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What Should You Ask Potential Bookkeepers? Here Are 10 Questions To Consider.

Are you actively searching for someone to manage your books and records? No matter your organization, hiring the right candidate for this function can be challenging.

Selecting a candidate in today’s job market can be a rigorous process. It’s important not to be hasty or wing it during the interview. Give your job posting adequate time to attract a qualified group of  applicants. Prepare a detailed job description with input from your management team, then brainstorm a comprehensive list of questions.

Here are 10 questions to consider For the interview:

1. How many years of bookkeeping experience do you have, and are you familiar with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)?
2. Do you possess any accounting-related qualifications, such as a certified public accountant (CPA) license or an undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting?
3. What accounting software programs are you proficient in? (Alternatively, if your company has an existing software system, ask if the candidate is proficient in that program — or if they recommend a different one).
4. Do you have experience filing income, payroll, and sales tax returns? If so, which tax software have you used.
5. Can you provide additional services — for example, can you create budgets, forecasts, valuations, or business plans — that might benefit our business long-term?
6. Do you have experience streamlining existing accounting and reporting processes?
7. How long after the close of each month does it take you to generate monthly financials, and can you provide interim reports, such as daily cash statements or weekly flash reports?
8. Are there any areas of accounting where you need more experience or training? Are there any aspects of tax and accounting that you’d rather avoid?
9. Have you ever dealt with any discrepancies or audit issues before? If so, how did you address them?
10. Do you have experience working with an outside CPA firm? If so, explain the types of services the firm provided?

By asking these questions, you’ll gain a detailed understanding of each candidate’s capabilities. The questions will likely open an extemporaneous dialog about the candidates’ qualifications and your expectations.

Remember, there’s more to finding the right fit than just accounting know-how. It’s also important to consider the soft skills you’d like the bookkeeper to possess, such as trustworthiness, approachability, and communication. Ask yourself: Will this candidate mesh well with the other personalities on my management team? Consider if this candidate bring fresh ideas and advanced skills to the table? Taking time to choose wisely could save headaches and money later.

We can be a valuable resource during the hiring process. In addition to helping brainstorm interview questions, we can assist with the recruiting and interview process. In addition, we can provide outsourced accounting functions, such as bookkeeping, payroll, accounting software implementation, and more. Contact us to discuss the possibilities.

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