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How to Hire the Best Bookkeeper for Your Business

A financially healthy business doesn’t happen by chance or desire, unless you went to school to become a bookkeeper, we doubt you want to be spending your days figuring out how to get your business to a financially healthy place.

When we refer to a financially healthy business, we mean a business that amongst other things has operating efficiency—a company’s profit after costs of goods sold and marketing those products or services, is positive. 

How do you know if you’re even close to your profitability goals if your books are not getting balanced monthly at a minimum and you are not analyzing your numbers?

If you don’t have a bookkeeper to help with these tasks it might be because you’ve heard bad things from friends, you just don’t know where to start looking and what qualifications you need to look for. 

Let us help by outlining some of the things you do need to look for when hiring a bookkeeper for your business and show you why outsourcing is usually a better choice than working with an existing employee.

 First off…

What is a bookkeeper?

A bookkeeper is someone that records and manages your business’ financial transactions amongst other tasks.

At Censea we help our clients with payroll services, software training, tax preparation and financial reporting on top of bookkeeping services.

What should you look for when hiring a bookkeeper?

Not all bookkeepers are certified, and just because they are not it does not necessarily mean they would not be able to help your business. However, a Certified Professional Bookkeepers (CPB) certification means they have gone through the necessary training and is independent proof of their skills.

If someone belongs to a professional association it also indicates they are regularly upgrading their skills to keep up with new regulations, tax rules and more. They also must adhere to a code of ethics, and take 20 continuing credits annually to continue professional development. Bookkeepers even have to meet certain criteria prior to even being allowed to write the exam to become a CPB!

Cheaper is not always better

 We know that running a business is expensive, and we don’t always want to incur another monthly fee, however as annoying as the saying “You get what you pay for” is, it really is true more often than not and definitely when looking to hire a professional bookkeeper.

The cheapest package or the cheaper per-hour charge can mean a number of things, and you may totally strike out and get someone that is amazing but may only be starting out and therefore has lower rates, but those scenarios are like unicorns.

Experience and References 

Not having experience usually means someone is just starting out and would appreciate a break into the industry. It can also mean someone is not set in their ways and is more malleable to your company policies and procedures. If you are thinking of hiring a junior bookkeeper, someone with certification is ideal.

If you are hiring an experienced bookkeeper, remember to check their references and seek more on your own than those provided.

Ask as many questions that are relevant so you can figure out if they are a good fit personality-wise as well. You and your bookkeeper will be working hand in hand, have ongoing conversations each month and need to be comfortable sharing sensitive information. Do you get along with them, and have a similar sense of humour or communication style?

Outsourcing is better than hiring staff

When thinking about hiring a contractor, a firm, or creating an in-house position for a bookkeeper, we tend to lean towards outsourcing.

Unless you have a huge company with massive product lines, numerous employees, and the ability to provide a staff member with full-time hours solely for bookkeeping, outsourcing your bookkeeping just makes sense. You’ll also save money by not having to pay for ongoing training, holiday pay and other expenses including hardware that you are required to pay for with employees.

At Censea Accounting & Business Solutions we understand you want to focus on running your business, not your bookkeeping. If you’re open to making changes or require a bookkeeper for the first time in your business history connect with us today and book a free consultation with our team. We’d love to get to know you and your business!

Jennifer Walsh, CPB

Article by Jennifer Walsh, CPB

Jennifer Walsh has been a bookkeeper for over 20 years and she's loved every minute of it. She loves helping business owners reach their financial goals so they can live the life they love, without having to worry about the numbers.