22 Nov Bookkeeper Screaning
Ask the Expert – Bookkeeper Screening
Q – Several of my clients have been asking me to help them find a bookkeeper. They use QuickBooks. Are there any suggestions you can offer on helping them in an effective way?
A – That is great that they have gotten you involved in the screening process. The more input you have during the selection process regarding the QuickBooks/bookkeeping skills of the potential bookkeeper, the better it is for everyone. Our experience has been that the business owner needs the help, but does not know where to start when it comes to interviewing a candidate. Based on your accounting/QuickBooks knowledge you are in a better position to be able to evaluate the skills, plus, establishing the relationship from the beginning will make completing all the other work with the client much easier.
First, determine with the client the role you will be responsible for accepting, the tasks the bookkeeper will be responsible for completing, the determination of independent contractor or employee, and a range for the amount to be paid for the services to be performed. For some clients, they may prefer to find the applicant and perform the preliminary screening, and then have you do an interview only with those they have determined are possible candidates. That screening can be an in-person meeting, or a telephone interview. We have found telephone interviews to be a cost effective solution for the client when only engaging the accounting firm to screen the bookkeeping and QuickBooks aptitude. For other clients, the situation may be reversed, the accountant finds and screens the applicants and the client does the final screening (more like a placement agency).
Second, try to position yourself as a resource, both to the business owner and applicant. Remember, as issues come up once the bookkeeper does accept the position, you want the applicant to feel comfortable getting help from you.
For some additional resources consider reading the archive articles: How much does that employee cost, Applicant screening alternative, Bookkeeper Interview Questions.
Although this sounds very straight forward, finding the right “fit” can be quite challenging. Based on the tasks be performed ask specific and general QuickBooks questions to determine the level of knowledge.