Hiring a Bookkeeper? Learn from an Expert Why It’s Useful and Important

by rmanning on November 19, 2012

Rachel Frishe owns a virtual assistance firm, Virtual Technique, that specializes in bookkeeping. She offered her wisdom to help those hiring a bookkeeper understand the importance and usefulness of having the right person capture your daily and monthly transactions.

Tip #1: Know the difference between an accountant and bookkeeper. Frishe has found that many of her clients don’t know the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant, and therefore do not recognize how important their differences are.

The key difference Frishe said, is that the bookkeeper prepares the records for internal review and management, while the accountant is the one who does the internal review before sending it for external review. The accountant prepares the books for said external review such as tax returns and audited financial statements.

Tip #2: Qualifications to look for. Frishe advises you keep the following considerations in mind when hiring a bookkeeper: Educational background, work history, and software experience.  You might also want to talk to several accountants your prospective bookkeeper has worked with to evaluate the quality of their work from an expert’s perspective.

You can also check out our article on how to hire a bookkeeper for tips on what to look for and what questions to ask in the interview process.

Tip #3: Have a privacy policy in writing. The bookkeeper’s privacy policy is extremely important because they know the details of your financial life but are not bound or governed like accountants are with account-client privileges. Frishe suggests that a written privacy policy is the safest way to ensure your finances are kept private.

Tip #4: Setting expectations and work standards. Another important focus the bookkeeper should have is helping you keep your financial records organized and secure. Frishe tells us that good bookkeepers have standards and will work with you to create a process of receiving timely and accurate information for secure storage. Frishe warns that if the bookkeeper isn’t asking important questions about receipt storage, obtaining bank statements, or payroll processes, it’s time to get a new bookkeeper.

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