How To Hire A Top Bookkeeper: A Complete Guide

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When looking for a professional bookkeeper for your business, it’s essential to hire the right person for the job. Since your bookkeeper will have to keep track of your business’s transactions, the person you choose will be significant in helping your organization keep track of its finances.  Many bad things can happen to your business if you hire the wrong person.

If you hire the right bookkeeper, you can expect the financial reports to be correct, but some of your business transactions could also be good to record correctly. Because keeping track of money and entering data are essential parts of your business, you will need to hire a bookkeeper who can:

Use accounting software correctly.

  • Enter and put in data correctly.
  • Learn the essential bookkeeping rules
  • For this reason, this guide will have facts about
  • the essential skills to look for in a bookkeeper.
  • A sample job description to help you find the best bookkeeper candidates
  • How to find a bookkeeper that works
  • Important pre-employment skills test to find the best candidates for the job of a bookkeeper
  • When hiring a bookkeeper, these are the questions you should ask during the interview.
  • How much do bookkeepers usually make, and what should you offer them 

Vital Bookkeeper Skills

When hiring a bookkeeper, you should look for several essential skills. With that, you also should look for bookkeepers who have the following skills.

Excellent Skills For Keeping Things:  

In order. With all the information your bookkeeper will get and have to sort through, they should be able to:
  • Organize data
  • Keep things to meet deadlines
  • When working with clients, make a plan. 
Attention to detail
Your bookkeeper needs to be able to pay close attention to details. Since they’ll be dealing with data daily, they should be able to:
  • Keep track of your money.
  • Correctly record information
  • Make sure they remember all critical financial information.

The ability to figure things out

And solve problems is essential for many reasons.

Your bookkeeper needs to be able to:

  • Spot any potential financial inconsistencies
  • Find out what went wrong with the money.
  • Fix the strange and inconsistent things in the finances

A skill for using technology.

People who keep books need to know how to use robust software to make their jobs easier. Your bookkeeper should understand the following:

  • Communication tools, like Slack and Zoom, and accounting software can help make daily tasks easier.
  • Microsoft Office, which includes programs like Excel 

Time management aptitudes.

Another important skill you should look for in a bookkeeper is the ability to manage time. The bookkeeper you hire should be able to:

  • Meet deadlines
  • Set priorities and work on several projects simultaneously.
  • Make the most of your time to get the most done. 

Good at communicating

An essential skill for your bookkeeper is being able to talk to people.

Your bookkeeper must be familiar with the following:

  • Meeting with people face-to-face.
  • Writing to one another.
  • Communicating electronically, such as through Zoom 

Bookkeeper with advanced numbering skills 

The bookkeeper you hire should be very confident with numbers. They should: 

  • Be able to do financial calculations.
  • Balance the company’s financial books with no trouble.
  • Use your math skills to figure out the total of all your business transactions.

Advanced skills in accounting

Your bookkeeper needs to be good with numbers and knows how to do accounting for the job to go well. The bookkeeper you hire should be able to:

  • Learn the basic ideas and terms of accounting.
  • Figure out accounting numbers
  • Manage your accounting numbers well. 

 Bookkeeper job description:

Most small businesses need a dedicated bookkeeper. Even when they do, it’s easy to lose track of the information you need about your bookkeeping system. That’s why we’ve created this easy-to-follow guide to help you find the right bookkeeper for your business.

  • Will the person you hire as your bookkeeper need to know or be familiar with specific bookkeeping software? And if they do, do they need to know how to use QuickBooks? Sage? If your bookkeeper needs to know how to use one of these tools, you should write that in the job description. 
  • How much will your bookkeeper need to talk to the rest of your accounting team? Will they need to talk a lot, or not that much? Do they need to learn how to use a particular Slack or Zoom tool to communicate as a team? Again, if you don’t talk about how essential tools for communication are in your company, you’ll attract some applicants who don’t meet your needs. This communication will make it take longer to hire people and cost you more money. 
  • How much legal knowledge will your candidates for bookkeeping jobs need to do a good job? Which legal requirements are especially important for your organization’s daily financial operations? If you want a bookkeeper who knows a lot about the law and can use that knowledge to make sure your finances are in line with the law, you should say that in your job description. 
  • Does your bookkeeper need to meet specific requirements to get the job?            If so, what requirements will there be? For example, would you prefer a candidate with a higher-level qualification or a degree in business or accounting? Make sure to include this in your job description. 

