Looking to Hire a Bookkeeper? Ask These 5 Questions!

Having a good bookkeeper in the team makes business owners confident about the future of their business. Bookkeepers, depending on their experience can provide basic bookkeeping tasks, manage your accounts payables, payroll, offer financial advice, or help make crucial business decisions.

It is almost the end of financial year and you need to prepare your BAS, financials and tax reports again. If you do not have an bookkeeper, this would be an enormous job for you. Save yourself the time and focus on the important aspects of your business by designating bookkeeping tasks to an expert. Find the right candidate by asking these five basic questions:

Find the right bookkeeepr

What are your qualifications and experiences?

The bookkeeping profession is regulated by certifying bodies, so ensure that your to-be bookkeeper is a registered bas agent. If you want someone who could give you advice on tax situations and business decisions (leasing, expansion, financing, etc.), look for professional affiliations. Also, ask for his or her previous clients, from whom you could further investigate about the candidate’s expertise and ethical attitudes.

What services do they offer?

If you are looking for someone to grow your business with, then filter for the candidate that has prior experience with businesses in line with your industry. Choose someone with additional knowledge in business planning, cash flow management, budgeting, and other areas you might need for your expansion.

How accessible can you be

Especially if the bookkeeper works for alone , you might need to ask the workload the candidate has. This is an important issue approaching reporting periods, since the number of clients he or she handles at a time would affect when your books were done. There is also the issue of who sees your business information; if the bookkeeper lets their staff handle your files, then you would need to get the complete picture of how the process will work. Both of you must be comfortable with the system.

How do you charge?

Service costs have to be understood right away, so ask if the charge would be hourly, weekly, or monthly. Further, clarify if you will be charged for every call made or on certain tasks requested. Show your candidate a copy of your existing accounting software data to convey the financial size of your business that will help him or her appraise the cost of the service.

Are you updated on technology?

Speak technical with your candidate when you get talking about your accounting system. Ask if he or she what experience they have using x accounting program. One good test question is: What software would you recommend for that would compliment my business needs? You could also ask general questions about how he or she could help your business grow or organise your cash flow. There are plenty of questions to gauge if the candidate is fit for your business; however, ensure that your whoever you decide to work with will be there for the long haul..

Hiring an bookkeeper is the job for the business owner. So, when you filter candidates, send a thank-you letter to the unsuccessful ones to inform them that your final decision was based from facts. Then for the hired one, start getting to know each other—set goals leading to BAS and tax time, maintain a close relationship, and introduce your accounting system. If you are just moving to the cloud, let your bookkeeper try Shoebooks and find out how it can help manage your business like many other hospitality businesses in Australia.

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1 Comment. Leave new

Thanks for your ideas about questions to ask – I especially liked your point about checking how accessible a bookkeeper can be. I would imagine that this would be more important for large agencies with many books to keep and sort than for a private collector, but it would definitely be something to consider. I would imagine it would be helpful to get a referral from a friend or associate if possible so you would already have an idea of how the BAS agent functioned.


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