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How to Hire the Right Bookkeeper for Your Business

If your firm is growing to new heights but you’re having trouble keeping up with your finances, then you know it’s time to hire a bookkeeper. Similarly, you might want to have immaculate, accurate books, which is also when a bookkeeper will be helpful.

But how do you find a bookkeeper that is ideal for your business size? What qualifications should you ask for? Read on to find out more.

What is a bookkeeper?

A bookkeeper is an individual or company employed by a small or midsize firm for tasks such as processing and recording large amounts of transactions involving payment of bills, sales, collection of accounts receivables, payroll, and purchases. The recorded transactions are then used by accountants to make the necessary adjustments to entries before the firm’s financial statements are finalized.

A bookkeeper isn’t expected to have a four-year accounting college degree. However, they must have the ability to work accurately and quickly. They should also be comfortable using modern accounting software like electronic worksheets and QuickBooks. An adept bookkeeper will add value to your business.

How to hire a bookkeeper

When it comes to selecting a bookkeeper or third party, the process shouldn’t be too different to the hiring of any other professional. Just ensure that before looking at candidates you understand your own requirements. Once you do, you can then work on identifying people for the role.

Some factors you should think about include:

What type of business are you?

The niche and type of your business determine the sort of bookkeeper you’ll need. For instance, retail and service companies have different bookkeeping requirements than manufacturing businesses.

How many transactions do you handle?

How many transactions you make on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis helps determine the required bookkeeping time. Whether you’re a small business or a large one with a plethora of monthly transactions, we can handle it all online.

What’s your accounting software package?

The accounting software you use also determines the qualities you should look for in a bookkeeper. For instance, if you use online accounting software, you’ll need to hire someone who is adept at modern accounting software programs. This way, your bookkeeper can share accounts and transactions securely at any time.

What specific services do you require?

The bookkeeper or bookkeeping service you choose to enlist will be determined by the services you need. As an example, if you need debt collection, payroll and credit control services, you’ll want to hire someone proficient in all these things.

What makes a bookkeeper worth hiring?

Hiring a bookkeeper can be one of the most important decisions you make for your company. While a good bookkeeper can you meet your business goals and improve your business reputation, the errors of an incompetent hire may take years to rectify.

Experience with an organization similar to yours

It can be said that a good bookkeeper serves as the glue holding the whole organization together. Therefore, it’s important to have previous bookkeeping experience with a company that has a complexity and size similar to yours. Similarly, you should look for someone who has worked with a firm that is at a similar point as your firm in a business lifecycle. For instance, a high-growth start-up would have different bookkeeping needs compared to a 30-year-old automobile company.

In addition, a competent bookkeeper should display the natural ability to think and plan ahead and anticipate the business needs even before they arise. Also, they should have experience with working in your niche and understand its unique bookkeeping requirements.

Education and additional training

While it is true that an accounting degree is not necessary, a good bookkeeper must have sufficient education and training. Your perfect bookkeeper has the ability to make quick business decisions, alongside a solid understanding of basic finance and business accounting. Meanwhile, ongoing training is needed to be aware of the changes to accounting procedures and rules.

Adept with technology

To survive in today’s fast-moving financial environment, it’s important that you use a software system to manage your books and keep the company’s finances updated. The right bookkeeper should have sufficient training and experience with accounting and bookkeeping software.

In addition, they should know how to use common tools like Microsoft Excel as well as other industry-specific systems, such as billing and estimating set-ups. It’s also beneficial if they’re familiar with performing bank reconciliations and processing online transactions.

A keen eye for details

Given the nature of the job, it’s essential for the bookkeeper to pay attention to detail. They should be able to identify errors and balance accounts quickly, as well as knowing how to generate accurate, concise, clear and timely financial reports. Even though they may not be physically sitting by your side, with our experienced team of bookkeepers, you’ll get all that and more.

Familiar with cash flow and credit management

It’s essential for your bookkeeper to keep on top of the cash flow and anticipate the cash flow requirements. Factors like recurring annual events, bonuses, taxes and business seasonality must be considered when determining cash flow needs. Your hired bookkeeper must have the ability to balance all these requirements so that business stability is maintained.

In addition, the bookkeeper should know the right way of using credits when the cash flow is low. Controlling debt expenses must also be accounted for and an adept bookkeeper will know how to find the most favorable terms and rates for credit.

Tax planning and preparation

When tax season is on the horizon, you’ll want a bookkeeper that is prepared and aware of the applicable tax deadlines for events such as the quarterly tax estimates. They should also be able to keep receipts and books well-organized for tax seasons and audits.

Sample Interview Questions for Hiring a Bookkeeper

When looking to select a bookkeeper that is the right fit for your business, it is important to ask questions during the interview that will provide you with some crucial information for making your decision. Below is a list of questions that you can use to collect this information. Always remember to tailor any questions to fit the specific needs and requirements of your business.

