How to Hire the Right Bookkeeper for Your Small Business | Bench Accounting

You already know it ’ s time to hire a bookkeeper for your commercial enterprise .
Your company may be growing, and you ’ re having perturb keeping track of your finances. Or you may be thinking about selling your business down the line, and know you need immaculate books to do sol .
Or possibly you ’ re just tired of Quickbooks .
thankfully, there are lots of good bookkeepers out there. We ’ ll show you a few things to keep in mind so you can identify which bookkeepers are the best fit for your belittled clientele.

Freelance, firm, and remote bookkeeping

Unless your clientele has approximately thirty or more employees, or over a million dollars annual gross, you probably don ’ t need to hire a full-time, in-house bookkeeper .
That leaves you with three options : hiring a mercenary, working with a bookkeeping firm, or using a distant bookkeeping solution. Each approach has its benefits and its drawbacks, which will determine whether it ’ s the best bookkeeping solution for you .

Hiring a freelancer

A mercenary bookkeeper is the most low-cost option if your finances are childlike, and you ’ ra approve with your bookkeeper not being available for you every single commercial enterprise day .


On average, freelancer bookkeepers charge lower rates than firms do, since they have less overhead. A freelancer bookkeeper will charge either an hourly or directly rate .
The time a bookkeeper puts into your occupation is determined by how many transactions you process per calendar month, whether you have employees, and how building complex your diligence is .
besides, if you have catch-up bookkeeping for them to complete, that will be an extra, erstwhile stick out that they need to handle .
As you continue working with them, a flat rate may become feasible, and offer the benefit of a predictable bookkeeping expense in your monthly budget .


A local mercenary bookkeeper should be able to visit your commercial enterprise in person in order to collect and organize your paperwork .
If you have a paperless office with digitize documents, you may find you ’ re comfortable rent and working with a freelance on-line .
In both cases, if you use dedicated bookkeeping software, you should ensure that your bookkeeper uses the same brand. They may be able to import expenses remotely, cutting out e-mail threads or trips to the position .
A freelancer may or may not have experience working directly with CPAs. Ask about this during the consultation march, to determine their capacity for helping an accountant file your taxes on fourth dimension .


One drawback of working with a solo mercenary is they may leave you hanging if they go on vacation or get pale unexpectedly .
besides, bookkeeping has its busy season. This typically comes at the goal of the fiscal year, when clients ’ books need to be “ close ” for tax temper. Your bookkeeper may not be able to devote as much attention to your business during this clock of year as they normally would .
Ask about these things in advance so there ’ sulfur no surprises throughout the year .


flush if your bookkeeper is insured against errors and omissions, you—or your business—are on the hook in case of errors. The effect of faulty books could range from misinform business decisions on your contribution, to misreported taxes ( and the resulting IRS penalties ) on the contribution of your business .
That ’ randomness why it ’ second crucial to find a bookkeeper who knows what they ’ re doing. however, expertness is not lone measured by years of operation, or by third-party certifications. The books of an ecommerce inauguration are different from the books of a dentist ; try to find a bookkeeper who has worked with businesses like your own ahead, and has feel in your niche .

Finding a good freelancer

There are lots of places online to find a choice mercenary bookkeeper, but is a dependable place to start. Just look for a bookkeeper with high reviews from other customers like you .

Working with a firm

A bookkeeping firm employs multiple bookkeepers under one roof. If you ’ re worried about not having person you can count on casual, and don ’ thyroxine mind paying a bite more, a bookkeeping firm is a smart option .


typically, it ’ second more expensive to hire a firm than a freelance bookkeeper, since firms have higher command processing overhead time to cover .
A bookkeeping firm may charge either an hourly or monthly rate. How much you ’ re charged will depend—as it does with a freelancer bookkeeper—on how much time it takes for person to do your books, and whether you have catch-up bookkeeping to be completed .


With the growing popularity of cloud-based services, many firms work remotely with clients. In this case, you ’ ll need to become acquainted with and use the same bookkeeping services your firm does .
This may present a learning curvature for you. On the early hand, it ’ s a footstep towards building a paperless office.

other options may include having a person from the fast come by your business to pick up paperwork, or dropping off paperwork at the fast ’ randomness office yourself .
Since some bookkeeping firms besides employ accountants, they may be able to handle your tax filing—and early accountant duties—in-house. If not, they should be able to refer local accountants. This is deserving asking about in your initial meet .


