What to Look for in a Bookkeeper

If you are considering outsourcing your bookkeeping needs to a professional, it is important to have a firm understanding of what you should look for before making a hire.  There are key skill sets, and characteristics that every bookkeeper should possess.

First, the bookkeeper should have at least basic knowledge of your industry.  If your company falls within a specialised industry, such as franchises, restaurants, medicine, sports, etc., there are bookkeeping firms that work with just those industries.  If your company is not as specific, any type of professional bookkeeper should suffice, but should have a basic understanding of what you do.

Next, you should verify that the bookkeeper or bookkeeping services firm you will be using is utilizing the latest technology.  All bookkeeping tasks today should be done through using software such as Peachtree, Quickbooks, MYOB, or other similar systems.  The company or professional should be highly skilled at using these applications.

Then, you should verify that the professional has a firm understanding of the requirements you are seeking for your business.  A good bookkeeper will become a partner of sorts, that will help the business, and provide detailed financial information to assist with the decision making process.  Your books should always be maintained the right way, the first time.

Finally, the bookkeeper you hire should have a great deal of experience working with small businesses.  Errors made on the books of small businesses can be extremely costly, and can even cause a business to fail.  You need to ensure the professional you choose can provide you with evidence that he or she has a successful track record with small businesses, and that references are provided.

When you take the time to locate a firm or independent bookkeeper that meets all of the criteria mentioned above, you will gain great peace of mind.  This person will be there for you with every financial need you may have, and will become a valuable asset to your company.

Books Onsite provides bookkeeping services in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.


  1. An says

    It is true. It’s very difficult to find a reliable help on accounting. And even if you do find someone good, he can be pretty expensive. That’s why some business owners take the risk of hiring someone offshore. This way, you can have a skilled bookkeeper with lesser cost.
    However, because he is found half way around the world, it’s got more risk and it’s scarier to trust him with your checkbook. I think what you just have to do is build a bullet-proof hiring process and do some research (make sure to check his background) before hiring the person.

  2. says

    You can expect a competent bookkeeper to establish a chart of accounts, customise templates and enter opening balances. Monthly you can expect them to handle the bulk of transactions including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, inventory and bank reconciliation.

    When hiring a freelance or full time bookkeeper, there are several qualities you should look for.
    They include:

    • knowledge
    • speed
    • accuracy

    As a rule of thumb, try to hire a bookkeeper with a minimum of ten years experience keeping books.

    More here:

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