Bookkeeping Nampa, ID

6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Bookkeeper

If you are running out of bandwidth and you’re spending more time worrying about overages and shortages in your financial reports than the great idea that inspired you to start your business in the first place, then it’s time to hire a bookkeeper. 

Hiring a bookkeeper doesn’t just mean a quick Google search or reading top reviews like you’re purchasing an item from Amazon. No, this is a process. This process requires you to vet your top picks until you’ve found the right match for YOU. 

I suggest blocking out a chunk of time in your calendar, pulling out your notebook and writing utensil, and maybe even making a pot of coffee. (I have a friend who forgoes the coffee cup entirely and sticks a straw right in her coffee carafe, but either way, get situated because this vetting process is vitally important to the success of your business.) 

As you search and reach out to potential bookkeepers, be sure to ask these 6 questions.

1. Do we vibe? 

I expect more than an impressive array of skill sets and an Ivy-league education from the individual who manages my finances. Crunching numbers is never fun, especially during tax time, so being able to connect and develop a relationship is key. Being personable is an essential characteristic of a great bookkeeper should have. 

2. How well do you communicate with your clients?

It’s best for each call to be answered and not go to voicemail (especially during tax season). If it does go to voicemail, then the call needs to be returned within (at least) 24 hours. Emails should be responded to promptly and appointments should never have to be rescheduled repeatedly. If a bookkeeper doesn’t have time to communicate with you then they surely don’t have time to work on your books.

3. What are your credentials?

A certified bookkeeper assures clients of their skills, knowledge, experience, and shows their level of dedication to their field. If you are working with QuickBooks, you should seek a ProAdvisor with the highest level certification.

4. Are you familiar with my industry? 

A niche bookkeeper focuses on a specific industry. Align yourself with a bookkeeper that is an expert in your industry. Simply ask if they have had or are currently working with clients in your industry. You can even ask if they resolved challenges that you are currently experiencing. 

5. What is your pricing structure?

This is a straight-forward question. Do they charge an hourly rate or a fixed rate? The current trend is to charge a monthly fixed rate, so make sure to ask exactly what services you are being billed for so you’re not surprised when you receive an invoice. 

6. Who will I be working with directly? A team or an individual?

Will your books be assigned to a bookkeeper, land on a junior accountants desk that has little to no experience, or will your books be passed around within a bookkeeping team? It’s also good to find out if there are contingencies in place if your bookkeeper is out sick or on vacation. 

At this point, are you on your second pot of coffee or did you go find yourself a straw? I know, all this required research may seem daunting, but it will be worth it when you find a personable, qualified accountant that helps you make running your business your priority!

When you take the time to do your research and know exactly what questions to ask, you’re well on your way to finding a personable, communicative, qualified bookkeeper that is an expert in your industry. You’ll be sure to ask about their pricing structure to avoid any billing surprises, and you will know exactly who your point of contact is as you turn your focus back to your pride and joy - your business. 


Kat McGowan