Bookkeeper job description template

[YOUR COMPANY NAME] needs a bookkeeper to keep track of our financial information and keep an eye on our accounts payable and receivable. 

What is a bookkeeper’s job?

Bookkeepers at [COMPANY NAME] do essential tasks like balancing the books, making reports, and keeping track of payments. The financial reconciliation you are in charge of will help our organization keep track of our money by giving us accurate reports and letting us enter essential data. 

The primary responsibilities of a bookkeeper include the following:

  • Creating, keeping up-to-date, and maintaining the company’s financial records
  • Reconciling the company’s bank accounts, including processing and recording bank transactions
  • Paying bills, including issuing checks and making electronic payments
  • Preparing financial reports, such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow reports
           Bookkeeper job requirements

     You will need to meet some of the following requirements:

  • A degree in accounting at a higher level
  • Knowing how to use accounting software
  • Outstanding communication skills Experience in a similar bookkeeping job Attention to detail with numbers
  • Legal and tax knowledge and the ability to solve problems
  • Top-notch organizational skills, the ability to understand data, and the ability to keep up with the latest best practices in bookkeeping.

Where to find bookkeepers

Now that you’ve written the job description, your next task is finding suitable candidates ready; to know that you can discover bookkeeper candidates in some places. But you’ll want to look for candidates on job boards that are appropriate for the type of job you’re offering. Here are a few places to look for bookkeeper candidates, from full-time to freelance job boards. 

Looking for bookkeepers for full-time jobs 

Accounting.com. Accounting.com’s job board is great for looking for full-time bookkeepers for entry-level and senior-level positions. You can post a free job listing on this site and get applications immediately. The Association of American Accountants. If you are looking for full-time bookkeepers, this is the best place to look.

With the help of the American Accounting Association, you’ll be able to find a wide range of qualified candidates. Posting a job starts at $299, and there is no limit on the number of words you can use. 

Finding bookkeepers for project/temporary work 

Robert Half platform to find remote accounting and bookkeeping staff for your business. You can find temporary bookkeepers at Robert Half, whether you need them for a long time or just a short time. Robert Half brings bookkeepers to you. To find out more, you need to fill out a short form. 


Through Flexjobs, it will be easy for you to post job descriptions for temporary bookkeepers and accounting staff.

As the name suggests, this job board is all about roles that can change.

It is possible to put up five job postings for consideration, and there is no cost.

Finding bookkeepers for freelance jobs


We included Flexjobs as a place to find freelance bookkeepers because this platform also has a section for finding freelancers. In fact, besides postings for part-time or flexible jobs, this job board only accepts freelance contracts. So post your job description to start attracting freelance bookkeepers to your business.


Getting professional bookkeepers to apply for your job is easy with Freelancer.com.

Fill out a form to describe the bookkeeping project you need to be done, give some information about your business, and look at job profiles of potential freelancers to choose from. Then, find the right bookkeeper and get the project done. 

Tests before hiring bookkeepers

When hiring a bookkeeper, choosing someone who will be a good fit for your business is essential. To do that, you need to ensure they have the right qualifications and experience. In addition to checking their credentials, you should also consider giving them a pre-employment test to evaluate their skills and personality.

Here are some pre-employment tests for bookkeepers that can help you determine.

Tell the difference between outstanding candidates: A skills test is the best way to choose between two outstanding candidates for a bookkeeping job. It’s also a fair way to decide since both candidates will take the same test and be judged based on how they do.

Cut down on the cost of hiring

You may already know that you can get too many resumes when hiring. It can slow down the hiring process, which can add to the cost of hiring. With pre-employment skills testing, you can instantly cut down on applicants and save money on hiring. All you have to do is send out the right skills tests and eliminate the people who failed. An effective recruiting process will reduce the time it takes to hire someone and keep costs down.

