What You Should Know Before Hiring a Bookkeeper

May 14, 2021

The idea to hire a bookkeeper can be a wonderful moment of epiphany for your business. Depending on the size of your business, you may want to hire a bookkeeper full time, part-time, or as a contractor. The duties of your bookkeeper generally include recording deposits and withdrawals into your books, paying bills and issuing invoices, reconciling accounts, payroll, filing and paying sales tax, preparing financial reports, and keeping a sharp eye out for discrepancies, efficiencies, and ensuring CRA compliance.

Bookkeepers do not have to have bookkeeping education, but there are certificates programs and individual courses available from a variety of educational institutions including continuing education and college certificates. You may also encounter applicants who have decades of experience but no formal education. Ultimately, the quality of candidate depends on individual abilities, and experience. Always check references and confirm resume contents.

Before you write and post your job opening you need to have a concrete list of duties that will be assigned to the bookkeeper. They can perform some of the tasks traditionally assigned to the bookkeeper, or they

can simply enter documented information into your books and reconcile your accounts monthly. The choice is yours, but compare the task list to your staffing budget, as well as the time you and your team will save by assigning more tasks to the bookkeeper.

As you read through applications and conduct interviews, keep these qualifications in mind:

  • Education: Although not required, a bookkeeping education is an asset. Review each certification or diploma program as you see them show up on applications to ensure that you hire someone with the level of education that your company needs.
  • Experience: If the candidate has several years or more of experience as a bookkeeper, this is as valuable as an education – if not more so. Experienced bookkeepers have dealt with a wide range of problem-solving and have a variety of resources to refer to immediately. Education often includes internships and co-op experiences though, so continue to consider those new to the field.
  • Vocabulary: Your bookkeeper has to be able to talk the talk. They are the ones who have to sort through documentation from customers, vendors, your accountant, and the government in order to provide appropriate reports and data when requested, in a timely manner.
  • Problem Solving: Your ideal bookkeeper won’t enter information on autopilot; they will carefully consider and review each entry into your books in order to catch mistakes, neglect, or inappropriate use of the company finances.

Keep in mind that hiring a bookkeeper does not negate your involvement with your company’s financials. It’s critical that you oversee processes and ensure that tasks are completed on time, but in hiring a bookkeeper you are able to reduce the amount of time you spend on recurring tasks.

Racolta Jensen LLP offers a full range of bookkeeping services to suit your every need. Our highly experienced professionals can take care of monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks, or help you with your day-to-day bookkeeping as needed. Call (519) 622-1485 to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you take care of your business.