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5 Traits to Look for in an Outstanding Bookkeeper

by | May 25, 2022

Delegating the bookkeeping function offers small business owners freedom in their busy schedules, lowers costs, and ensures that their finances are being handled by someone with expertise. You won’t have to worry that you’re making mistakes because you always end up rushing or doing your bookkeeping last minute. With a dedicated bookkeeper, you’ll be up-to-date and prepared when tax time comes around.

The advantages of outsourcing sound fantastic to most entrepreneurs, but they’re often left with the question of how to choose an effective bookkeeper. Properly managed finances are vital to your business’s success. You need to know that the professional holding this role will fulfill their duties expertly. Be careful in your search and look for these traits to ensure your business finances are in the right hands.

 

1. Experienced

Think through all of the tasks that your bookkeeper will be doing. It will likely extend beyond managing your accounts and doing invoicing. They should be an expert in managing cash flow in your business and understanding cash flow requirements before they occur. They should also be experienced in generating financial reports and preparing for taxes. While some training may be necessary, choosing a professional who is ready to go on day one will ease the onboarding and transition process.

Finding a professional who is familiar with your industry is usually hugely beneficial. Depending on the business model, team size, and business lifecycle stage, the day-to-day duties of bookkeepers can be very different. Look for someone who has done bookkeeping in a similar industry and type of business to yours. You want to find someone who can jump in and take charge quickly.

 

2. Well-Informed

An effective bookkeeper will not only be able to perform their role as prescribed by you, the business owner, but they will also be able to provide suggestions on how processes can be improved in your business. They will be informed on the best way to manage your finances depending on the unique attributes of your business and industry. Look for a professional who is already proficient in your bookkeeping platform and has the ability to pivot if you need them to.

A truly outstanding bookkeeper will be humble. They’ll know what they don’t know and be dedicated to continued learning. They should be aware of the market and cognizant of how best practices change. They should be flexible when your business or industry changes course and be able to meet challenges head-on.

 

3. Reliable and Trustworthy

It might seem obvious when hiring someone to handle your finances, but experience isn’t always everything. You need to be able to trust the person who is doing your bookkeeping. Getting good references is helpful in this area, but for some entrepreneurs whether or not you trust another professional is inexplicable. You either do or don’t. If you feel wary about a potential bookkeeper, follow your instincts and keep looking.

Try to find a professional who is reliable and detail-oriented. Seeing these qualities in their work will help you feel more and more comfortable having someone new handle your finances, especially if you were previously doing it all yourself. Look for a bookkeeper who can prioritize your relationship and respond to last-minute requests or urgent questions.

 

4. Clear Communicator

Your bookkeeper will be communicating with your team, client base, and vendors. Choose someone who is clear and confident in their communication style. They will be representing your businesses, and you want that done in the most professional manner possible. They should also be able to discuss your finances fluently. Look for someone who can quickly and easily answer your questions and provide solutions.

This relates to the next trait, but try to find a bookkeeper that you can connect with. The ability to find an easy rhythm in conversation will make discussions about your finances easier. It’s important that they can understand and respond to your unique style of communication. You should also be able to understand theirs. Fluid communication with your bookkeeper is essential.

 

5. Matches Your Personality

You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, so choose someone you get along with. Think about the type of personality that compliments yours and aim for a professional who meets that criteria. Consider the energy prospective bookkeepers give off, and choose someone who will be supportive under stressful conditions. When it comes to finances, tense situations are bound to occur, so make sure that you add someone to your team who will be helpful during these times.

Just like any other team member, it’s best to find a professional who understands your goals as a business owner and will help you achieve them. They should be invested in your vision and understand their role in making it happen.

 

Is a Virtual Bookkeeper Right for Your Business?

Many of the talented Virtual Assistants on our team are experienced finance managers and bookkeepers. Depending on your needs, they can provide bookkeeping support alone or assist you with other administrative tasks in your business.

We work hard to match our clients with VAs that will fulfill all of their needs.

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