Are you asking the right questions?

Bookkeeping takes time and knowledge that most business owners do not have; therefore they find someone else to handle this task for them. Some businesses hire an employee either part-time or full-time to manage their books. Others decide to outsource their bookkeeping needs to a bookkeeping service or accounting firm. No matter what route you decide to take, asking the proper questions during the interview process is imperative. Below you will find a helpful guide to aide you in your search for the perfect bookkeeping professional.

 

Identify your needs before you begin searching:

Make a list of what you would like someone to take care of for you. Be specific by listing out what accounting software you currently use or would like to use. Have a good idea of how many bookkeeping entries you make during an average month. Do you need someone to help with payroll? What taxes is your company responsible for? What type of business entity are you? How many payables and receivables do you have?

Formulate specific questions that demand specific answers:

  • My company uses QuickBooks Pro 2009. Do you have any experience using QuickBooks, and if so, please tell me in detail what you have done within this software.
  • My business has sales tax that is due monthly. Do you have experience preparing and filing sales tax returns? If so, please give me details on this experience.

Ask questions regarding the interviewee’s background, industry experience, etc.

  • Do they have experience working in small business? What industry do they have experience in?
  • Are they willing to adapt to your business needs, within reason, and make any transitions or changes as comfortable as possible?
  • Are they able and willing to spot mistakes and make the appropriate corrections?
  • In general, what type of system do they have for maintaining someone’s bookkeeping records?
  • What type of ethics training do they have?
  • Do they guarantee confidentiality?

Is this person/service/firm a good fit for my business?

Not all individuals or businesses are going to mesh well. I have learned that not all clients are a good fit for my business and my business is not a good fit for all clients. I am knowledgeable enough to know when this is the case and I will help that client find someone else who would be a better fit. Not all bookkeeping professionals will do this. It is up to you, the business owner, to try and make this determination during the interview process. Asking the right questions and stating your needs, in detail, up front, will help eliminate the headache of hiring one person after another. Finding a good fit the first time will also cut down on mistakes, stress, and time.

Good luck in your search and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

Jessica Blankenship – Owner – Bookkeeping Etc.

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One Response to “Are you asking the right questions?”

  1. Jingle Says:

    your post makes a lot of sense to me. I got myself into trouble by applying all sales positions on careerbuilder.com, and some of them don’t fit me at all, and I was forced to cancel my appointments and so on.

    Thank you for the practical insights.

    Have a graceful evening.

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