Very few business owners can effectively handle bookkeeping and financial transactions without the help of a professional.
So, working with a bookkeeper is more of a necessity than just an option. There’s more to bookkeeping than merely keeping business records. It’s a full-fledged task that requires a proficient manager.
Just as with the process you undertake to add new people to your team, finding the right ‘bookkeeper near me’ requires effort and dedication.
Note: Even if you limit your search for a bookkeeper within your locality, you must be resourceful enough to come up with at least three prospects. It wouldn’t make sense to hire the first individual you meet just because he lives a block away.
Here’s how to find a competent bookkeeper near me:
Get Referrals For A ‘Bookkeeper Near Me’
Ask for referrals from business owners who have worked with a bookkeeping professional in the past. Start asking people around you, including friends, family members or co-workers.
They’re sure to have either a personal or professional relationship with someone who specializes in bookkeeping services.
To make the process easier, call business owners you know and ask them for names of potential candidates.
If you’re a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, contact them and ask for referrals.
Also, consider asking accountants and other financial experts about the person who handles their books.
They might have an idea of where to look if you need someone to help with your business accounting and finances.
After getting referrals, do your research. Contact the people you trust to ask about their experiences with the bookkeeper of your choice.
Dig into their credentials and figure out what they specialize in by checking out their online profiles – much better if you get to talk to them personally.
Inquire if prospective candidates have experience working with businesses in your industry. You also get to know how they charge their clients and if they’re qualified for your requirements.
A Closer Look At Their Credentials
Some businesses make the mistake of hiring bookkeepers despite having little information about their background and credentials. Avoid making the same mistake by asking these relevant questions:
- What are their qualifications? Do they hold a degree in business administration or management, or maybe in a field related to financial bookkeeping? Do they have any certifications that are relative to your industry?
- Are they a member of any professional organizations in the bookkeeping and accounting field?
- How long has your prospective candidate been in the profession? A seasoned candidate offers invaluable insights about effective strategies to make your business more profitable. If you’re looking for someone who can handle your finances during tax season, an experienced candidate is the way to go.
Availability And Cost
How do they charge? Are they willing to work on an hourly basis? Do they have a monthly rate, or are they only available for one-time jobs?
Having a bookkeeper who’s willing to provide periodic financial reports is more than ideal for businesses that don’t have enough human resources to track business finances and prepare reports.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping to another party doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. But it should be worth the money you pay for their services.
Ideally, a good candidate should quote you with an average price that can fit your budget at any given time. They must be willing to work with you and offer multiple payment schedules that you can pay off in monthly increments.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of candidates, it’s time to choose the best one based on these qualities:
- Attention to Detail – If a bookkeeper manages to annoy you, it means he’s doing an excellent job. Finding someone with the right attitude for handling tasks such as balancing accounts can be the difference between your business being profitable or failing miserably. If you can’t trust a bookkeeper to spot mistakes and correct them, you need someone else.
- Consider a Tax Expert – Pick a candidate with evident proficiency in handling tax-related problems. With the complexity of tax laws in different business agencies, you need a reliable person who’s updated with the latest income tax codes.
- Learn Your Business – The best bookkeeper is more than happy to learn how your business operates. This willingness exceeds the bounds of finances and taxes. For bookkeepers to be effective, they must know every stakeholder and player, including your organizational structure, inside and out.
- Capable and Trustworthy – Bookkeepers must be honest and loyal to their bosses. They must work in the best interests and welfare of the business. They must be trustworthy and approachable for employees and superiors alike since they’re expected to work with everyone, from top to bottom.
- Industry Experience – Your bookkeeper is effective at his job when he has the experience to back it up. A seasoned bookkeeper offers invaluable insights about the ways to make your business more profitable. A good candidate should be willing to give you pertinent information about their experience in the field. Refusal to do so is a red flag.
- Choose Local – It’s best to work with a local bookkeeper because it’ll be easier to meet with them whenever you need immediate help. Proximity isn’t the only reason a local bookkeeper is better for your needs. Local candidates for ‘bookkeeper near me’ are more effective in giving you information about tax laws, business taxes and other regulations specific to your locality.
With the right approach, finding the best bookkeeper near me that fits your business’s needs is much easier. Also, it’s crucial to find an individual who shares the same vision as you do. You can’t possibly work with anyone who isn’t on the same page as you are.