What Makes a Good Bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping is one element in business that can either make or ruin your business. The decision on the type of bookkeeper to entrust with your daily financial records will ultimately be the key determinant of the company’s day-to-day decisions and planning. Even though bookkeeping is highly dependent on the skills, attitude and work ethics of the keeper, creating accurate and up-to-date internal support systems is vital. As a business person, you should conduct thorough research to ascertain that your business gets the best bookkeeper. This text highlights a few characteristics to look for in a good bookkeeper.

Accountability and Transparency

A competent bookkeeper should keep your financial records organized and easy to review. He/she will enter all transactions as incurred. A bad bookkeeper will incoherently arrange your books and run away when he/she detects any sign of an independent audit. They will not take responsibility for any errors detected.

To understand the bookkeeper, ask for references from accountants who have worked with the prospective candidate and for added assurance, you can engage the candidate with value-focused interview questions to test their honesty and reliability.

Research and Analytical skills

A good bookkeeper should have the ability to assess multiple perspectives, collect necessary information and identify core issues that need to be addressed. He/she should demonstrate analytical thinking by identifying, scrutinizing and improving the various complex bookkeeping processes ascertaining that each and every detail is streamlined sufficiently.

Technologically Savvy

Everything is becoming automated and digitalized. It will be retrogressive to hire someone who is not technically inclined. Manual systems are continually becoming obsolete and the world of business is embracing the use of software to automate various activities. An apt bookkeeper should possess the right technological know-how and the ability to select the appropriate software and customize it to the different bookkeeping functions.

Professionalism and Integrity

A bookkeeper should be able to combine both professionalism and integrity in any business environment. He/she must not be willing to compromise his professional ethics and social responsibility for the sake of a scandalous project that could potentially put the business and its relationships with employees, customers, investors and suppliers in jeopardy.

Detailed and Flexible

Apart from having the right bookkeeping skills, a good bookkeeper should have other core competencies that are vital for the business. He/she should have a good understanding of the business and the industry it’s in or the willingness and drive to learn so that all costs can be accounted for. One example is the cost of depreciation. This would depend on the type and number of equipment the business uses, if any, anything owned and used for the business like its own building and other factors that may have implied costs that could be overlooked if the bookkeeper is not careful.

Understanding your business bookkeeping needs is the greatest ammunition that will help you navigate smoothly through the business journey. Employing the right people with the right skills will guarantee the success of your small business.


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