Hiring a bookkeeper is an important decision for any business owner. The right bookkeeper can help you maintain accurate financial records, stay compliant with tax laws, and make informed business decisions. However, how do you know if a bookkeeper is right for your business? In this article, we'll explore how to test a bookkeeper before hiring to ensure that you find the right fit.
1. Review their qualifications
Before hiring a bookkeeper, review their qualifications. Look for certifications such as Certified Bookkeeper (CB), Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB), or Certified Management Accountant (CMA). These certifications indicate that the bookkeeper has a certain level of education and experience in the field.
2. Request references
Ask the bookkeeper to provide references from previous clients. Reach out to these references to ask about their experience working with the bookkeeper. Did the bookkeeper meet their expectations? Was communication easy and clear? Did they complete work on time and accurately?
3. Test their skills
Testing a bookkeeper's skills can be done in several ways. Here are a few options:
- Give them a bookkeeping test: Create a test that includes basic bookkeeping tasks such as reconciling accounts or creating financial statements. This will give you an idea of their level of proficiency.
Here are some sample questions for a bookkeeping test:
- What is the purpose of a balance sheet?
- What is double-entry bookkeeping?
- How do you calculate accounts receivable turnover ratio?
- How do you record a journal entry for a cash sale?
- How do you reconcile a bank statement?
Ask for examples of previous work: Request examples of previous work that the bookkeeper has completed, such as financial reports or tax filings. This will allow you to see their work quality and attention to detail.
Roleplay a scenario: Create a scenario that the bookkeeper might encounter in your business, such as an audit or a tax filing. Ask the bookkeeper how they would handle the situation to gauge their problem-solving skills and knowledge of the industry.
4. Evaluate their communication skills
Clear communication is essential for any successful business relationship. During the hiring process, evaluate the bookkeeper's communication skills. Do they respond to emails and calls promptly? Are they able to explain financial concepts in a way that's easy to understand? A bookkeeper who communicates clearly and effectively will make your financial management process run more smoothly.
5. Consider their personality and work style
Finally, consider the bookkeeper's personality and work style. Are they a good fit for your company culture? Do they have a work style that aligns with your business needs? A bookkeeper who is a good fit will work well with your team and help your business thrive.
Reconciliation is a crucial part of bookkeeping. To test a bookkeeper's reconciliation skills, provide them with a bank statement and a record of transactions for a given period (e.g. a month). Ask them to reconcile the two records and provide a report that shows any discrepancies or errors. This will help you evaluate their attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and ability to reconcile accounts accurately.
Testing a bookkeeper before hiring is an essential part of the hiring process. By reviewing their qualifications, requesting references, testing their skills, evaluating their communication skills, and considering their personality and work style, you can ensure that you find the right bookkeeper for your business. At Accounting Supports, we offer expert bookkeeping services for businesses of all sizes starting from only $99/month. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business thrive.