Do you have a hard time keeping a bookkeeper more than a year? Bookkeepers are hard to find and sometimes even harder to keep. Finding a good bookkeeper and training them is costly. Here is a list of items that may be causing the problem.
Not Providing Detail on Transactions
Bookkeepers are not mind readers. They are very skilled but not that skilled. Before your bookkeeper arrives, take a quick look at the file you are giving them. Each item may be understood by you, but will your bookkeeper know the correct account? For Example, a credit card charge from Amazon- Is it an educational or office supply expense?
Giving Them a Tiny Work Area
Take a look at the space you are providing for your bookkeeper to do their work. Is it cluttered? Bookkeepers do better in a clean space with enough room to sort the work they are doing. Have you provided at least 5’ x 2’ of uncluttered space? Is there a file cabinet or drawer space to hold the files you need to maintain? If not, go virtual.
Having Poor Communication
Again – bookkeepers are not mind readers. Make your expectations known to your bookkeeper. Every client is different. Sometimes your bookkeeper needs a reminder. You may even need to resort to putting it in writing. If you have tried all this, your bookkeeper is not a good fit and you could consider looking for a replacement.
Being Upset about a Mistake
Bookkeepers handle a hundred or more transactions a month. Each one has many parts. Mistakes are going to happen. Your bookkeeper is upset about the mistake. A reprimand from you will not solve the problem. After a mistake, make sure a mechanism is in place to avoid the problem next time. Also, protect yourself by making sure your bookkeeper isn’t responsible for any costly mistake like paying a bill with a large penalty. Note the due date on your calendar, too.
Asking for an Emergency Report As They are Walking Out
The bookkeeper’s time is usually planned out. Throwing a last minute request will make your bookkeeper late for their next appointment. Have your to-do list ready when your bookkeeper arrives. Prioritize the list yourself to make sure the most important items get done in the time allotted.
Not Answering Questions
Yes, you are very busy. Your bookkeeper knows that and is only asking you questions when they can’t figure something out. Give your bookkeeper priority. When questions go unanswered, your financials won’t get done. Asking the same question multiple times is not an efficient use of either of your time.
Providing a Lousy Chair
Do you provide a chair that should have been donated to charity years ago? Your bookkeeper is sitting for long stretches. The correct height of the chair is also important. Could you sit in that chair for 4-5 hours? If you can, you are good.
Using a Business Credit Card for Personal Expenses
Sorting through transactions that are personal and commingled with business expenses is tedious and isn’t a good use of anyone’s time. Take a monthly draw so you have enough to pay personal expenses.
Smoking Around Them (Even Smokeless Cigarettes are Very Difficult)
You may be surprised by this one. Smoking happens. Consider having your bookkeeper work remotely. There really isn’t any other solution.
If you find that you are guilty of many of these, make a couple changes to keep your bookkeeper and save yourself time.