Bookkeeping is one of the most loathed tasks that business owners have to take care of each year. Though most small business owners start handling the task on their own at first, there will come a time that hiring a bookkeeper will be one of the smartest moves you can make.
Though it seems simple, making the decision to hire a bookkeeper isn’t easy. You need to take the time to find an experienced professional that can truly help your business.
If you’ve never looked into hiring a professional before, you’re likely not sure where to start. Here’s what you need to do to hire the best bookkeeper for your growing company.
Figure Out How You Want to Hire
When you’re looking for a bookkeeper for your small business, you need to decide how you want to hire them in the first place. Remember, you don’t have to hire a permanent full-time staff member if you don’t have the budget for it.
Instead, you can outsource your company’s bookkeeping needs to a dedicated bookkeeping firm or hire an expert as a contract worker.
There are benefits to each option. Hiring a full-time staff member means they’ll be intimately familiar with your company and you won’t have a hard time getting a hold of them when you need their advice. However, you will have to pay for training, equipment, and any benefits offered through your company.
If you hire a firm or a contractor, you’ll only have to pay their fee. They provide their own equipment and often provide their own software to help you manage your bookkeeping tasks. You won’t have to worry about paying for ongoing training or equipment upgrades even if you continue working with them for years.
Focus on Experience
When you’re trying to find a bookkeeper, there’s a temptation to hire the first person that’s available. This isn’t in your best interest and can end up costing your business in the long-run.
Instead, look for professionals that have worked in the industry for at least a few years. The more experience they bring to the table, the better off your business will be.
Remember, you’re hiring them to be an expert in a field that you’re not familiar with. Choosing an inexperienced bookkeeper because they’re more affordable will end up putting more work on your plate.
Understand Their Preferred Communication Method
Every bookkeeper will communicate with your business in a different way. Before you hire one, make sure you know what to expect so you can choose a professional that you’re comfortable with.
Some bookkeepers prefer to only speak to clients over the phone and will schedule weekly calls to go over any updates that occurred during the week. Others will be more flexible and will communicate with you however works best for your business.
According to this bookkeeping service, it’s always best to work with an expert that will reach out to you in the way that works for your business. If you prefer emails to phone calls, find an expert that will accommodate your preferred communication method.
Interview Several Bookkeepers
The key to how to find a good bookkeeper is in taking your time and interviewing several professionals before making your decision. Think of your bookkeeper as a part of your team.
You wouldn’t hire an employee without interviewing them first, so why would you hire a bookkeeper without making sure they’re a good fit for your needs?
Schedule consultations with several experts and ask them how they’ll help your business. Get detailed information about the services they provide and how they’ll charge for those services before you commit to hiring them.
Take notes if possible and compare how each bookkeeper responded to your questions and interacted with you during the consultation. You’ll want to choose the professional that took the time to get to understand your business, your needs, and your budget.
Find Out What They Know About Your Industry
When hiring a bookkeeper, it’s always a good idea to make sure they have experience working with companies in your industry. Find out which types of companies they’ve worked with in the past and make sure you’re comfortable with their experience.
It’s also a good idea to ask for references from their current and previous clients whenever possible. Reputable bookkeepers will have an extensive list of clients that are willing to speak to you about the quality of their services.
Follow up with those references and find out if they’ve ever experienced any issues with the bookkeeper. If they haven’t, you’ll likely feel satisfied with their services.
Pay Attention to the Software They Use
If you’ve been handling your own bookkeeping for a while, you likely have a set of software programs that you prefer. Many bookkeepers have their own preferred software suite, but that doesn’t mean they won’t use yours. You just have to ask.
Find out what types of programs they use most often. If you’re comfortable using or learning those programs, great! If you’re not, see if they’ll be willing to use the programs you’re comfortable with.
The right bookkeeper for your business will work with you to make sure you know how to use the software so you can always stay up-to-date on what’s going on with your company.
Stick to Your Budget
No matter who you choose, make sure you stick to your budget. You know how much you can afford and paying more for a bookkeeper than you’re comfortable with will force you to make cuts in other areas.
Don’t hesitate to keep looking if you can’t find an expert you can afford immediately. There are reliable and experienced bookkeepers out there that will be willing to work with your budget.
Now You’re Ready to Hire a Bookkeeper
Making the decision to hire a bookkeeper is a big step for your company. Once you do, you’ll find that managing your finances and your growth will be much easier. Just keep this guide in mind and you’ll be able to find the right fit for your business and your budget.
Hiring a bookkeeper is just one step in the process of growing your business. If you’re looking for more tips and tricks to help you streamline your company’s growth, check out our latest posts.