As a business owner, I put strategy in place for everything I do. Finding a good bookkeeper is no different. You need to make sure the company you choose to work with is passionate about what they do. If you hire a bookkeeper that is passionate, you will have timely, detailed and accurate books for decision making. If they are passionate about what they do, then they will have the following characteristics:
Attention to detail is a must. Imagine having a person who does not read the fine print or always looks for shortcuts. Or even worse, imagine trying to make a deposit not knowing who paid you the money or for what service. Believe it or not, this does happen. Being thorough in your documentation is critical to accurately reporting your financial information. A good bookkeeper will know this. They should be able to determine what information is necessary and what’s not.
Must love numbers
We always hear about how important it is to have a passion for what you do. Whether it’s a hobby, your profession, or your business, it makes good sense to enjoy it. Hence, it makes perfect sense that you not only like, but love dealing with numbers. Working with numbers requires that you have a clear understanding of math, and that you are not intimidated by its concepts. Math is such an exact science. There are no maybes in summing up totals or calculating balances. Either its right or wrong. It takes great courage to deal on this level with a very small margin of error. I’m not trying to scare you here; just trying to stress the importance of taking responsibility for numerical accuracy.
A good bookkeeper will have the necessary skills to be able to review and decipher information for varied purposes. They must be able to understand what to look for and how it impacts the entire picture. The ability to create what-if scenarios will also come into play. For planning purposes, analysis of financial documents is crucial to making important decisions such as, how much financing could be needed for expansion, the affordability of benefits, or the necessity of working capital.
A good Bookkeeper knows how to organize their time for optimum results. This involves creating an audit of how your time is spent. The right bookkeeper will:
1. Determine which tasks have priority over others.
2. Always allow time to focus on problems and their solutions.
3. Schedule for weekly reviews and updates.
4. Not multi-task. This one is tricky because the common practice is to multi-task. Although this is a desirable quality, I’ve found it best to focus on one task to its completion before moving to another. In my opinion this approach yields better results when given the time to focus solely on that task.
Without a doubt, this proves to be one of the most important characteristics. Everything today is automated, and it doesn’t make sense to partner with someone who is not technologically inclined. Software is used in all aspects of business today. I can’t think of anyone today who uses a manual system. And if they do, believe me, in their search they will be looking for someone who can bring them into the twentieth century. Being wise as to selecting the right software and knowing how to integrate it into the business will improve productivity and performance. The right bookkeeper will have the skills to accomplish this. They will also know how to troubleshoot for problems, provide installation, configuration, and conversion.
Knowing what to look for in a bookkeeper is half the battle of finding one. Take your time and make a careful assessment and you’ll be on your way to better bookkeeping.
To your success!