What to Expect From Your Bookkeeper
Many business owners do not want to be bothered by the bookkeeping part of their business. It is something that is often passed along to a CPA or bookkeeper. The less the business owner needs to worry about, the better it is for him/her to concentrate on running the business. How do you even start looking for a bookkeeper? Here are some traits to look for in a bookkeeper if you do not know where to start.
1. Look for Knowledge
They must know the basic accounting rules. Every debit must have an equal credit. They must know the accounting equation: assets equal liabilities plus owner’s equity. They should understand the different financial statements and purposes for them. They must know what accounts have credit and debit balances. Without the knowledge of these few accounting 101 basics, I would not trust him/her as the bookkeeper for your business.
2. Look for Attention to Details
Your bookkeeper should pay attention to detail. Taking care of the small details for your company will lead to taking care of the company as a whole. Examples: they must know the different deadlines that must be met monthly or quarterly. They must note of anything unusual and figuring out why it happened.
3. Do They Understand Your Accounts?
Your bookkeeper should know which accounts to use, the circumstances for using them, and which accounts are affected after posting transactions to them. These transactions could affect the company in the long run if they are not posted correctly or corrected shortly after being posted incorrectly.
4. They Need Follow-Through Skills
You need your bookkeeper to follow through on tasks. If you receive a notice from the state or federal government and trust your bookkeeper to look into it, you need to know it will be done. Your questions deserve answers and your bookkeeper should be able to provide them.
5. Exceptional Communication Skills
Hand-in-hand with follow-through skills, your bookkeeper should have exceptional communication skills. Your questions should have prompt answers, whether through e-mail or a phone conversation. If there is an issue with a website or accounting software, the bookkeeper should be knowledgeable enough to call technical support to resolve the issue. If you receive a tax notice, your bookkeeper should know exactly what how to resolve the issue.
6. Strong Computer Skills
In this age of technology, your bookkeeper should have exceptional computer knowledge. Your bookkeeper should know how to email, write letters, and operate the accounting software in order to be effective at the job.
7. Company Knowledge
The bookkeeper must have a basic knowledge of your company. Every company tracks sales, expenses, assets differently. Own a food market? Your bookkeeper should know how you track your inventory, how you should tax your items, and so forth.
8. Dedication to Continuous Learning
Your bookkeeper should want to continue his/her education. Laws and regulations change consistently and the only way to stay on top of it all is by attending seminars, workshops, or online classes. Your bookkeeper should want to keep up with current laws – you don’t need penalties or fines for not reporting or filing something correctly!
9. Time Management Skills
The bookkeeper should have time management skills and how long it will take to accomplish a task. If your payroll typically takes 30 minutes to finish, but one week it takes two hours, there might be an issue that has cropped up preventing its timely completion. Projects that normally take a day shouldn’t take your bookkeper several days.
10. Commitment to Your Business
Your bookkeeper should be committed to your business. You should be a priority and they should be thorough in their work. A good bookkeeper has several clients and knows how to make each of them feel important.
Look for these traits in a bookkeeper and your business will benefit greatly.