How to hire a bookkeeper - Part I - Introduction

Over the years I have had new clients come to me in complete despair. They may have gone through several bookkeepers, and their books are now a terrible mess. They may have had a bookkeeper commit fraudulent acts, sometimes over a period of many years undiscovered by the business owner or the accountant. They may very well just be a new business owner who doesn’t want anything at all to do with the financial aspect of their business other than getting the information they need to make valuable decisions. Recently, with many people losing their jobs due to the economy, there has been an influx of so called “bookkeepers” in the job market. This can be a nightmare for a business owner when looking to add a bookkeeper to their staff.
Hiring a bookkeeper for your business can be stressful, confusing, and frustrating. No business owner goes into business enthused about the opportunity to enter and pay bills, create invoices, balance checkbooks, reconcile bank accounts, fill out sales tax forms, or any of the other responsibilities of a bookkeeper (other than myself of course.) As a small business owner you will hopefully find out sooner rather than later that keeping proper books is essential to the growth of your business.
But what do you know about bookkeeping? You went into business on your own because you are passionate about what you do and believe that you can offer a product or service that people need. Your not an accountant; you did not go to school for four or more years learning about debits and credits, or the difference between assets and liabilities. How then, are you qualified to hire someone to handle one of the most sensitive and integral parts of your business? The truth is, you probably aren’t. This article is however, was written with you in mind.
As a business owner like you, I have had to learn a lot “the hard way.” I have made plenty of mistakes when hiring bookkeepers, each time learning something new which, over my tenure has led me to perfect my skills at hiring qualified, competent, and trustworthy bookkeepers to handle my client’s needs. My mistakes are now your guidelines, best of luck as you begin your search for the perfect bookkeeper!