Five qualities to look for when hiring a bookkeeper

Hiring a bookkeeper can be a tedious undertaking.  However, knowing the right characteristics to look for can make the process less daunting.  The following is a list of five important qualities to look for in a bookkeeper:

1.  Tech Savvy

Software is becoming increasingly important in managing your books.  Knowing how to properly use QuickBooks, for example, can save time and money in the future.  Many bookkeepers may claim they are familiar with the accounting software you use; however, it is important they know how to properly use all software functions such as bank reconciliations, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.

2. Analytical and Thinks Ahead

Bookkeepers should be able to analyze certain information and financial reports and relate this information to your business.  They should always be thinking ahead about “what-if” scenarios.  For example, a good bookkeeper may be able to locate an area where your business can save money and use its resources more efficiently.

3. Must Enjoy What They Do

It is important to make sure that the person you are considering hiring enjoys working with numbers.  If an employee is unhappy with their career choice, usually their performance suffers.  Also, they may think of bookkeeping positions as a temporary means to an end.  Bookkeepers work with sensitive information, and your goal as an employer should be to find a long-term bookkeeper who is trustworthy. 

4. Detail Oriented

A good bookkeeper must be thorough and pay attention to the details.  For example, when you make a sale, your bookkeeper should be able to track who the customer is, the terms of the sale, and how to properly record and document the sale.

5. Understands Tax Basics

Bookkeepers aren’t expected to have the Internal Revenue Code memorized; however, a very basic understanding of taxes is beneficial.  For example, they should know the difference between a balance sheet and income statement.  Your accounting and tax fees may decrease since your bookkeeper will be able to take over some of the responsibilities your CPA was previously handling.

ShindelRock can help you look for a bookkeeper.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

5 thoughts on “Five qualities to look for when hiring a bookkeeper”

  1. Kyle Winters says:

    I do like that you recommend finding a bookkeeper that is detail oriented in the article. Not many people would think about it, but that can have a lot of advantages to a business. For example, they may spot an error in your numbers that you had not before.

    1. Steve Wisinski CPA CFE MAFF says:

      One of the biggest long term cost savers for our clients is competent bookkeeping. It allows them to maximize the value of the services we provide. It also allows them to have quality real time data to make meaningful decisions. It is all due to them viewing this as something that creates value for them and not just a cost center.

  2. I hadn’t thought about it, but I guess it would help to find a bookkeeper that likes the job that they do. If they enjoy what they’re doing they’ll be more motivated to get it done correctly after all. Plus, on top of that, if the accountant you hire actually likes bookkeeping then you can probably let them handle a lot more tax issues as well.

  3. Bethel Smith says:

    I completely agree that the right bookkeeper needs to be able to think ahead and help you improve as a company. I imagine that asking a potential bookkeeper for examples of how they have saved other companies money would be helpful in this situation. Making sure that your finances are in order is crucial to having a successful company. If your bookkeeper can manage your finances efficiently and look for new avenues of success, then that’s even more fantastic.

    1. Steve Wisinski CPA CFE MAFF says:

      Absolutely! Thanks for sharing

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