10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Bookkeeper (Part 2/2)
As bookkeeping covers important aspects of your business, we wouldn't recommend rushing hiring just anyone to take the position. Well, without further ado, here are the rest of the questions you should ask before hiring a bookkeeper for your business:
6. What can you expect around delivery times and response times?A common complaint about bookkeepers is that they can be slow to respond to emails and that the bookkeeping isn’t completed to a set schedule.
Ask about what you can expect each week / month from them and what the expected response times are you to your questions.
7. Are you hiring the bookkeeper directly or working with a bookkeeping business?If you hire a bookkeeper directly who isn’t part of a bigger team, then ask questions about a back-up plan. What will you do if this bookkeeper is sick or has an accident? How will you make sure your team and suppliers get paid, and your customers are paying you?
Working with a bookkeeping business with multiple staffHiring a bookkeeping business rather than an individual bookkeeper helps spread the risk. However, with a bookkeeping team, it is likely that the person you are scoping out the bookkeeping job will be different from the team member who does your processing.
In this case, ask about what quality control and internal review procedures they have.
8. How do they protect their clients?You are sharing your financial information with a bookkeeper, so you need to feel like you can trust them. You will probably get a feel for this during the initial scoping process.
Ask about internal controls and segregation of duties.
The term ‘segregation of duties’ means that rather than having one person responsible for every aspect of a role, split the responsibilities among multiple people.
We recommend that you create a segregation of duties between the role of the person completing bank reconciliations and the person raising invoices or paying bills.
9. How do they price their services?How will the bookkeeper charge? Is there a fixed monthly fee, or do they charge by the hour?
The trend in bookkeeping is to charge a fixed rate. If this is the case, make sure you are clear about what is and isn’t included in that fixed rate.
10. Who will own the Xero subscription?This is important! We recommend that the business owner holds the subscription in their own name and then invites the accountant and bookkeeper into the Xero file.
There have been instances of accountants refusing to give access to Xero, where there have been disputes over bills. We believe clients ‘own’ their data and recommend they hold the Xero subscription in their name.
So when should you outsource Bookkeeping Tasks?Still not convinced that you need to hire a bookkeeper or getting cold feet now that you know what kind of information you need to gather when hiring a bookkeeper for your business?
Professional bookkeeping services are always ideal as your business grows. Simply having someone there to help with customer billing questions and account questions can help immensely.
Just take your time to do your research and make sure to ask all the right questions before hiring a professional bookkeeper and beginning the onboarding process. The interview process will prove to be very advantageous and will help ensure success during the hiring process.
The sample interview questions we have included above are just a few ideas and are there to offer you a starting off point as you search for professional bookkeepers.
Depending on your industry, you may want to find ways to personalize the questions even more to make them make more sense for your industry. Take the time to find someone professional and qualified, and one that best fits your company vision.
Finding the Right BookkeeperIn summary, the right bookkeeper for your business is one that possesses the technical knowledge needed to complete the job successfully, one that is considered an expert in your particular industry, or even one that is ready and willing to learn.
They should be passionate about what they do, and this will reflect in their work, and they should fit within the culture of your company while also aligning with your goals and objectives.
So, there you have it, 10 powerful bookkeeper interview questions that you can ask your potential bookkeeper to ensure that whoever you’re about to hire is credible, qualified, knowledgeable, and has your best interest in mind.
Planning to outsource bookkeeping tasks for your business? Contact Numbers & Co. today!
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