You may have already considered whether you need an accountant or a bookkeeper. If you’re looking for an individual to support your daily financial record-keeping then you’ve probably opted for a bookkeeper. 
But what are the qualities that make a good, reliable bookkeeper? It’s a question that is often asked, so let’s explore the important characteristics and the areas you should consider before taking on a bookkeeper. 
Ability to form a good working relationship 
This one sounds a bit obvious perhaps, but you will be working closely with them so you need to be able to work well together. The qualities that are required are someone that is personable, relatable, and more importantly is on the same page as you. This role goes to the heart of your business because it’s a task that manages every financial aspect of your business. 
You should build this type of relationship based on trust and a good way to understand this is to start by exploring the areas detailed below. 
Recommendation or references is a great option but you should also go with your instincts. A letter of engagement with terms and conditions is always a good idea so you both know where you stand. Handling sensitive information about your business is what you’re asking them to do. A bookkeeper’s services can vary depending on the type and size of the practice, so it’s a good idea to scope out the responsibilities and deliverables. 
Adopt an organised approach to delivery 
Someone who is focused on setting up the right processes and systems will ensure your record keeping is streamlined. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run and can only really be delivered by someone who understands your business and the requirements, this can also help you become more tax efficient. 
Creating accurate and balanced records is important and you want somebody with an eye for detail and conscientious nature that will focus on keeping your records up to date. Relying on these processes will identify any potential errors early before they become a bigger issue for you. 
This is where a good bookkeeper comes in and provides a proactive rather than reactive approach to accurate record-keeping which is vital when you’re making decisions based on the information provided by your bookkeeper. 
Being able to sort your files, interpret the data when needed, and prepare the necessary reports can be part of the service. This will give you the benefit of less paperwork, with digital data at your fingertips which means your questions can be answered a lot quicker. 
Provide additional knowledge and expertise 
If you’re outsourcing bookkeeping then you’ll have access to additional expertise when you need it for your business. Being aware of your industry and how it operates is a distinct advantage. This will help them to track your performance and compare it against your competitors to identify any trends or differences. 
To make sure you have what you need check they are up to speed with the latest bookkeeping services and practices. This includes any of the accounting software packages, which are vital for them to build the right financial processes and provide you with as much automation as possible to make your business cost-efficient. 
A knowledgeable bookkeeper will be able to answer your questions to get the information you need. Ultimately, this will enable you to scale and grow the business with a focus on managing your costs. The areas you can expect them to highlight include budgeting effectively, managing your cashflow, identifying cost savings, payroll, increasing your revenue and business strategy. 
Deliver the finances with a client focus 
This takes us back to the first point of forming a good relationship because it’s not just with you. As a representative of your company, they will need to build alliances with your managers, staff, and suppliers. So as well as being good at numbers, they need to be able to communicate effectively with others. 
Finding a bookkeeper who understands the importance of this dynamic will be invaluable to your business. Being aware of the value of customer relationships is a key element to delivering their job and will help you implement a financial strategy to ensure your business grows successfully. This provides you with the added benefit of your bookkeeper working with you in partnership to actively help you grow your business and meet your business goals. 
And one final thought – when you’ve found your ideal bookkeeper what other added values have they brought to your business? 
Have you used a bookkeeper before, how did you find it? Contact us today. 
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