10 Essential Skills & Qualities of a Good Virtual Bookkeeper

Author: Joan Koehne |

Blog by Prosperity Bookkeeping LLC

Do you need to hire a bookkeeper? Perhaps your bookkeeper quit or your staff is overwhelmed with other responsibilities or isn’t passionate about bookkeeping. Or maybe you no longer have time to do your own books. Whatever the reason you’re looking to outsource your bookkeeping, you need to find the right bookkeeper for our organization.

10 Qualities Every Bookkeeper Should Demonstrate

Here are 10 qualities to look for in a bookkeeper. (I also invite you to view my video, 12 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Bookkeeper.)

Possesses Basic Accounting Skills

You definitely need a bookkeeper with basic accounting skills, so you can be confident that your business finances are in capable hands. Working with a well-trained, experienced bookkeeper, you can be assured that your books are accurate and business operations are maximized for efficiency. So, be sure to hire a bookkeeping service with a thorough understanding of accounting concepts and accounting software, like QuickBooks Online.

Is Experienced in All Areas of Accounting

Small business bookkeepers perform a variety of important business-finance tasks. You want to work with a bookkeeping service that is proficient in data entry, document management, customer billing, and vendor payment processing. The bookkeeper should also be an expert in accounts payable/receivable, payroll, general ledger, journal entries, reconciliation, and reporting. A well-rounded bookkeeper will have experience in all of these areas of accounting.

Saves You Time

How much time do you spend on bookkeeping tasks and oversight every month? Prosperity Bookkeeping offers a proven process in which clients spend less than one hour per month on bookkeeping-related tasks. By outsourcing bookkeeping, business owners free up their time to work on other important aspects of my business.

Offers the Option of Working Virtually

One thing that COVID-19 taught us is the feasibility of working virtually. Organizations saved money on office rent and utilities and experienced other efficiencies by transitioning to virtual offices. Transitioning to a virtual bookkeeping service also provides efficiencies. By meeting virtually, you eliminate the cost and time commitment of traveling time to and from appointments - especially beneficial for impromptu or short meetings. Virtual workers offer flexible scheduling options and the opportunity to work with bookkeepers outside your geographical area who fit your needs and your budget. Learn about Prosperity Bookkeeping’s 5-step virtual accounting process, and together, we’ll start crushing your business goals.

Is Affordable

Be aware that bookkeepers charge either a flat fee or by the hour. On average, a small to mid-sized business can expect to budget 1-3 percent of annual revenue for outsourced bookkeeping services. Prosperity Bookkeeping uses a specific formula to determine the price for bookkeeping services. The exact amount depends upon the services selected. Bookkeeping services differ from client to client. Thus, pricing varies also. However, all pricing options share one thing in common: Pricing is upfront and fair, without unwelcome surprises that strain the pocketbook.

Understands Tax Compliance

Prosperity Bookkeeping provides professional advice, tools, and techniques to keep businesses financially safe. Additionally, Prosperity Bookkeeping provides tools and techniques to keep businesses compliant with payroll and sales tax filing requirements. Avoiding or underpaying taxes can result in costly interest and tax penalties. Be confident in your numbers and tax compliance by working with professional bookkeepers. They maintain accurate financial accounts and promptly fix bookkeeping errors that might otherwise snowball into inaccurate tax filings and unreliable financial statements.

Is Familiar with My Industry

While all commercial businesses are similar, every industry has its own characteristics and business activities. In some ways, a bookkeeper is a jack-of-all-trades who can perform the same accounting tasks across the board. However, some accounting techniques are industry-specific. When interviewing a potential bookkeeping service, ask the bookkeeper to classify a few transactions from your bank or credit card from industry-specific vendors. This is a good measure of how familiar the bookkeeper is with your industry and its needs.

Is trustworthy

Finances are a highly sensitive area, and you want a trustworthy bookkeeping service that keeps accounts private and secure. Internal protocols and controls are essential for safeguarding a business against theft and money mismanagement. To ensure the confidentiality and security of financial data, Prosperity Bookkeeping implements checks and balances. For example, in cloud-based accounting systems, administrators issue users limited authorization and access to financial data.

Is Fully Insured

A responsible bookkeeping service carries three types of insurance: business liability, errors and omissions, and cyber liability. Cyber liability insurance is especially critical for virtual bookkeeping services in the unfortunate, and potentially devastating, event of a data breach. Several different types of data can be vulnerable in a cyberattack, including financial data, customer lists, product research, business plans, and proprietary recipes or formulas.

Genuinely Cares About Me & My Business

A bookkeeper who cares about you and your business’ success will show it responding to emails and phone calls, especially when you need help the most. Bookkeepers who don’t return calls or answer emails aren’t just a frustration. They also weaken your business operations. If you’re waiting for more than 2 business days for a response from your bookkeeper, you’re waiting too long. Instead, you need a professional who’s responsive and available when necessary, so you have timely information to make business decisions and develop financial strategies.

Bookkeeping for Small Business Success

A professional bookkeeper like Prosperity Bookkeeping contributes to the success of a small business. So, it’s important to select a bookkeeping service wisely. When hiring a bookkeeper, keep these 10 qualities in mind. For a free resource guide to hiring a bookkeeper, contact us, and we’ll send you “Roadmap to Interview a Bookkeeper.”

About the Author: Once a mild-mannered reporter and editor, Joan Koehne took on the persona of her alter ego, Wonder Writer, to launch Writer to the Rescue, the content writing division of Packerland Websites. Wonder Writer is “saving the world one word at a time” with power-packed content marketing for digital and traditional media outlets.