Because a firm coordinates the knead of multiple employees, it ’ s improbable you ’ ll encounter the like servicing gaps you might expect from a one freelance bookkeeper. You don ’ t need to worry about your bookkeeper getting ill or leaving on vacation, since your books can be picked up by other other bookkeepers at the firm .


A firm may employ a range of bookkeepers, from beginners to experts. It ’ sulfur significant to ask if they guarantee a certain level of quality, so the accuracy doesn ’ triiodothyronine change from person to person .

How to find a good firm

Hiring a local anesthetic bookkeeping tauten is normally a count of Googling to find which firms are in your area, and then doing your homework to see which ones are the best fit for your business. You can normally ask for references of customers exchangeable to you, so you can get an dependable picture of what it ’ s like working with that firm .

Choosing a remote bookkeeping solution

An on-line bookkeeping solution uses cloud-based software to connect you with a team of bookkeepers, who do your books for you ( like Bench ). It ’ south similar to a bookkeeping firm, except more low-cost, since automation cuts the bulge of manual work. This is a capital choice for most little businesses that don ’ t have cash-heavy transactions .


Remote bookkeeping services typically charge a flatcar monthly fee, based on how much prison term it will take to complete your books every calendar month. The act of accounts you ’ ll be tracking—and the frequency of transactions—may affect this .
merchant processors, loans, and lines of credit may besides be taken into report .
For a minor business with relatively square finances, it ’ south by and large more low-cost than either a mercenary or a firm .


A remote control bookkeeping avail may use a custom-made app—as Bench does—that lets you message your bookkeeper immediately. otherwise, you may need to communicate with them by electronic mail .
besides, some remote bookkeeping services are able to automatically import your fiscal information—transactions from trust and credit rating accounts, for case. You may need to scan and submit physical receipts online .
As you shop around, try to find out whether the outback service you ’ rhenium considering is able to work with accountants. For exemplify, Bench bookkeepers work directly with their clients ’ accountants to provide all the information necessity for filing taxes—and can even connect you directly with a CPA to get your taxes filed .


Remote bookkeeping services, like firms, have multiple employees. This lets them avoid the kinds of service gaps that may snip up with an person freelance .
Any distant bookkeeping service should be equipped to manage the tide in work flow that typically comes during the conclusion of the fiscal class, when clients ’ books need to be “ close. ”


If a distant bookkeeping service is worth hiring, they ought to be able to guarantee a certain level of quality. For example, at Bench, all bookkeepers get in-house education and ongoing education in bookkeeping, in addition to having multiple full-time staff dedicated just to choice and standards .

Do certifications matter?

Bookkeeping certifications are wholly optional, unlike accounting, where a CPA designation is mandatary. But it ’ mho still significant to understand what they represent .

Certified public bookkeeper

The CPB is certified by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers ( NACPB ) and is the more accessible of the two certs .
In orderliness to receive the CPB, a bookkeeper must have one year, or two thousand hours, of on-the-job bookkeeping experience, agree to abide by NACPB ’ s Code of Professional Conduct, and successfully complete an examination .

Certified bookkeeper

A Certified Bookkeeper has received a cast of blessing from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers ( AIPB ) .
According to the AIPB, the determination of the CB is to prepare bookkeepers so they can act as a small business ’ randomness “ de facto Chief Financial Officer. ”
To receive the CB, an individual needs to have two years of on-the-job bookkeeping experience. They ’ ll besides need to sign the AIPB ’ s Code of Ethics, and complete the examination. The examination for a CB is longer and more thorough than one for a CPB .

once you hire the correctly bookkeeper for your business, you ’ ve taken the beginning footfall to better understanding how your business works and plotting a course for future growth .
The future gradation is to find an accountant. They can take the information your bookkeeper provides, and use it to help you make long-run business decisions. A great target to start is our article The Difference Between Bookkeepers and Accountants .

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Category : Finance

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