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Bookkeeping Hiring Tips

In today’s transient and fast paced world, it’s getting harder and harder to find qualified, competent people who not only know their stuff but can be trusted to handle your business’s monies. All too often you hear stories about inexperienced so called bookkeepers who either messed up someone’s books or stuck their hand in the cookie jar and helped themselves to thousands or millions of dollars.

Exact Accounting Services has listed 7 of the most important things you need to know when making a decision to hire the right bookkeeper, permanent or contract. Like everything else in life, there are no guarantees but by following our guide, you can help reduce the odds of inviting the elephant to come sit on you.

Our goal is to keep this list short and sweet and not to make this sound like a Jerry McGuire movie mission statement. Here are the 7 things you need to know in order to find the right bookkeeper. Good luck!

1. The Experience Factor - Do they really know their stuff? There is an awful lot of competition out there, given that, people will say the darndest things to land that job. The objective here is to not be a guinea pig for someone who needs to improve their accounting skills. If you want to reduce your chances of hiring a dud, go with a reputable firm. They’ve done all the work for you plus they have a track record but if you want to go it alone, here are some questions to ask:

How long have they been doing bookkeeping? Do they have an accounting background? What accounting software programs have they worked with? Are they tech savvy? What type of companies have they performed bookkeeping services for in the past? Can they provide references? References are extremely important. Try to get at least 3 references.

2. Trust - Can you trust them? Always know who you’re dealing with! This could not be said enough. Do they come across as honest and sincere? Whether you’re using an outside firm to hire your bookkeeper or going it alone, always perform a thorough background check, even if they were referred to you by someone you know. When having a background check performed, you want to check criminal, social security number and credit information along with drug testing. After all, this person is going to be controlling the future of your company by handling all your monies. Scary thought isn’t it? Understand this, even if that person passes the background check with flying colors does not guarantee theft and wrongdoing due to the fact that people change and their lives change. The best way to stay in check is to become educated and always keep tabs on what they’re doing. There are certain things you can do to keep an honest person honest by having checks and balances in place.

3. Reliability - Are they reliable, dependable and responsible? Did they call when they said they would call? Did they show up when they said they are going to show up? Do they return your calls in a timely manner? You’d be surprised how many people fall through the cracks on this one. If they fail anyone of the above, you can be assured the same types of problems will apply to your books.

4. Personality – This is very important! Do you feel comfortable with them? Are they easy to work with? Do you feel there might be personality clashes? All the skills in the world will not make up for a temperamental artist. No one wants to be working with the Soup Nazi. You need to be able to approach them no matter what.

5. Communication Skills - Like anything else in life, business involves people skills. People skills involves communication skills. Money is the life line of your business. Anyone handling your business’s monies must be able to communicate with you 100%. If there is a problem, you need to know ASAP! No ifs, ands or buts. If they have a better way of doing things, they need to be able to let you know.

6. Integrity and Character – You want someone who is not only loyal and passionate about what they do, you want someone who has high moral values and standards. As mentioned above, accounting can make or break your business so it is crucial to have the right person handling your books.

7. Trust Your Gut – You know that feeling deep down inside. If something doesn’t seem right, trust your instinct. Sometimes that’s all you have to go on. It’s amazing how many people do not trust their instincts and go against their better judgment. The bottom line is, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it!

Remember, you can always outsource your bookkeeping to a bookkeeping service but just because someone else is managing your books for you doesn’t exclude you from understanding accounting basics. Checks and balances also need to be put in place to help keep honest people honest. One of the greatest advantages of having someone else manage your books is that you now have more time to focus on growing your business.

About Exact Accounting Services, Inc. – With more than 20 years of accounting experience, the professionals at Exact Accounting specialize in helping small business owners with their QuickBooks accounting software, including setups, clean ups, training, support and consulting services. All QuickBooks services are delivered through the Internet by QuickBooks Specialists in all 50 states.


Steven Cohen, President Exact Accounting Services, Inc. Phone: 1-877-846-3840

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