Making sure you have the right bookkeeper, staff accountant, accounting manager or controller is essential to running a good business. While you are focusing on sales, customer acquisition, business growth, a good accounting team will take the weight off your shoulders and let you focus on what you are good at your business. When looking for a new bookkeeper, you should look for these essential qualities:
- Accounting Experience
If you are a startup or small business, a bookkeeper coming from a large corporation may only have experience in a specific task. This can entail invoicing or conducting monthly reconciliations. But, if the bookkeeper comes from small businesses, they usually have gained multiple skills in many areas of bookkeeping. Overall, a bookkeeper or a junior accountant should have the right experience for your business. So, take into consideration the needs of your organization and how the new bookkeeper fits in all of it.
Aside from having experience in bookkeeping, they should also have experience in your specific industry or with similar companies. This way they will be able to know the ins and outs of your company and provide better financial insight for long term growth.
For small businesses, you can make due with a bookkeeper 4-12 hours a week with a controller managing this person. The controller with then be able to provide financials, analytics, forecasting cash flow and budgeting.
- Experience With Technology
Using the right platform can minimize errors and prevent financial losses. Therefore, having a bookkeeper that is knowledgeable with technology and knows how to work with the given platforms is integral to your business. While conducting interviews, ask what software they are familiar with and if they are proficient in the software you adopted in your business.
- Professional Demeanor
Your company culture should be adopted throughout all aspects of your business, bookkeeper included. Bookkeepers are an integral part of the day-to-day fiscal operations of a small business. They will most likely interact with other employees and outside clients and vendors. Therefore, make sure you hire someone who matches your companies’ culture and who conducts themselves professionally with other contacts. Trust is vital to have between a bookkeeper and business owner. So, make sure to hire someone that works well with you and your team.
- Take Your Time to Research Job Candidates
Do not feel rushed to get the first bookkeeper that comes your way. Abad hire can be detrimental to your business and financial growth. Make sure you perform your due diligence before you interview them. If you bring in a revenue under $5 million, it is advised to hire an outsourced accounting firm to handle your bookkeeping. That way you are proved with a part-time bookkeeper, while also being offered higher-level support when needed.
Truthfully, having a one person accounting team is not advised and rarely a good idea. It is better to have a team of people working 20-40 hours a week, for the same price as hiring one in-house person. You will quickly realize that everyone is performing the role they are best at and you’ll gain greater operational efficiencies. By placing the right people in the right positions, you will have a well-oiled machine and save a lot of money in the long run.