nine qualities your business should look for when hiring a bookkeeper



As the owner of a fast-growing business, you might be handling many different tasks on your own, including managing clients, monitoring sales, contacting your vendors, and marketing your products or services. You might even handle bookkeeping on your own.

However, if not done right, mismanagement of books can do more harm than good to your business. For starters, it is not easy to track cash flow statements and projections. Your financing options become limited. Payroll problems start to arise. The list goes on.

That is why it is vital to have a professional bookkeeper in your team or a bookkeeping company working for you from the outside. Either way, they will accurately track and report the flow of money in and out of your accounts by way of salaries, sales and expenses, and also ensure your business complies with legal requirements.

So, if you are interested in hiring a bookkeeper and need a bit of help, here are nine factors to consider:

1. Their accreditations and experience

Bookkeeping can be a tedious function as it involves recording transactions of your business. And since they are responsible for giving you a complete, up-to-date view of your current financial situation, it is vital not to make a mistake.

Therefore, your bookkeeper should have relevant qualifications and experience to handle this function. They should preferably have an IAB or ICB bookkeeping qualification, so you can be assured they meet specified quality standards.

Ideally, they should also have experience managing books of accounts of businesses working in the same industry as yours. For instance, if you are in healthcare, hiring a bookkeeping company who has previously worked in a similar set up can add more value.

2. The software they use

Using a bookkeeping software solution automates various time-consuming tasks. Suppose your bookkeeper is comfortable using tools such as Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent and KashFlow. In that case, using it too means your business data gets securely stored online, and you also don’t have to email your ledger to them – you can both log-in online!

It is easy for a tech-savvy bookkeeping company to deliver a high-quality set of books, ensure real-time reporting, and find ways to improve accounting workflows – all of which adds value and helps your business grow.

3. Their security systems

This is an incredibly vital component to focus on if you are planning to hire a bookkeeping company for your business. When you outsource financial data, you are entrusting highly sensitive information to a third-party service provider.

While bookkeeping software protects data with multiple layers of security, you must ensure your information is private and only used for agreed purposes. It is thus crucial to verify that their security systems are well-suited to avoid data breaches.

4. What their clients say

Reviews from clients are essential for an understanding of how well your bookkeeping company delivers on its promises. Search online for reviews or ask among your circle of industry peers for information.

Check whether the team is known for clear communication, on-time delivery, and accurate results. You can also ask the bookkeeping company for references to their past and existing clients for a greater understanding of their work ethics.

5. Their infrastructure

Your bookkeeping company should have suitably advanced and secure technological resources in place. Some of the primary resources they have must include high-speed broadband and remote access to desktops along with the facility of landlines.

Besides, if they use communication tools such as Skype, Zoom, and Slack, that will make it easier for you to connect with them, irrespective of where they are based in the UK. Accessibility is an essential factor to note when finalising a bookkeeper.

6. The internal training they undergo

Although bookkeeping is a distinct process, it quickly becomes more complicated with the introduction of loans, taxes, assets, and investments. As your business grows, the function also expands, therefore demanding more attention-to-detail.

Therefore, it is necessary your bookkeeper provides rigorous and regular training to its employees not only on the function but also for the use of various software such as Xero, KashFlow and QuickBooks.

The employees should also have access to online classroom training sessions to update their skills. If your bookkeeping company does not emphasise training and development, you might want to take a step back and find someone else.

7. Their work culture

How a company treats its employees says a lot about the kind of values they endorse. And your bookkeeping company is no exception. Before signing them up, search online or on social media for what their employees say about them.

If their work culture is fair and inclusive, employees are sure to talk about it on LinkedIn. Similarly, if the company has an unpopular reputation amongst its employees, they will voice their frustrations on channels such as Glassdoor.

8. Their price points

Any bookkeeping company with a track record of quality results will price its services accordingly. Check their website for pricing information, and then consult them directly and get their point of view.

Ask what their different service packages are priced as and whether they have any special discounts for bulk commissions. This way, you can consider them for a long-term association if their bulk prices match your budget.

9. Their hiring processes

How a bookkeeping company hires its employees matters. Therefore, talk to the company representatives and ask around about the selection criteria they employ when selecting candidates.

Some bookkeeping companies even allow their clients to have a say in regards to the kind of bookkeepers they want to handle their accounts. This is important because the bookkeepers you work with will be like an extension of your team.

It is thus imperative that you know their abilities and work ethic before signing them on. Therefore, make sure you do the groundwork when you finalise your bookkeeping support.

Wrapping it up

A weak bookkeeping function is one of the most common reasons why businesses fail. However, that can be completely avoidable – by hiring a bookkeeping company that can handle the function efficiently for you.

So, why not request your free 30-minute consultation with us and sort it all out today? Whether you are a limited company or sole trader, an IT specialist or a plumber, Agility Bookkeeping will make your life easier, save you money and reduce stress by providing bookkeeping services in Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow areas!

Remember, bookkeeping is the only way to fully understand your business operations so that you can make better financial decisions. Contact us today!


by Sep 11, 2020BOOKKEEPING0 comments