Just as The X Factor’s Simon Cowell judges singers without having singing talent of his own, you don’t need to understand bookkeeping to evaluate a potential bookkeeper’s level of knowledge before making the hiring decision.
Most small businesses seek bookkeepers with knowledge of QuickBooks, since this is the most popular accounting software. Bookkeepers without a full understanding of QuickBooks are soon in over their heads. Then you subsidize on-the-job learning or overpay for someone who isn’t able to keep up with transaction volume.
In the same way, you also may face problems with a bookkeeper who has QuickBooks skills but lacks accounting knowledge. QuickBooks can easily record duplications and other inaccuracies that require identification and correction; bookkeeping entries should establish clear audit trails.
Top-quality bookkeepers make sure financial statements look correct and are also capable of creating custom reports that can help you develop insights into your business results.
One method for assessing bookkeepers is to ask if they have certification from Intuit as a QuickBooks Certified Pro Advisor. Even better, ask your accountant to give you a few questions – and corresponding answers – about QuickBooks and basic accounting for use in testing potential bookkeeper hires.
By addressing these few crucial issues, you are ensuring that your bookkeeper knows the essentials for most common situations. Don’t hand over the responsibility for your business financial records to a bookkeeper without being reasonably certain that your new hire is proficient in these areas.