Learn how to hire a bookkeeper that will help improve your company’s finances so you can get back to running your business.
You look around, and suddenly your small business isn’t that small anymore. Maybe you have several employees, a big warehouse to manage, or a lot of online orders to tackle. Meanwhile, you’re spending all of your time managing the company’s books. The bottom line is you can’t do your own bookkeeping anymore.
How do you find a bookkeeper that will take over the job as seamlessly as possible? We’ve got a few tips.
Map Out Your Bookkeeping Needs
It isn’t always as easy as “I need someone to take care of my books.” Ask yourself what kind of services you want your bookkeeper to perform. Their responsibilities often stretch beyond simply keeping the books in order. Decide if you need help with:
- Bill pay
It would help if you also mapped out how many transactions your business has during a month. Figuring that out, together with the bullet points above, will give you an idea of whether you need a full-time bookkeeper or not. It might also help you decide if you want to work with a freelancer or hire a bookkeeping firm.
Freelance or Firm
The next thing you need to think about is whether you want to hire a freelancer or work with a firm. The latter is typically the more expensive option as firms have higher overhead costs than freelancers.
However, firms also tend to offer a wider range of services. They can offer services outside of typical bookkeeping tasks because they have specialists in other areas.
With bigger firms, you also don’t have to worry about your bookkeeper being unavailable, as there’s usually another bookkeeper that can step in. But you might end up working with multiple people, which isn’t ideal.
By going the freelance route, on the other hand, you might have more control over what type of person you work with. After all, bookkeeping for eCommerce isn’t the same as it is for a flower shop or dentist. You need to find someone who has experience in bookkeeping for your industry. And you might have better luck finding a niche specialist if you do the research yourself.
There is, however, a third option. You can use a network of vetted professionals (like FINSYNC) to find the right type of bookkeeper for you. The FINSYNC Network is full of bookkeepers, accountants, and other financial professionals that have been carefully interviewed and vetted. So you get access to a talented financial professional that’s best suited to help your business grow.
Regardless of what route you take, your bookkeeper should have the following qualities:
- Attention to Detail
As someone who will be the only one handling every transaction in your business, your bookkeeper must have the ability to spot errors and inconsistencies.
- Good Communication Skills
Despite what some may think, bookkeepers should be good communicators. They must be able to ask for any information they need to do their job properly, be it from external vendors or from someone on your team. Your bookkeeper should also help you make sense of the end-of-the-month reports they produce so that you understand how your business is doing financially.
- Experience in Your Industry
We said it once, and we’ll say it again. If you want someone to help your business from day one, you need a professional who understands the different terms and insider aspects that come with your industry. Ask for references!
The Practical Aspects of Hiring a Bookkeeper
There are several other things you need to figure out before hiring a bookkeeper. These considerations will make an easier transition when the bookkeeper starts working with your business.
Is your bookkeeper going to work remotely 100% of the time, or will they come into the office? Although the latter gives you some room to keep paper receipts at the bottom of your drawer, digitizing everything is the best option in the long run.
Digital documents are easier to access, less likely to be lost or destroyed, and your team can access them from anywhere in the world. These days, both freelancers and firms encourage their clients to go paperless, so you might consider starting now.
Make sure the bookkeeper you’re considering has experience working in your bookkeeping software. Each solution has its own processes and shortcuts that are important to keeping your books in order. The FINSYNC Network is full of professionals that are certified on FINSYNC’s all-in-one accounting software to ensure you have a smooth transition.
Read about Jennifer Brenner’s story as a certified FINSYNC bookkeeper.
Ultimately, the type of working relationship you have with your bookkeeper will depend on the size of your company, your plans for growth, the level of reporting you want, etc.
Check out FINSYNC’s network of vetted professionals to find a bookkeeper that’s right for your business.