‘Do not hire’ only based on who you are

Unfortunately, many biases, some of which we might not even be aware of, can affect our final hiring decisions. If you want to avoid hiring the wrong candidate who might not be the best fit for the job, skills testing will help you ensure you hire the best bookkeeper candidate with the best skills for the job. 

How to build a skills test for bookkeeper candidates

You might be wondering how to choose the right skills tests for your bookkeeper candidates so you can judge their skills. It’s important to use a variety of tests, not just to see how competent your candidates are but also to see if they fit in with the company’s culture. When hiring new employees, it’s important to consider how well they fit in with the company’s culture. The same goes for hiring a bookkeeper. So, we suggest that you use both tests of hard skills and tests of soft skills to evaluate candidates.

Recommended tests for bookkeepers 

The tests we suggest cover the exact skills your bookkeeper candidates should have, making it easier to judge them. As part of your hiring process, here are some crucial skills tests you should use:

Tests of communication

We’ve already said that your bookkeeper candidates need to be able to communicate well.

Can they talk to the other people on the team well? Your bookkeeper’s ability to communicate professionally and read nonverbal cues will be judged by a test of communication skills—problem-solving tests.

Your bookkeeper should be able to solve problems quickly and in an effective way.

With a problem-solving test, you can find out if they have the skills to identify a problem and then analyze numerical data to figure out how to solve it.

Culture add tests

Your company’s culture is vital to its success, and you’ll want your bookkeeper to have values that match your business’s values. Here, the culture add test can come in handy.

The test is unique to your company because it can be changed to fit your needs. Use the test to see if the interests of your bookkeeper candidates match your business’s values.

Attention to detail

When hiring a bookkeeper, we recommend one type of attention-to-detail test: the textual attention-to-detail test. Using this test will help you figure out if your candidates have the analytical skills they need to handle complicated tasks. In addition, with the attention to detail test, you can find out if your bookkeeper will be good at the job and avoid making any mistakes with money.

Time management tests

Your candidates for bookkeeping should be able to organize tasks in order of importance and get them done on time. The time management test will tell you if your candidates can manage their time well and consistently meet deadlines.

Reasoning with numbers tests

How good are your candidates for bookkeeping in math? As you know, they need to be experts. The numerical reasoning test will show how well your applicants can understand fractions and percentages. You can also use it to see how well they can figure out patterns in numbers.

Using data is put to the test

Your bookkeeper will spend a lot of time each day entering data. Are they good at entering data? Use the “Working with Data” test to find out if they are experts at data entry and can accurately analyze data daily.

Tests for the accounts payable

Your organization’s accounts payable will also need to be managed and kept track of by your bookkeeper. They should be able to track all transactions and ensure books are in order. The best way to find out if they can do this job well is to give them an accounts payable test that looks at all these skills.

Tests for accounts receivable

How can you tell if a candidate for the bookkeeper job has the right skills? Your candidates should not only be able to handle accounts payable, but they should also be able to keep records using accounts receivable. The ‘accounts receivable’ test will tell you what you need to know about and how well your candidates for bookkeeper know about accounts receivable. 

Using screening questions for people who want to work in bookkeeping,

TestGorilla also lets you add qualifying questions, which will round out the skills tests you give candidates. Qualifying questions, as their name suggests, help you figure out if a candidate for the job of a bookkeeper is qualified for the job. For example, you could use a qualifying question to determine if a candidate has used a specific bookkeeping program or knows how to use communication tools like Slack or Zoom.

Whether or not a candidate moves on to the next step in your hiring process will depend on how they answer your questions. It is a quick and easy way to eliminate candidates who aren’t suitable for the job and figure out which ones you want to keep talking to. 

Bookkeeping interview questions

After completing completing completing completing completing completing completing the skills tests, you’ll need to ask the successful candidates to attend an interview. Below, you’ll find some vital bookkeeping interview questions you’ll want to ask your candidates.

