent skills in bookkeeping. But are skills enough to ensure that you can trust someone you don’t know with your financial information?

  • Second to skills are behaviors that you want to look for in a bookkeeper. Think about what is important to you personally and from a business aspect.
  • Good communication. A good bookkeeper has to be able to communicate with everyone involved with your business. They should be able to convey information to you and others that need it, as well as glean the information that is given to them to process.
  • Innovative. You need someone that is not set in their old fashioned ways. With cloud technology as well as increasing automation, you need to know that they can be open-minded and adapt to new ideas.

It’s not just numbers solutions. A great bookkeeper has to solve problems that have nothing to do with numbers or math. You will want someone that will jump in and find the solutions, not just skip over them. Being a good analyst and solutions developer is a huge skill.

Thirdly you will want to decide what kind of bookkeeper you need. There are several levels of “bookkeeper”. This will take some thought on your part about what needs your business has that a bookkeeper can fulfill.

  • Data entry clerk. A data entry clerk is pretty self-explanatory in that they enter data into the accounting system. Usually they have no concept of how it will affect the company’s finances.
  • Clerical bookkeeper. Clerical bookkeepers aremore specialized in AR or AP and vendor interaction and analysis.
  • Full charge bookkeeper. A full charge bookkeeper is one step down from an accountant for all intents and purposes. They can do it all in the accounting software and understand the effect on financial statements and reports.
  • Accountant. Usually an accountant will set up the bookkeeping system, monitor it and interpret the findings. Your accountant will probably be the one who also files your tax returns and other necessary forms for the IRS, banks, etc.
  • Payroll Bookkeeper. A payroll bookkeeper understands and has deep knowledge of payroll, taxes, federal and state forms and tax returns, I-9 and W-4 forms, and knows when things are due to be paid.

With these tips you should be able to get a clearer picture of what type of bookkeeper you need and what you will look for in recruits. If you are unsure as you are going through the interviews, you could ask your accountant to interview recruits also or to sit in on interviews with you.

In fact if you are pressed for time or have other pressing issues, you could ask your accountant to do all the interviewing. Outline what you feel you are looking for in the position and delegate the actual interviewing to your accountant. Then you could sit in on final interviews to get a feel for the personalities of the recruits.

Related Posts