5 Things to Look for in a Bookkeeper

Bookkeeper TraitsAny successful small business owner will tell you that maintaining good books and having access to solid financial information are critical to the ongoing success of their operation. That’s why it’s so important to hire the right bookkeeper. Following are a few things that you should look for in your bookkeeper:

1. Long-term Focus

A good bookkeeper will keep a long-term focus that helps you to balance the operation of your business for the best chances at long-term success. They will manage the daily details of your financials while maintaining a 20,000 foot view of how each impacts what you are trying to accomplish over the next 5, 10 and 25 year period.

2. Industry-specific Experience

While there are certainly common aspects to bookkeeping as a process, experience in certain industries and/or functional areas helps to make bookkeepers sharper and more knowledgeable in the best ways to track and manage your financials. If possible, look for a bookkeeper who has some experience in your industry, as they’ll be able to bring what they’ve learned from other similar clients to your business.

3. Communication Skills

Keeping in mind that you are hiring a “outsider” to manage one of the most critical areas of your business, it is important that your consultant has good communication skills. The transparency and understanding that a good bookkeeper can provide you as a business owner can be the difference between good and bad business decisions on your part. You must be able to look to them for guidance and clarification as it relates to the data that they are providing you, and this requires clear and frequent interaction.

4. Timeliness

A good bookkeeper will display organization and timeliness in every aspect of their interaction with you. Managing the infinite details of your bookkeeping system requires attention to detail and an exacting dedication and reliability, and the best bookkeepers will apply this to every aspect of their practice (including and especially in their daily interaction with you and your financials).

5. Commitment

Because of the stakes involved in accounting/bookkeeping, it’s important that you find a bookkeeper who is ready to commit to the success of your business. The longevity of this relationship will depend on the commitment and dedication that you share, so make sure they show a strong interest in the success of your business.
Ultimately, your bookkeeper should be one of your most trusted allies, and their expertise should add to the overall value of your business. Hiring a good bookkeeper can become one of the most important things you do for your business, so do your diligence and find a partner you can rely on.

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