  1. Have you worked with businesses similar to ours in terms of size and complexity?
  2. What accounting software are you familiar with and have you used in your previous roles?
  3. Are you comfortable working with accounting software programs like Xero, Sage or QuickBooks?
  4. How do you stay updated with changes in accounting procedures and rules?
  5. Do you actively seek ongoing training and education in the field?
  6. Can you provide an example of a time when you identified an error in financial records or accounts? How did you resolve the issue?
  7. Can you share any strategies or practices you follow to minimize errors?
  8. Have you been responsible for managing cash flow in your previous roles? If so, how did you anticipate the cash flow requirements?
  9. Are you familiar with tax planning and preparation? How do you keep track of applicable tax deadlines and organize financial records for tax seasons and audits?
  10. Can you give an example of a situation where you provided valuable advice or insights to a client based on your understanding of their business and financial records?
  11. How do you prioritize tasks and ensure you are managing your time? Can you provide an example of a time when you had to handle multiple deadlines and competing priorities?
  12. How do you approach confidentiality and data security when working with sensitive financial information? Can you explain the measures you take to ensure the protection of client data?

Average Salary for Canadian Bookkeepers

One key factor in hiring an experienced bookkeeper is creating a competitive compensation package to attract talent. Below is a list of average salaries for bookkeepers per province in canada. Please note that salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, qualifications, location, and the size of the organization.

Alberta: $39,000 – $53,000 per year
British Columbia: $40,000 – $54,000 per year
Manitoba: $35,000 – $47,000 per year
New Brunswick: $34,000 – $46,000 per year
Newfoundland and Labrador: $36,000 – $48,000 per year
Nova Scotia: $35,000 – $47,000 per year
Ontario: $38,000 – $51,000 per year
Prince Edward Island: $34,000 – $46,000 per year
Quebec: $35,000 – $47,000 per year
Saskatchewan: $37,000 – $50,000 per year
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon: $40,000 – $55,000 per year

*Please note that these are approximate salary ranges and will vary. Please consult up-to-date salary surveys, job postings, and local market conditions to get the most accurate and up to date information on bookkeeper salaries in your specific region.

Benefits of Outsourcing a Bookkeeper

As someone just starting out or someone with the habit of managing books themselves, you might think that there’s no need to hire a third party to look after your books. In fact, you might even believe that just letting your accountant sort out the numbers once or twice a year will do the job. However, there are good reasons for outsourcing your bookkeeping tasks, such as

Save you time

Until or unless you’re proficient and adept at bookkeeping, why take on the task yourself? Bookkeeping is not just processing payments, expenses and receipts. It’s also about how to assign the right expenses to a particular client. An experienced bookkeeper will keep track of your numbers, input them into the accounting software you prefer, such as Xero, QuickBooks, and FreshBooks and understand them. A proficient bookkeeper is well-versed in how to treat a transaction to make useful business reports. Since it’s a skilled and time-consuming job, think about hiring a bookkeeper who can perform it more efficiently.

Understanding your business and give sound advice

An experienced bookkeeper works on day-to-day accounts, so they can quickly build the knowledge to understand and nurture your company as well as you do. With this insight, they will help you determine the next steps to grow your business. They will also be able to find and flag issues before they become a potential problem.

Get help with managing your cash flow

While accountants do a good job of giving strategic advice, solving tax issues and filing for annual returns, they don’t overlook your accounts on a regular basis. However, a good bookkeeper keeps a close eye on your accounts every day. As a result, your cash flow is kept under control, which is crucial for business growth.

Prevent errors

Even if you are a seasoned business owner, there’s still a chance you may mess up your books without the proper experience. These mistakes could be anything ranging from mixing up types of expenses and double entries to missing entries and or making a simple data entry error. However, professional bookkeepers are experts in accuracy and will make sure your books are error-free.

Ensure all your bills are paid on time

A part of the bookkeeper’s job is to pay bills. They keep your spending within budget and ensure all payments are made on time.

When running your own business, it’s quite easy to miss deadlines and overlook getting accounts receivable on time. With an experienced bookkeeper on your side, you won’t have to face issues like late fees and you’ll get all your receivables on time too.

You get time for other tasks

It’s worth reiterating that a great bookkeeper helps free up your time for many other tasks. By letting them handle your books, you can turn your attention to communication strategy, sales, supply chain, purchasing, networking and marketing.

You know where your company’s financial position

By hiring a bookkeeper you’ll know where your company stands financially. This can help you determine where you’re able to spend more money or where you need to cut expenses.

In Summary

While you might be tempted to continue being the bookkeeper for your business, if you want yours to bloom and grow bigger, it may be the perfect time to hire an exceptional service provider to take care of your books for you. Schedule a call today to know more about getting online.

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