Bookkeeping is a recurring process of recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions to assess the current financial health of your business. And as you run your business, you’ll quickly find many bookkeepers eager to help you with your finances.
But how do you choose the right one? The team at E.A. Buck Accounting & Tax Services – Denver’s trusted bookkeeping service provider – has prepared a few tips to help you choose the right candidate. Let’s lay bare the details below:
How do you find the product or service you have in mind? If you’re like me, you probably scope out the market. Well, the same applies to bookkeeping services. Don’t settle on the first bookkeeper you find, even if they come highly recommended. Instead, get quotes from a number of bookkeepers and compare their rates.
It would help if you also asked for referrals from people you trust, like your accountant or business lawyer. Their input can go a long way in helping you find a reputable bookkeeper.
If you’re considering hiring, you may have to advertise the position, interview candidates, and run background checks. The process can be time-consuming, but it’s usually worth it in the end.
Services they Offer
Your needs will vary depending on the stage and size of your business. A small business will have different needs than a large corporation. When looking for a bookkeeper, find out whether they can provide the services you need. Some of the most common bookkeeping services businesses require include:
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
Find out the prospective candidate’s specialties or areas of expertise. If they align with your needs, you could be on the path to finding the right bookkeeper.
What qualifications and experience does the bookkeeper have? Do they have experience with businesses in your industry? Do they understand your business model, and can they speak your language?
The best bookkeepers will have a degree in accounting or another financial field. They may also be QuickBooks certified and have experience using other accounting software.
That said, even if a bookkeeper offers all the services you need, they may not have experience with businesses like yours. If you have a complex business, find a professional who understands your needs and can offer the right solutions.
Similarly, consider the type of business entity you are running. If you’re a sole proprietor, your personal and business finances intertwine. As a result, a less-experienced bookkeeper may suffice. But if you have a corporation or partnership, it makes sense to invest in a more experienced bookkeeper who’s well-versed in double-entry bookkeeping.
Communication Skills and Personality
A bookkeeper is more than just a numbers person. They should understand your business and communicate with you about your finances. A professional with excellent communication skills can help you make sense of your finances, spot errors, and avoid potential problems.
While at it, find a bookkeeper who can easily talk to and explain things in a way you understand. Also, they should be proactive and take the initiative to contact you when they identify an issue.
Check the references – if a prospective candidate meets most of your selection criteria. They should have a list of references they can share with you. If they don’t, this should be cause for alarm as it may mean they have something to hide.
Remember to ask probing questions when you get in touch with the references. For instance, did they complete the task on time and within budget? Were they easy to work with? How often were they available when the client needed them? If their clients can vouch for them, you can be reasonably certain they’re a good fit for your business.
Opt for a Trial Period
After all is said and done, you might still be unsure about a particular bookkeeper. As such, consider going for a trial period. If you’re planning to hire an in-house bookkeeper, this may entail a probation or training period.
If you’re outsourcing your bookkeeping, you can request to try out their services. Some service providers allow you to sample their services for a short time, say two weeks or a month. By so doing, you can test the waters and determine whether to proceed with them or not.
The trial period allows you to assess their work quality and commitment levels. If they exceed your expectations, you can go ahead and sign a contract with them. But if they fall short, it’s advisable to look elsewhere.
Finding the right candidate requires due diligence on your part. After all, to get value for your money, you need to put in the effort to find a professional who meets all your needs. The tips above offer a great starting point in your search, and by implementing them, you can team up with the right bookkeeper. Then, you can let them handle the numbers while you take care of other critical business-related aspects.