Finding a Bookkeeper for Your Non-Profit

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04 Apr Finding a Bookkeeper for Your Non-Profit

Looking for the perfect bookkeeper is something like looking for an ideal mate. You will want to give it some serious thought about your organization’s needs before you start searching for, and commit to, the person who will handle your day-to-day accounting functions.

Define the role

Before advertising the position, define the role. Crafting a detailed job description detailing their responsibilities will help you attract qualified candidates and give you a consistent tool with which to measure them.

Common bookkeeper responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and recording accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash receipts
  • Tracking expenses
  • Reconciling bank statements
  • Posting accounts to the general ledger
  • Preparing for year-end financial audits

If you will be relying on your bookkeeper to send donor acknowledgments, order supplies or handle any other clerical duties, spell out those duties in the job description.

Ensure a good fit

Non-profits have special bookkeeping challenges that for-profit businesses do not. At the very least, you want a bookkeeper who understands there are differences, such as accounting for pledges, donated goods and services, and restricted donations. Candidates also must be:

  • Knowledgeable about accounting basics
  • Willing to learn your organization’s accounting specifics
  • Attentive to details
  • Deadline-oriented
  • Computer-literate

Finally, because your bookkeeper will handle cash, financial records, and proprietary information, potential hires must be trustworthy and above reproach. Conduct thorough background and credit checks on anyone you are seriously considering, including following up on any references.

Get what you need

Many organizations hire a bookkeeper because other staff members do not have the necessary accounting skills. If you are in that situation, you may wonder how you can judge the accounting acumen of bookkeeper candidates. We can help you define the role and provide advice on hiring the bookkeeper that meets your needs.

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