Finding and then hiring a good bookkeeper or outsourced bookkeeping service can be a challenging task. It can be especially difficult to hire a bookkeeper if you don't need or can't afford a full-time person. If you are a small business chances are that your bookkeeping only takes a few hours a week or even per month. It is also very possible that you can handle all of the bookkeeping tasks by yourself. My question is not only do you really want to, but also can you afford to? Here is a quick guide to figure out if you need to hire a part-time bookkeeper and how to go about it.
Identify the Need:
Do you really need a bookkeeper? First question: do you actually enjoy doing the bookkeeping or do you dread it? Personally I can relate this to home repair tasks. Can I do them? Sure, some of them. Do I like doing home repairs? For the most part no. Are there other things I am better at that I would rather be doing? Yes, at the moment fly fishing. If you don't like handling the bookkeeping find a professional that does. Second question: Is handling your businesses bookkeeping holding you back from moving your business forward? Are you no longer performing the business tasks you enjoy and are good at? If you answered yes then I would ask; can you really afford not to outsource your bookkeeping? Typically a business owner's time is much more valuable if spent running the business and not wasting it on an administrative task such as bookkeeping. As an example if you bill between $100-$200 an hour for your services you should focus on selling and outsource your bookkeeping.
Find a bookkeeper or bookkeeping service:
I would be terrified to be hiring a bookkeeper, especially on a part-time basis. I can picture myself stewing around my office thinking "this guy or gal better impress me right away and say all the right things." I mean think about it, if you do hire someone to handle your bookkeeping you are handing over some very sensitive information. You better find someone you trust that is reputable. If it were me I would definitely start with asking my trusted associates in my business network who they use for their bookkeeping. When I need something I always start with asking someone I trust for a referral. I would also look around for a few bookkeeping services that specialize specifically in your industry or business size.
Interviewing and hiring a bookkeeper:
So you have identified that you need or want to outsource your bookkeeping. You found some good potential candidates to interview for you position. Now how do you decide who to hire? I would try and ask all the right questions. If I were hiring someone part-time I would ask why a part-time position would work for them. Do you have questions about the security of your financial information? Are you worried about giving your new bookkeeper access to your financial life? You should be. I would ask how they plan to keep your information secure. Also, how do you know that your bookkeeper won't steal from you? Ask the tough questions that you are actually concerned about. And finally ask them something about themselves outside of the business world. I prefer to work with people that have similar interests and a similar lifestyle to me, or at the very least have a life outside of work.
Have you ever thought of outsourcing part of your business? What concerns do you have?
If you are thinking of outsourcing your bookkeeping to someone and have any concerns feel free to reach out to me.