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How to Hire a Good Bookkeeper

Apr 28, 2015 12:00:00 PM Kathy Dise Small Business, For Accountants, Bookkeeping

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. 

Or you can skip these steps and hire BudgetEase. You will have the highest level bookkeeping for a minimal cost. We will do all the training for you.

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Kathy Dise

Written by Kathy Dise

Kathy has over 30 years experience helping small businesses succeed. As a commercial lender, commercialization expert and now as a QuickBooks diamond level advisor, Kathy understands the challenges small business owners face. Her experience helps business owners quickly accomplish their financial goals. As the owner of BudgetEase, Kathy works with clients to develop a plan to efficiently process 1,000s of small transactions so owners can make informed decisions. She lives in Shaker Heights, OH with her husband Ralph and enjoys golf, curling and walking in Cleveland’s fabulous Metro Parks.