Bookkeepers – How to Choose
Finding and choosing the right bookkeeper to maintain your business and personal financials can be a daunting task. This very important decision should be researched and made with much care. Choosing the correct team player can mean that you can provide the extra time and resources your family needs instead of pouring over and stressing because of inaccurate and improperly maintained books.
To begin your quest for a bookkeeper, look for a name that is linked to the exact software you intend to utilize for all your financial reporting. (QuickBooks, for example, has their “Find A Pro Advisor” webpage). You want to ensure that your bookkeeper is well qualified to handle at least the intermediate level skills with your chosen software. You don’t want to pay someone to “learn as they go” with even the most basic functions. You want someone who has proven knowledge and working skills to get the job done efficiently. You also want someone who is motivated and able to find answers for you, especially in crunch times.
It is a good idea to find someone who has an established business, even if it is an individual practice. Someone who has a least created a separate professional business structure and is visible in the public arena will also be subject to reviews on websites such as Yelp and LinkedIn. If this business is not reputable, you will find negative reviews that will help you form a more rounded opinion, or at least provide great questions to ask during an interview.
Google the business AND the person. This basic search can bring up issues about a potential bookkeeping candidate that you didn’t even think to explore.
Once you have found a few candidates, set up interviews at a public location. Coffee shops and similar places make great settings to meet and discuss business. Ask the candidate questions about the software you will be using and the bookkeeping practices you are interested in. Be as specific as possible here, as the details are truly important. Listen carefully to the answers you get, making sure that answers are not too general to properly address the questions you asked.
There are no laws in place that require bookkeepers to be certified for public practice. Be sure to ask for and verify education, certifications, and references.
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