Before you interview any bookkeepers be sure that you have identified:
- Exactly what services you want a bookkeeper to provide, a detailed list will help.
- How much time you think it will require, how often and any scheduling restraints.
- Where the bookkeeping will take place, your office or theirs.
- How much you are willing to pay and frequency of payment.
- Any specialized accounting or software requirements.
Ask for a resume in advance of the interview. Once you have chosen your candidates, ask for three references.
It is a good idea to use an application form that reflects current employment law.
It is imperative to do a background check once you have decided on a candidate, as you are entrusting this person with your confidential financial information and giving them access to your cash accounts, credit cards, etc. Many payroll service companies provide background checks for a reasonable fee even if you aren’t a payroll client.
Here are some ideas for questions to ask a prospective bookkeeper.
- How many years have you been an independent bookkeeper?
- Do you consider yourself a full charge bookkeeper? If not, what are your areas of weakness?
- Are there bookkeeping services that you do not perform? (Typically this might be payroll.)
- How many clients do you currently have? Briefly describe what you do for them.
- What do you do to stay up-to-date on bookkeeping issues and software?
- Do you generally coordinate your work with the client’s CPA? If not, why not?
- How have you handled a difficult client?
- What would your clients say about your work?
- How would you describe your interpersonal skills?
How quickly can you respond to an urgent message from me?