Posted Feb 25, 2013

Choosing A Bookkeeper

Conventional advice for finding a bookkeeper says to start with recommendations from colleagues, friends, and family.  In reality, most people don’t know a bookkeeper, and chances are if you do that person either isn’t freelance or may be too busy to take on additional clients. 

In addition, a large percentage of bookkeepers lack the background needed to give you accurate records.  They mean well, and think they understand, however many bookkeepers came into the profession by chance.  The old bookkeeper quit or the business expanded rapidly and the task was handed off to the office manager.  It’s fine to get started by trial and error, but training is needed to ensure the work is done correctly.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to spend hour after hour fixing duplicate entries, reconciling accounts that had gone months or years without a reconciliation, and reworking the chart of accounts.

So of course you want someone who is proficient from the start.  Keeping your books in order allows you to make better business decisions, and can avoid VERY costly fixes when tax time comes around. 

So how do you get started? 

If you are like most small businesses, you use (or plan to use) QuickBooks.  You may be unaware that QuickBooks offers a certification process that is available to bookkeepers and accountants.  The Certified part of the title is important, because anyone willing to pay a fee can be a ProAdvisor.  To become Certified, a person must take and pass a series of tests that ensure they not only know how to use the software, but also can identify and fix problems, provide training, and recommend the correct QuickBooks product for your specific business’s needs. 

Intuit (the company that makes QuickBooks) has a free service on their website that allows you to lookup ProAdvisors near your zip code and view certification status of the individuals listed.  This is an excellent starting place to find a qualified bookkeeper.  Give it a try now by following this link.