You’ve decided to hire a bookkeeper. That’s great! A bookkeeper provides your business’s financial foundation. Using a professional will save you time, money, and most importantly, stress. But, if you don’t hire the right person, you could end up with a big mess on your hands. Improper bookkeeping can leave you in a heap of trouble, including legal issues. Most people already know someone who “does” bookkeeping, but that doesn’t automatically mean that they’re the right person for the job. Let’s discuss how to find that right person.
A good bookkeeper must have the essential skills and abilities. Some of these include; reconciling bank statements, processing payroll, accounts payable/receivable, and updating journal entries. Many businesses already have accounting software in place, so your bookkeeper will need to know how to use your specific programs. Keep in mind, that bookkeeping can be different based on the industry you’re in. A construction company may require a different set of skills when doing their bookkeeping than a marketing company. This is where familiarity will set your candidates apart. The relevance of the experience is often more important that the duration it. Experience means efficiency. Efficiency means financial savings. If your bookkeeper understands your industry’s niche needs and has knowledge of your current software, then they’ll work independently, do the job properly, and they do it quickly, which means you’ll pay for fewer hours worked than you would with the “wrong” bookkeeper.
Another key factor to keep in mind when searching for the right bookkeeper is honesty. You have to be able to trust your bookkeeper, after all, they’re handling the bread and butter of your business…your livelihood. Transparency and accountability will be key factors in successful bookkeeping, so this means that checking references of potential bookkeepers is extremely important. Have some relevant questions ready to ask, such as how long the bookkeeper worked with them, what their impression was, and even why the employment ended.
The last thing to mention is professional certification. While there is no official governing body in Ontario regulating bookkeepers, a good candidate will be able to provide some unofficial credentials. For example, My Numbers Guy is proud to disclose the achievement of 5th level courses with the Certified General Accounting Association (CGA). Relevant Industry knowledge, however, should still be considered as a strong indication of competency.
Ensuring that a bookkeeper is the right fit before hiring them is a small task that adds up to huge savings. A bookkeeper is an absolutely integral part of keeping control over your business, as well as taking care of the ins and outs of your finances. Hire a bookkeeper now, there’s no better time.
– My Numbers Guy, James Krant