Choosing the right bookkeeper for your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. This is a person who will become intimately familiar with your spending habits for your business. Not just your industry, but your specific business. You want someone with experience and training, who is able to answer your questions in a timely manner, and who is able to help you get ready for tax season.

Due to privacy concerns, many business owners are hesitant to turn bookkeeping tasks over to an in-house bookkeeper. And with good reason! I once worked with a client whose in-house accountant was overly free with information to other employees in the firm, and with disastrous results. Another client gave his on-site bookkeeper signing rights to the bank accounts and didn’t oversee the expenses properly. Why would he? That’s why he hired her! It cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, let’s see how to find a bookkeeper that will suit your needs.

The top concerns our clients have are privacy and security. It’s important to find a bookkeeping company with integrity. You want to be sure that your financial information is in safe hands.

You also want to make sure your bookkeeper is competent. I recently was doing research for these posts, and came face to face with the understanding that most bookkeepers are not good at their jobs, that they don’t understand accounting, hold no degree, have taken no classes and have little experience. I was horrified! I have studied bookkeeping and accounting for almost 20 years, as that’s how long I’ve been in the field. I’m constantly looking for ways to be better at what I do, and I only hire bookkeepers with at least a bachelors’ degree and experience. I’ve even come across accountants claiming CPA designations, but I could not find their license information. You don’t have to be a CPA to be a bookkeeper, but if you’re going to claim to be a CPA, you’d better have your license up to date.

As a client, your best bet is to hire a bookkeeping firm. We have bookkeepers on staff, we cross check each others’ work, and we vet the bookkeepers and accountants coming in. You’ll have the best bookkeeping team in America taking care of your small business!