Banking On Business – 7 Skills To Look For When Hiring A Bookkeeper

Banking On Business - 7 Skills To Look For When Hiring A Bookkeeper

Owning your own business is both exciting and stressful.  Especially in the early days, you end up wearing a lot of hats.  You may have started an online fashion business, but all of a sudden you have to be an expert in marketing, accounting, sales and all of the other aspects that keep a business ticking along.  As you business grows it will hit a tipping point, when you finally have enough cash flow to outsource some of these skilled tasks.

One of the first aspects of your business you should hire help for is accounting.  Hiring a quality bookkeeper will save you an enormous amount of time, it will reduce stress, and open time for you to make better more efficient decisions for the growth of your business.   Choosing the right bookkeeper is a big decision.

If you are looking to take the plunge and bring a bookkeeper on board, than this article is for you.  Read on for 7 essential skills to look for when hiring a bookkeeper.

1)         Education

Hiring a bookkeeper with finance specific education will be a great advantage.  When sorting through applicant resumes, flag the ones who have, or are in the process of obtaining, a Master of Finance degree.

2)        Work Experience

Look for a bookkeeper with varied experience.  For example, an applicant that has only done accounting for large corporations may not be a good fit for your growing business.  The ideal candidate will have experience working in various sectors and sizes of companies so he/she will bring depth of knowledge to the role.

3)        Professionalism

Even though the bookkeeper is not often customer facing, you want to hire someone who presents themselves in a professional manner.  Arriving on time, well dressed to the interview will be an indicator that the applicant is responsible and takes the job seriously.

4)        Communication Skills

Accounting and bookkeeping can seem like a foreign language to those of us with little experience in the area.  Find a bookkeeper that has excellent communication skills.  Someone who can translate the number focused work they do into clear communication on how to use the data and information to improve your business.

5)         Team Player

Some companies place the finance department away from the heart of the company.  This is a mistake.  Incorporating finance and bookkeeping into daily conversation will help all employees understand how critical finance is to all aspects of the company.  Hiring a bookkeeper that can tackle the often solo nature of finance, while also being a team player, will set your business up for success.

6)        Accounting Software Knowledge

Technology is rapidly changing in all aspects of business, finance being no exception.  Make sure you hire an applicant with extensive knowledge of the essential finance software platforms such as Xero and MYOB.

7)         Critical Thinker

Bookkeeping can be the type of task that is narrow focused, and seemingly black and white.  This doesn’t have to be the case.  An exceptional candidate will be someone who is willing to make suggestions for improvements in finance and other aspects of the business.  Especially in a small business, each employee should have the desire to get to know all aspects of the business not just their niche.

Choosing the right bookkeeper is an important step in the growth of your business.  The tips provided above should provide you a platform for narrowing down applicants to interview for the role.  The applicant you choose should be someone you can work collaboratively with, in addition to trusting their ability to work solo.  The right bookkeeper will provide quality support and benefit to your business, in addition to reducing the workload of the often overloaded founder of a small business.  Good luck, and have fun with the interview process!

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