6 December 2023

10 Tips for a Great Relationship with Your Part-Time Bookkeeper

By Ronald Smith

As a business owner, managing your finances is crucial to your success. That’s why it’s important to have a skilled bookkeeper by your side, keeping you informed about any changes.

But hiring a part-time bookkeeper is a decision that requires careful consideration. You want to find the perfect fit for your team, someone who will help your business thrive. To help you with this process, I reached out to 10 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) and asked them:

When hiring a part-time bookkeeper to manage your company’s finances, what’s one thing you can do to ensure a successful relationship? And why is this important?

Here’s what they had to say:

10 Tips for a Great Relationship with Your Part-Time Bookkeeper

1. Get Someone Who Understands Your Business

When you’re hiring a bookkeeper, it’s crucial that they understand your business. If you’re dealing with multiple vendors, especially in the tech world, it can be confusing to keep track of where your money is going each month. The more detailed information you need, the more knowledgeable your bookkeeper should be.

2. Seek Out an Organized Method

When it comes to keeping track of your company’s finances, it’s important to find someone who has a structured approach to bookkeeping. This task needs to be done every month, and you need to stay informed about your numbers on a regular basis. If your bookkeeper can provide you with regular reports on how your finances are doing each month, you’ll have the information you need to make the best decisions. It’s crucial not to leave this task until the last minute. – Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly

3. Establish a System of Checks

Trust, but verify. Set up a system of checks for invoicing, receivables, payments, and anything else related to finances. Create a checklist for any tasks that are not standard, so they are always followed. Make sure the role is clearly defined, and everyone knows what they need to do. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

4. Make Sure You Understand Your Numbers

Step 5: Make Sure They Have the Time

A great bookkeeper is someone who is dependable and always delivers on time. Before you hire a bookkeeper, it’s important to check if they have enough time to do your work properly and if they can answer any questions or concerns within a reasonable timeframe, usually within 24 hours. Availability is crucial if you want them to be truly helpful to you and your business.

Step 6: Give Them What They Need

As someone who started a company that provides outsourcing services, I’ve noticed that bookkeepers often struggle with consistency when it comes to the information they receive. They might be missing important documents or dealing with complicated finances. This can make it difficult for them to do their job effectively. That’s why it’s essential to focus on building a strong and productive relationship with your bookkeeper. By giving them the right tools and support, you can ensure that they understand what needs to be done, complete tasks on time, and handle everything smoothly. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

7. Foster a Positive Connection

8. Treat Them Like a Partner

When working with a part-time bookkeeper, it’s important to view your relationship as a partnership. This means keeping the lines of communication open and working together. The bookkeeper relies on you to provide important information and details about your finances and business. As a partner, you should stay aware of any changes and promptly inform the bookkeeper. In simpler terms, make their job easier. ~ Bryce Welker, Crush The GRE Test

9. Schedule Short Monthly Meetings

10. Know What You Want from Your Part-Time Bookkeeper

Think about your company’s finances and use that information to figure out what you need from a part-time bookkeeper. Of course, trust is important, but what else do you expect from them? How would you like them to use their time? It’s crucial to clearly communicate these expectations to make sure you and the bookkeeper are on the same page. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.