As a business owner, the question of whether to hire a bookkeeper or not has undoubtedly come into your mind. A bookkeeper will free up your time and reduce the chance of mistakes by keeping your financial records organized and accurate.
However, it is important to learn how to hire a bookkeeper the right way.
The following article will explore why you need a bookkeeper, what their duties and essential characteristics will entail, how we can help you, and tips for who to hire.
Why You Need a Bookkeeper
#1. Organizing and Generating Accurate Records
A bookkeeper assists a business in keeping accurate and organized records of financial transactions. These transactions include sales, expenses, accounts payable, and many others.
When you have well-organized financial records, it will allow you to take care of the financial health of your business, see where your income is coming from and where it’s being spent. Having organized records helps you plan ahead for bill payments, fundraising, or staffing decisions.
Maintaining good financial records is just the beginning. When you hire a bookkeeper, they will also help produce accurate financial reports. Reports such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and cash flow statements.
Every decision you make for your business will have a financial angle, and inaccurate financial records can lead to decisions that can potentially bankrupt your business.
#2. Saves You Time and Energy
Hiring a bookkeeper will take a lot of responsibilities and work off your shoulders as well as save you time. If you are not a numbers person, you would have a hard time tracking down business transactions and producing all the reports needed.
#3. Can Provide Crucial Insights
A bookkeeper will check for discrepancies (if any), review your business finances, and provide feedback that will help you make better business decisions. They can also streamline the bookkeeping process so that you don’t face any issues during the tax season.
Responsibilities of a Bookkeeper
- Records transactions: Records daily business transactions such as sales, inventory, expenses, etc.
- Maintains accurate records: Maintains accurate transactional records and generates your balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flow statement monthly.
- Reconciles accounts: Reconciles bank account and credit card statements to ensure the accuracy of your books.
- Helps with taxes: Educates you about sales and other kinds of taxes involved in your business and works in tandem with you and your tax accountant during tax season.
- Tracks performance: Assists in budget preparation, tracks business’s performance against the budget, and comes up with ideas to cut business expenses wherever possible.
Qualities to Look for In a Bookkeeper
#1. Detail-Oriented and Organized
It is important to find a bookkeeper who is detail-oriented, focused, organized, and able to correct any errors they may detect quickly. A small mistake in a decimal point or miscounting zeros could have severe consequences for your business.
#2. Proficient in Using Accounting Software
By utilizing accounting software, a bookkeeper can streamline the process of generating financial statements and eliminate the need for manual data entry in spreadsheets.
When it comes to dealing with business finances, trust is an essential quality to look for in a bookkeeper. Your bookkeeper will handle crucial and delicate information that will stay between you, your business, and the bookkeeper you hire.
Places to Look to Hire a Bookkeeper
Shared Hands offers bookkeeping services, and that while there are many other places to find bookkeepers, we offer the right mix of skills and trustworthiness.
How to Decide Who to Hire
How will you decide who’s the one who will be a perfect fit?
Follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Prepare a List of Questions to Ask During the Interview
Ask a potential candidate the following questions to assess who can do a better job for your business.
- What’s your experience in bookkeeping so far?
- How do you stay on top of changes in accounting regulations and standards?
- What’s an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation, like a discrepancy in financial records or a client issue?
- How do you keep everything organized and ensure all bookkeeping tasks are done on time?
- What specific bookkeeping software or systems have you used before? How confident are you in using them?
- How do you keep sensitive financial information, like payroll records and tax information, secure?
Step 2: Evaluate Candidates’ Qualifications and Experience
Start by looking at their qualifications.
You will want the candidate to have a degree or certification in accounting or bookkeeping and can demonstrate a strong foundation in accounting principles and bookkeeping practices.
As far as experience is concerned, try to pick a candidate who has experience in your field of business. For example, if you’re a restaurant owner, look for a bookkeeper who has worked with a restaurant earlier. If you have a service-based business, look for someone who has done bookkeeping for other service providers.
Step 3: Check References and Conduct Background Checks
For checking references, you can contact the references provided by the candidate to verify their work history, skills, and personal qualities. You can ask questions about their job responsibilities, performance, strengths and weaknesses, and other aspects of their work.
Conducting background checks involves verifying the information provided by the candidate, including their employment history, criminal record, and education.
No matter your business’s industry, you need a bookkeeper to maintain and optimize business finances. If you’re financially savvy, you may be able to keep your books yourself. But even if you have a degree in accounting, as a business owner, your time is probably best spent elsewhere in your business on other things, such as running the business.
Remember this: Don’t look at hiring a bookkeeper as another business expense. Instead, look at it as an investment. A bookkeeper will help you cut costs, optimize expenditures, and help you make the best decisions for growing your business by bringing your finances on track.