Choosing a Bookkeeper

"Life doesn't give us what we need. Life gives us what we deserve." Jim Rohn

Go to Yell.com. In the Im looking for box key in Bookkeeper, then your location and click Search. Stick out your arm and point your finger, spin your office chair three times and close your eyes and place your finger on the screen. There, nearest your finger youll have found a Bookkeeper. That was easy. Problem solved!

If youre not convinced, then I dont blame you. One of the best ways to find a bookkeeper is by recommendation. Speak to family, friends, colleagues, business associates or any other associate. Theres bound to be someone who knows someone who can recommend a good bookkeeper.

What do you think the ideal qualities of a bookkeeper should be? Qualified, honest, quick, accurate and reliable are things Im sure youd mention and youd be right. Every good bookkeeper should be all those things, but a great bookkeeper is much more.

A great bookkeeper will be value for money, so that you save time which can be used for more valuable tasks. Other key aspects of a great bookkeeper are good attention to detail, continuous Professional Development, working to deadlines, able to work independently, knowledge in your industry, keeping abreast of industry developments, outstanding communication skills and excellent IT skills.

One very important aspect is a bookkeeper who is regulated. You want to be sure the bookkeeper you choose is governed by a reputable organisation who demands professional standards of all their members. This should be immediately visible when viewing their website or on their business card. If you are not sure, always ask.

Speaking of websites, this is another way to get a feel for a bookkeeper. Is their site well designed and clear. Does it look professional even if its simple? Do they provide all the services you need now and perhaps later. For example, would it be wise to choose a bookkeeper that doesnt provide a payroll service that you may not need now, but will possibly need in a year or two as your business grows? The website should also clearly show the Regulatory Authority with which they are registered. This should indicate that they are qualified, professional, holding a valid practising licence, insured have technical backing.

Another method of finding a bookkeeper is to have them come to you. Use the Regulatory Authorities to advertise for a bookkeeper. Websites like the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers allows businesses to post a position on their website and then be contacted by Bookkeepers who check to see what vacancies arise on a regular basis. This way you know youre only being contacted by authorised bookkeepers and you get to pick and choose, if more than one contacts you.

How to choose between more than one? Well, it will be personal preference. The email you receive will give you some idea about them. It is well written, clear, curteous and informative. If that doesnt help contact them all and chat to them to get a feel of whether you can work together. How interested are they in your business, how much do they know, what are their rates like, how flexible are they and how far are they based from your premises are questions to which you may want answers.

I hope this helps to take away some of the difficulty of finding and choosing a bookkeeper. Its your choice, but hopefully it will be an informed choice and a satisfactory one for you and your bookkeeper.

Jo Wheeler
Anchor Bookkeeping