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Marin Bookkeepers Network

Hints for hiring a prospective bookkeeper

 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 arenít 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 clientís 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?