1) Which is your familiar accounting software? Which do you prefer?

2) Can you describe your previous experience as a bookkeeper?

3) Have you ever worked with a general ledger account?

4) How would you handle ledger errors? What would your process be?

5) Have you ever had to adapt to any new accounting software? 

6) How do you stay abreast of best bookkeeping practices?

7) How do you stay organized as a bookkeeper?

8) What is meant by the three-way match?

9) How would you approach a minor bank reconciliation discrepancy?

10) How confident are you when it comes to communicating with clients and informing them of the nature of their accounts?

Which is your familiar accounting software? Which do you like best?

Your candidates for bookkeeping jobs should know a lot about accounting software or learn more about the software your company uses. Listen for signs that your candidate has the right skills, like how they have used the software in the past or, if they haven’t, how they can learn new accounting software. 

Which industries do you have working experience in? For example, can you describe your previous experience as a bookkeeper?

This question gives you a chance to learn more about your candidates for the bookkeeper job by looking at their past jobs. If your business needs bookkeeping skills specific to your industry, look for signs that the candidate can adapt to your needs or has worked in a similar business before and is willing to do so.

Have you ever worked with a general ledger account?

Look for people who can explain a general ledger account and how it works.

They should be able to explain a balance sheet and how accounts in the general ledger can be broken down into different accounting versions. 

How would you notice and handle ledger errors? What would your process be?

Listen to how your candidates for bookkeeper explain how they find mistakes and if they have a specific function. This experience will include how they found the error in the first place, whether they compared the opening balance with the change for the period and the closing balance, and how they would fix the error. 

Have you ever had to adapt to any new accounting software? 

Accounting software is an essential question because only some candidates for bookkeeping will know the software you use. A good bookkeeper with a lot of experience should know how to use accounting software or show signs that they can learn new software quickly. But they can still understand that they need more experience for the job. 

How do you stay abreast of best bookkeeping practices?

Your candidates for bookkeeper should show that they always want to improve their skills. For example, does your candidate read to add to what they already know? How do they stay in the know about the best ways to keep books? 

How do you stay organized as a bookkeeper?

Two good answers are to use digital tools, like accounting software, to enter data correctly and to keep your work area clear of clutter. But look for solutions that show your candidates for bookkeepers can use their organizational skills to get the most out of their time and work. 

What is meant by the three-way match?

Your candidates for bookkeeping should know how important it is for your business to pay bills on time. Candidates should be able to name the invoice, the authorization document, and the confirmation report, which are the three most important documents used to do this.

They should mention this in their answer and discuss how they ensure that bills are not sent two times for a single payment.

How would you approach a minor bank reconciliation discrepancy?

The candidates should discuss accounting software and how it could help them fix the problem. Instead of a quick fix that doesn’t work, look for answers that show you have thought about how to find the mistake and fix it. 

How confident are you when it comes to communicating with our organization and informing us of the nature of our accounts?

Your candidates should mention the tool’s name in their answers to these questions. For example, they should be able to use Zoom, email, and the phone to tell your company about your accounts. They should also be able to explain complex numbers to you in a way that is easy to understand. Listen to see if the candidate gives examples to support their answer. 

How much does it cost to hire a bookkeeper?

Accounting.com says that the short answer to this question is that bookkeepers make about $40,240 per year or $19.35 per hour. But how much you pay a bookkeeper will depend on several things. Likewise, many things will affect how much your business will have to pay for a bookkeeper.

  • How complicated your business transactions are
  • How long has your bookkeeper been in business
  • If your bookkeeper used specific accounting software, and your business is in a particular location, then your business may be at risk.

It’s easy to find and hire a professional bookkeeper.

Finding and engaging your next experienced bookkeeper can be challenging, but pre-employment skills tests are the best way to make this process easier. How you use them can significantly affect how many people you get to join your team. Keep in mind that you will be looking for candidates for bookkeeping jobs who fit best with the way your company works. So, in addition to hard skills tests like the accounts payable assessment, you will need to use other tests to improve your hiring process and find the best candidate for your business.


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