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Tips for Hiring an Excellent Bookkeeper for Your Business

Eventually, your business will likely need to hire a bookkeeper to handle your accounting data and tasks.


Many business owners attempt to maintain their own books as a cost-saving strategy; in fact, over one-third report managing their bookkeeping themselves.


However, these entrepreneurs frequently struggle with maintaining accurate records or end up neglecting their bookkeeping and bank reconciliations due to other pressing priorities. As a result, they risk losing time and money when their accounts fall into disarray and they must catch up.

Bookkeeper for Your Business


Engaging a bookkeeper to manage your daily transaction recording and categorization is the most effective way to keep your financial information organized and current, enabling you to:


  • Better manage your cash flow

  • Create realistic future plans

  • Stay focused on operating your business

Hiring an Excellent Bookkeeper

Although finding the right professional may take time, these five tips on hiring a good bookkeeper will simplify the process.


1. Choose the Right Type of Bookkeeper


Is your small business still growing? If so, it may not be financially prudent to hire a full-time bookkeeper just yet. Instead, consider more affordable options like employing a part-time in-house bookkeeper or outsourcing your accounting to a third-party firm.


Part-time or Freelance Bookkeepers


Locally hiring a bookkeeper can be a cost-effective way to have a qualified professional:


  • Work part-time in your office

  • Handle your physical paperwork

  • Maintain up-to-date accounts


However, this arrangement does come with a few potential drawbacks.


If your bookkeeper falls ill or goes on vacation, there will be no one to cover their work. Even worse, if they quit or suddenly disappear, it can be challenging and time-consuming to determine the status of your accounts and transition to a new bookkeeper.


Additionally, if your business grows too large or too quickly, your part-time bookkeeper may struggle to keep up, particularly if they are managing multiple clients.


Third-Party Bookkeepers


Another cost-effective bookkeeping option is to hire a third-party or virtual firm. Although these firms typically operate remotely and won't visit your office, they are digitally adept. This enables them to digitize your receipt collection and invoicing processes, enhancing efficiency.


Another major advantage of using an external bookkeeping service is that, since they usually work as a team, there will always be someone available to manage your books.


Even better, most third-party firms provide additional services, such as dedicated payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable management, enabling them to adapt to your evolving bookkeeping needs as your business expands.


2. Confirm their Industry Experience


Since bookkeeping practices can vary between industries, it's crucial to hire a bookkeeper with proven experience in businesses similar to yours. For instance, if they have only worked with clients in the restaurant industry, they may not be familiar with maintaining proper books for a nonprofit organization.


A competent bookkeeper should be able to:

  • Establish your chart of accounts according to your business type and needs

  • Categorize your daily financial transactions

  • Generate your financial reports


Feel free to inquire about a bookkeeper's years of experience and where they have been gained, and consider asking some technical questions as well.


3. Evaluate Additional Services they Provide


When hiring a bookkeeper, it's important not only to assess their bookkeeping knowledge and skills but also to consider the benefits of any additional services they provide. For instance, hiring a separate person to handle payroll can increase your overall bookkeeping costs.


4. Ensure they are Proficient with Accounting Technology


Using spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel for bookkeeping might be sufficient when your business is just starting, but relying on manually entered data over time can make maintaining accurate financial records challenging.


Competent bookkeepers not only recognize the advantages of using accounting software to ensure accuracy and streamline processes, but they are also:


  • Knowledgeable about the desktop software commonly used by most businesses

  • Skilled in transferring your books to cloud-based software like QuickBooks Online (QBO)

  • Capable of suggesting apps and technology tools to automate specific data entry tasks


Ensure you inquire about their familiarity with specific accounting systems and software before hiring a bookkeeper who is otherwise qualified.


5. Validate Their Trustworthiness


Obtaining a recommendation from a trusted source can serve as an effective method for assessing the credibility of a potential bookkeeping hire. This could involve seeking referrals from your accountant, banker, fellow business owners, or your local professional association.


If you're thinking about hiring a bookkeeper you've found online, it's particularly important to:


  • Request client references or case studies demonstrating their work

  • Have direct conversations with past or current clients

  • Utilize the gathered information to assess their compatibility and reliability


Keep in mind: Given that 98% of owners express a preference for concentrating more on business growth rather than tasks such as bookkeeping, learning how to hire a proficient bookkeeper is fundamentally about prioritizing your time.


If you're prepared to enlist a reliable bookkeeping professional—one who will deliver precise books and prompt financial reports, ultimately saving you time and money—Bluemount Backoffice Solutions is here to assist you.


Our tailored bookkeeping services, including monthly bookkeeping, payroll, and other back-office accounting solutions, cater to small and medium-sized businesses throughout Canada. Reach out to us for further details about our personalized bookkeeping services.


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