Hiring a Bookkeeper: Qualifying Questions to Ask

Hiring a Bookkeeper: Qualifying Questions to Ask

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Hiring a bookkeeper for your business is a big decision. You need to make sure that you find the right person for the job, and that they can keep your books in order.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when you are looking for a bookkeeper. First, you need to find someone who is organized and has experience keeping track of finances. This is important because you do not want to end up with someone who is going to make a mess of your books.

You also need to find someone who is trustworthy and that’s because you will be sharing your financial information with this person. Make sure you find someone you can trust to keep your information safe.

In this article, we’ll explain eight questions to ask before hiring a bookkeeper.

What is a Bookkeeper?

A bookkeeper is someone responsible for keeping track of a company’s financial records. This includes recording transactions, issuing invoices, and keeping track of expenses.

A bookkeeper is an important part of any business, as they help to ensure that the company’s finances are in order.

When Should You Hire a Bookkeeper?

You should hire a bookkeeper when you first start your business to have a clear record of your transactions from the very beginning. 

A bookkeeper can also be hired at any time if you feel like you are not keeping on top of your finances. 

Here are some of the most pressing questions to ask a bookkeeper before hiring them.

1. What Kind of Services Do You Offer?

The first question that you should ask a bookkeeper is what kind of services they offer. You need to make sure that the bookkeeper you hire offers the services that you need.

Some bookkeepers only offer basic services, such as recording transactions and issuing invoices. Others may offer more specialized services, such as financial analysis or tax preparation.

2. How Much Experience Do You Have?

It’s important to ask how much experience the bookkeeper has to ensure that the person you hire is qualified to do the job.

Look for someone who has at least three years of experience working as a bookkeeper. This will help to ensure that they are familiar with the various financial software programs and that they know how to keep accurate records.

3. What Hours Can You Work?

Another important question to ask a bookkeeper is what hours they can work. You need to make sure that the bookkeeper you hire is available when you need them.

Find someone who can work the same hours as you do. This will ensure that they are available when you need them and that they can work around your schedule.

4. Are You Available for Emergency Situations?

A bookkeeper’s availability during emergencies is crucial to your business. Consider looking for someone available 24/7 in case of an emergency. This will ensure that you can always get in touch with them when you need to.

5. What is Your Fee Structure?

The next question that you should ask a bookkeeper is what their fee structure is. You need to make sure that you are aware of all the fees associated with the bookkeeper before you hire them.

Some bookkeepers charge an hourly rate, while others charge a flat fee. Make sure that you know how they charge for their services before you agree to hire one.

6. What is Your Cancellation Policy?

You should also ask a prospective bookkeeper about their cancellation policy. This is important because you need to know what will happen if you need to cancel your service.

Ideally, you should look for a bookkeeper who has a flexible cancellation policy. This will ensure that you are not stuck with a bookkeeper that you no longer need.

7. What is Your Privacy Policy?

The next question that you should ask a bookkeeper is what their privacy policy is. You need to make sure that your personal information will be safe with the bookkeeper you hire.

You should look for a bookkeeper who has a strict privacy policy in place. This will ensure that your information is always kept safe and secure.

8. What are Your Payment Methods?

You should ask a bookkeeper what their payment methods are. You need to be aware of all the payment options available before you hire a bookkeeper. 

Hiring a bookkeeper who offers multiple payment methods would be a great choice. This will ensure that you can always pay your bill on time.

What are Some Red Flags to Watch Out for?

There are a few red flags that you should watch out for when you are looking for a bookkeeper. These red flags include:

  • Bookkeepers who do not offer any services beyond basic transaction recording and invoice issuance
  • Bookkeepers who do not have experience working with the financial software programs that you use
  • Bookkeepers who are not available during the hours that you need them
  • Bookkeepers who do not have a flexible cancellation policy
  • Bookkeepers who do not have a strict privacy policy in place

If you see any of these red flags, you should move on to another bookkeeper. You want to make sure that you hire a bookkeeper who is qualified and who will be able to meet your needs.

You should also make sure to read reviews of bookkeepers before you hire them. This will help you to see what other people have to say about their experience with the bookkeeper.

Should I Do the Work Myself?

Consider a few things before you decide to do the work yourself. These things include:

  • Your level of expertise: If you are not an expert in bookkeeping, you may not be able to do the work yourself.
  • Your time commitment: Doing the work yourself will take up a lot of your time. You need to make sure that you have the time to dedicate to doing the work.
  • Your financial situation: If you are on a tight budget, doing the work yourself may be the best option for you.

Should I Use Bookkeeping Software?

Consider a few things before you decide to use bookkeeping software. These things include:

  • Your level of expertise: If you are not an expert in bookkeeping, you may not be able to use the software effectively.
  • Your time commitment: Learning how to use the software will take up a lot of your time. You need to make sure that you have the time to dedicate to learning the software.
  • Your financial situation: If you are on a tight budget, using bookkeeping software may be the best option for you.

Some examples of bookkeeping options are:

  • QuickBooks
  • Xero
  • Wave
  • FreshBooks
  • Zoho Books

Conclusion

As you can see, a few things to consider before hiring a bookkeeper. You need to make sure that you ask the right questions and that you are aware of all the red flags.

You also need to make sure that you are on a budget and that you have the time to dedicate to doing the work yourself.

 

If you want accurate bookkeeping for your business, consider hiring a reputable accounting firm. One of the trusted accounting firms in Florida is Swiftbooks, LLC. Call 786-204-2881 today to help your business keep its financial records straight!

Further Reading

What is the Difference Between an Accountant and a CPA?

Top 12 Accounting Tips for Startup Businesses

Do Bookkeepers Need to be Licensed or Certified?

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