If you run a medium sized business with a few employees, then at some point you will probably need to employ a specialised bookkeeper. It can be hard to find someone with relevant bookkeeping experience, especially if you don’t have a lot of work or if you can’t afford to pay high wages.
However, it is very important to be selective when it comes to choosing the right bookkeeper as well as financial advisor for your business. After all, they will end up being in charge of everything from payments to other staff members to keeping records of business income and expenses. Their records will essentially form the basis for your tax returns, which means that a bad bookkeeper can lead to a lot of problems with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Consider the following things when looking for a new bookkeeper:
What sort of experience do they have?
This should always be one of the first questions that you ask potential employees when you interview them. It will determine both how much you should pay them and whether or not they are suitable for the job. Think about:
- Any education that they have, including university or other qualifications. Obviously, a qualified accountant is going to be better at bookkeeping for tax purposes than someone who is self taught.
- What work experience they have. Keep in mind that experienced people usually command a higher wage, but try and choose someone with at least a bit of experience if you can.
- Why they left their previous job. Find out if they were fired or whether they left voluntarily. Find out why they left, and ask if you can speak to their previous employer.
How honest they are:
Make sure that you take into account any previous employment that candidates for your job have. If possible, try and get in touch with their previous employers or workplaces so that you can get a character reference for them.
How much work you have for them:
Obviously, different positions are going to be suitable for different people. If you only need someone for a few hours per week, then you might decide to focus your search on people like mothers who are trying to return to the workforce or semi-retired accountants who only want a little bit of work per week. However, if you are looking for a full time bookkeeper, then consider university graduates and experienced accountants.
Making the final choice:
Ultimately, the person you choose to fulfill your bookkeeping duties will depend on exactly who you have apply, as well as on the dynamics of your business. If possible, try and find someone who gets along well with your other employees, who has a cheerful attitude, and who is happy to do the work that you have.