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14 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an In-House Bookkeeper

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Bringing on a new team member is always an exciting proposition for startups and small businesses. For any business owner focused on the long-term financial health of their business, bookkeepers may seem like a logical early stage employee.

But not so fast…. there are questions you need to ask yourself before investing the time, resources, and money required to hire an in-house bookkeeper.

In this month’s post, we’ll outline some questions to ask yourself before diving into this investment.

 

Can I Afford it?

While big businesses can afford an in-house bookkeeper, not every small business can or should make the investment.

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, on average bookkeepers are paid over $38,000 a year. And that’s before even taking into consideration employer taxes, which will bring your cost considerably higher.

In addition to payroll, you’ll also have to take into consideration….

  • Health benefits
  • Vacation and sick days
  • Retirement
  • Office space and equipment

These expenses add up and could instead be used for further investment in your growing business.

Ask yourself…

Do You Have Enough Work For Them?

Before hiring an internal bookkeeper, consider whether you have enough work to justify the expense. While you likely won’t have the time or expertise to properly update your books on your own, a trusted cloud-integrated bookkeeping solution could be perfect for your small business. These solutions will have flexible, scalable plans to fit the exact needs of your business.

 

Can I Find Someone With Enough Experience?

While you may be able to find an affordable in-house bookkeeper, will that person have the knowledge to control the books of your business?

No matter the size of your business, you should never settle for an inexperienced bookkeeper.

Savvy and experienced bookkeepers are instrumental in growing your businesses and will let you focus on what you’re good at. They’ll also be a financial asset to your company, with good advice and recommendations based on the needs of your specific businesses.

This advice and occupational know-how is something a recent college graduate could never give you.

Ask yourself…..

Will They Be an Asset to Your Business?

Will the bookkeeper make recommendations and know how to get the most out of Quickbooks or Xero? Will they have good advice that will bring your business to the next level?

Can they help your business grow?

If not, then consider another option. Bringing in a full-time employee is an investment that needs a return.

Do They Have Experience With More Than One Sector?

Even if your candidates have years of experience with bookkeeping, is it the right experience?

Bookkeeping is nuanced, and the intricacies of your industry could be lost on someone who has spent their entire career in a different field. Make sure the person managing your books has the ability to learn the nuances of your particular industry and business.

 

Can I Trust Them?

Just because you aren’t a big corporation doesn’t mean you’re immune to fraud. According to a 2016 survey, 80% of embezzlements happen at small businesses.

Unlike other employees, your bookkeeper will have access to your bank accounts and personal information. You need someone you trust in this role or you’ll constantly be worried that something could go wrong.

Even if you trust an in-house bookkeeper to not commit fraud, you need to trust the person will have the attention to detail required of an experienced and trusted bookkeeper. Most audits are a result of a simple mistake. Don’t expose yourself to scrutiny from the IRS!

Ask yourself…

Is This Person Trustworthy?

Make sure to scrutinize any candidate’s past professional experience.

  • Talk to past employers and references to ensure there have never been any incidents that raised suspicion.
  • Conduct a thorough background check.
  • Listen to your gut. You need to personally trust anyone in possession of your financial information.

Does This Person Pay Attention to Details?

This person will be your last line of defense against an audit. You need to make sure they will not make mistakes.

Take a look at their resume and cover letter to ensure there are no obvious mistakes. While you shouldn’t critique their writing too much (this is a bookkeeping position after all), any bookkeeper who isn’t noticing obvious mistakes on their resume may miss something crucial in your books.

 

Are They Scaleable?

Make sure your bookkeeper can grow with you.

There are bookkeepers out there who may be able to handle your current business, but not the business you have in three years.

You need someone who will not only be able to grow but will be excited to bring your business to the next level.

Ask yourself…

Do They Have the Motivation and Tools to Grow With You?

Bookkeepers may have a reputation for being old-fashioned, but any good bookkeeper will be excited about growth.

Make sure anyone in charge of your books can handle the increased workload and challenges new business will bring.

A lot of people and services will say they want to, but can they actually execute when it happens?

Can They Help in Any Other Way?

Any growing business needs team members that can step up when the business expands.

You need your early-stage bookkeeper to have room to grow. Can they manage…

Having a financial partner that can scale will give you one less thing to worry about when you need to expand your team.

 

Will They Be Trained In My Current Systems?

A key aspect of any new hire is the ability for them to seamlessly integrate with your company culture. You don’t want to create work and adjust key systems integral to your business just because you hired someone new.

Many bookkeepers looking for work may not be savvy in newer, software solutions that help you manage your business. Even if your business doesn’t use these services, do you want a bookkeeper that is not up-to-date on industry standards?

Working with people without this knowledge, or without the drive to learn it, will put your business at a disadvantage.

Ask yourself….

Do They Know How to Use and Integrate With The Right Services?

Make sure they know how to use leading accounting and bookkeeping software, such as:

Integration with these software options will make your life a lot easier and your business a lot more efficient.

 

Would a Bookkeeping Service Work Better for Me?

The draw of growing your team and adding an in-house bookkeeper may seem tempting. But for many start-ups and small businesses, a trusted and experienced outsourced bookkeeping partner can be a better solution.

With expanded resources, a range of industry know-how, and the systems of a firm much larger, an experienced bookkeeping partner will bring a team’s worth of experience to your business for less money.

Only Work with Trusted And Experienced Bookkeeping Partners

Intelli Bookkeeping is a partner you can trust. We…

  • Integrate with all major cloud services
  • Have experience with businesses of all sizes in a range of industries
  • Offer a variety of services to create a custom solution just for you

Best of all? We will scale with you and have never met a business challenge we couldn’t take on.

Contact Intelli Bookkeeping today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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