Marketlend Academy: How do you hire a bookkeeper?
When starting a small business, the list of important financial decisions that go into the development of your newly formed enterprise can be overwhelming. From establishing an office to paying employees, the finances and expenses can pile up.
With this in mind, it’s important to hire a bookkeeper who can help sort out the money side of the business and establish good professional record-keeping, freeing you to focus on the other critical tasks involved in getting your newly formed business up and running smoothly.
Bringing someone on board to manage the financial matters may seem a significant expense in the short term, but it can save you time and money in the long run.
When hiring a bookkeeper for your small business, you’ll want to follow these fundamental steps:
- Decide if you need an employee, firm or consultant
Do you want your bookkeeper to be an employee? Would you prefer to work with a bookkeeping firm? Or would an independent consultant on contract be a better option? Much depends here on the size of your business and the size of your budget. If your business is big enough, with daily accounting needs, a staff position might be the best way to go. For smaller businesses, a firm or consultant might be a less costly and perfectly effective choice. Either way, make sure you don’t underestimate the importance of good record-keeping from the start.
- Look for someone that understands your business
When hiring a bookkeeper, you’ll want to find a firm or consultant that is experienced in working within your specific industry. For example, if you’re starting a restaurant or eatery, look for someone established in the industry who has handled the bookkeeping for food establishments in the past.
- Find a bookkeeper with computational knowledge
You don’t need a computer wizard as your bookkeeper, but with the growing use of online accounting software it’s important to hire a bookkeeper who is up to date with the growing technological tools that have expanded their work. This is a benefit for you and your business because the bookkeeper will be able to utilize the technology that enables them to be transparent while delivering data-based analysis of your business to you.
- Know the bookkeeper’s track record
You’re giving your bookkeeper responsibilities essential to managing your company’s finances which include proprietary information. Make sure this individual or company has a proven track record. Reach out to former clientele. Check references. Do a criminal background check. Excellent references that demonstrate your candidate’s experience, honesty and reliability are a safeguard against a poor hire that can affect your company’s bottom line.
- Decide whether you need an accountant as well
A bookkeeper will help with the day-to-day tasks of managing and recording company expenses, from payroll to purchasing. An accountant will go further and provide big picture financial analysis of your company and tax filing. Understanding the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant is important for your new business, with both potentially playing a vital role to any growing startup. From the daily operations standpoint, a bookkeeper is the wise starting point. But as your business grows, you may find the services of an accountant invaluable.