Top Five Things to Look for When Hiring a Bookkeeper
In a bid to save money and time, some small business owners manage their finances by doing the bookkeeping themselves instead of handing these critical responsibilities to a professional. The result tends to validate the saying ‘penny wise, pound foolish’.
While technology and various software applications have significantly reduced the time it takes to get the bookkeeping done, the business owner often lacks the time, interest, and/or knowledge to get the books done properly. When it comes to bookkeeping, the lack of time and knowledge will inevitably lead to expensive pitfalls, such as late fees and penalties to the CRA and vendors, over counting earned revenue, undercounting valid HST input tax credits, overpaying taxes (sales, personal and corporate). And while all that could be happening, the business owner is feeling increasingly more stressed because their gut feeling is telling them that something just isn’t right.
If you are a business owner that has finally made the decision to outsource the bookkeeping, be sure to hire a capable professional. The following tips will help you know what to look for when hiring a bookkeeper.
1. Depth of experience
Hire a bookkeeper with a depth of experience working with businesses like yours. The more experience the bookkeeper has the faster he or she can add extra value to help stabilize and grow your business. You might want to check if they have handled larger clients, as that would be an excellent testament to their credentials of being able to manage the evolving needs of your company over time.
In our modern world, the quality of responsiveness has become increasingly difficult to find. The relationship with your bookkeeper cannot evolve without responsiveness because it is this quality that contributes to trust, stability, and less stress. The communication skills of the bookkeeper must include timeliness if it is to be effective.
Integrity and trust are critical. You cannot develop a good working relationship with your bookkeeper unless you have those qualities. Integrity also means they will tell you the truth, take responsibility and accountability, and have the courage to bring sticky situations to your attention quickly. The best bookkeeper will become a trusted advisor.
The bookkeeping needs to be done routinely and by a certain time to yield the most useful information to your growing business. The bookkeeper is responsible for most if not all your accounting needs, and ideally, the bookkeeper will help you build your business. Since they can play a critical role in achieving your goals, it is vital that you hire a reliable bookkeeper.
Bookkeepers must be detail-oriented if they are to provide the degree of accuracy essential to the job. To avoid the GIGO effect (garbage in, garbage out), you must hire an accurate bookkeeper, the one who places a lot of emphasis on details, and the one who has developed the good habit of double-checking their work for accuracy.
If you’re looking for a bookkeeper in Toronto, Ontario, reach out to Freestone Associates. Our founder, Kim Freestone, has over thirty years of multi-industry bookkeeping and office management experience, a modern Bachelor of Commerce and Project Management certificate. Kim has a pragmatic business sense, keen attention to detail, timely and reliable bookkeeping services geared to your needs, and savings to improve your cash flow. We work with QuickBooks Online to deliver efficient, cost-effective bookkeeping systems to fast-growing, small business clients in the Greater Toronto Area. While most of our work is done virtually, our clients value the importance of having a bookkeeper who could come on-site if necessary. Our services are extended to clients across Etobicoke, Toronto, Mississauga, North York, Oakville, Vaughan, and the surrounding areas.