Many companies have a difficult time finding a qualified bookkeeper. Here are some tips to make the process easier and ensure you hire a good bookkeeper.
Determine your Budget
Bookkeepers come in all shapes, sizes, experience and yes, income expectations. The cost of a bookkeeper ranges from $16 to $180 an hour. For more detailed information, check out our blog on Bookkeeping Costs and Intuit’s rate survey results that can be found here.
Write and Post a Job Description
Determine exactly what experience and education you are looking for in a bookkeeper. Prepare a list of the job responsibilities.
Post on your social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) that you are looking for a bookkeeper. You can also send mass emails to all your contacts for free on LinkedIn. (Go to Connections – Keep in Touch)
A sample job description can be found here.
Check QuickBooks' Find a ProAdvisor
QuickBooks certifies Consultants who have passed their tests. Find a Certified QuickBooks Advisor in your area. The site provides testimonials, distance from you, years as a ProAdvisor, and the certifications the bookkeeper has earned.
Ask your Accountant for Recommendations
Most accountants work with numerous bookkeepers and can easily make a recommendation, or they have a temp service that can provide the service for you. Let your accountant know your budget so they can provide the best fit for you.
Offer a Finder’s Fee to Employees
Employees are a great source for new hires. Offer $500-$1,000 if their recommendation is hired and is employed after 6 months.
Possible Interview Questions
When hiring a bookkeeper, some of the attributes to look for for are:
- Quick Learner – You might ask - What class have you taken lately? What books and websites do you read regularly? What are your hobbies? You are looking for lifelong learner who is interested in challenging topics.
- Technologically Savvy – QuickBooks isn’t changing with each new version anymore. There are regular updates that your bookkeeper will need to manage. Here are some questions you can ask to see if they will be able to manage bumps in the road - What kind of cell phone do you use? What is your favorite app? What is the hardest software you have ever tried to master? How did it go? Can you use a Mac and a PC? What is your favorite Excel trick? A candidate who can’t text is probably not a good fit.
- Other Questions – Bookkeepers tend to like order so ask – What is your favorite household chore? Or do you like puzzles? There is a correlation between bookkeeping skills and doing the laundry as well as an enjoyment of puzzles.
- Even More Questions- If you had the choice, what would your ideal job and career be? How would your friends and coworkers describe you? If you get this job, what kind of rewards/perks would motivate you to be a top performer?
Test for Skills
Everyone says they know QuickBooks but how do you really know how capable they are? Make sure your applicant has the skills you need by testing them. The Sleeter Group offers a test for three different types of hires. You can access the tests here.
Get a Background Check
You may find the perfect candidate but they have bad credit. You don’t want your trusted financial consultant to have made poor financial decisions in the past. Don’t skip this step. A background and credit check is simple to order. Find a bookkeeper with a clean background check and credit history to help you keep your financials in great shape.