Over the past few months I have met a lot of people in my area who are looking for a reliable and honest bookkeeper. I have heard almost all of them state that they had a hard time finding a “good” bookkeeper. Some of them had even been burned by there previous bookkeeper.
Tips to help you Finding a Great Bookkeeper that is right for you:
1. Finding a Reliable Bookkeeper:
When hiring an outsourced bookkeeper there are a few “red flags” to watch out for. First, ask the bookkeeper if they have a full or part-time job outside of their bookkeeping business. Some bookkeepers are employed and decided to start a bookkeeping business to earn some extra cash. Be wary of this situation. You want to make sure that your bookkeeper’s first priority is his or her clients. If your bookkeeper has an employer, chances are that their job will always be their first priority and you may have a hard time reaching them when you need to. The other “red flag” to watch out for is stability. You want someone who is local and has roots in their community, someone who isn’t planning on moving any time soon. Ask the QuickBooks Certified bookkeeper how long they’ve lived in the area and how long they’ve been in business. Make sure that your bookkeeper has a healthy and successful business, otherwise they may choose to close up shop and decide to get a full-time job down the road.
2. Find a Knowledgeable Bookkeeper :
When hiring a new bookkeeper, always ask for references. Make sure the references are current client’s of the bookkeeper and make sure you can find these businesses on the Internet. I have reviewed other bookkeeper’s websites and have checked out their list of references. I was surprised to see that many of the business references they listed did not have websites (or any other web listings for that matter). This makes you wonder if these are actual businesses.
3. Finding an Honest Bookkeeper:
One of the complaints I have heard most often is that some bookkeepers overcharge their clients. This happens when a bookkeeper performs a task that should only take an hour or two but ends up billing the client for several hours of work. The cause of this could be that the bookkeeper is dishonest or the bookkeeper is just slow. Maybe the bookkeeper is slow because they are new to bookkeeping and are learning in the process or maybe they are slow in nature. Either way, you shouldn’t have to pay for your bookkeeper’s short comings.
When hiring a new bookkeeper ask them how long it usually takes them to reconcile a monthly bank statement or set up a new company file and chart of accounts in QuickBooks. Every client is different so it can be hard to tell a new client how long it will take to reconcile their accounts but the bookkeeper should have an average amount of time from their other clients. I also recommend asking the bookkeeper several questions to test their skill level. If you aren’t sure what to ask go on the Internet and search “questions to ask a bookkeeper’. You will be directed to several sites with lists of questions to ask.
When hiring a new bookkeeper you want to make sure that you hire someone who is knowledgeable, reliable, and honest. Don’t settle for an “okay” bookkeeper. Most counties have dozens of bookkeepers in the area. Find a “great” bookkeeper, someone that is good match for you and your company.
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