Whether you’ve decided to stop doing your books yourself or you need to replace your current bookkeeper, you are now in the position to find a bookkeeper for your business in Canada. To be honest, finding a bookkeeper is like finding any other service provider…the key aspect is what are you willing to do to find the right person for you?
I’ll ask you this before you proceed…
Do you value the work this person will be doing or do you just need it to get done because you need to file your taxes?
You might think this is a really easy question to answer, yes or no, but in order to give an appropriate response, do you know exactly what a bookkeeper can do for your business, or in fact, should be doing for your business?
How you answer will ultimately determine how you find your bookkeeper, because the more it matters to you and your business, and it really should matter, the more time (or money) you have to spend on the process.
Perhaps I’m a bit biased being an accounting professional, but the reality is that after spending over 20 years in finance, working with hundreds of businesses in all different stages, I can tell you that a skilled professional can help you take your business to whatever stage you want it to get to. The result is that value costs money and time; I’m sure you think the same of your business when someone calls looking for a deal. Bookkeepers are no different and for those with real aptitude and expertise, the price can’t be the main focus.
There’s a big misconception that bookkeepers are just data pushers, which sure is a huge part of accounting in general, but we need to look past the old school “data entry clerk” and look at what these individuals are doing with all that data. We need all of that data to assess how our businesses are performing, not just for tax time, but so we can know whether we are profitable, whether we are under pricing, and even if we can afford to hire those new staffers in order to grow. The knowledge is in the numbers, and you need someone who can cut through the crap and decipher what is going on and help you make those decisions.
I will admit that all bookkeepers are not equal. Like all industries, there are the bad apples. An issue with bookkeeping is that everyone thinks they can be a bookkeeper, and that is by far, not true. Over the years I’ve seen many people looking to make a bit of money on the side thinking a bookkeeping business is the way to go. Though some have the skills, there are far too many that are devaluing the work, and making a right mess of the books of the businesses they are working for. At the end then the perception to many is that bookkeepers are not helpful, not worth much, or not needed.
All I have to say to that is that you have not found the RIGHT bookkeeper then.
So, how do you find a bookkeeper in Canada? Several ways, and you have to find what works for you. Let’s work through some options:
- Referral: Any accounting professional will tell you that the number 1 way they connect with new clients is referrals from other clients or colleagues. Nothing sells someone’s skills like someone you trust telling you about their good experience.
- Online Searching: Sure, you can do this. Be specific in the wording on Google or you’ll wind up finding a dozen sites or ads just leading you to more lists. This is a bit of a crap shoot because you will have to wade through all the information out there.
- Job Bank/Hiring Site: Post an ad and have the bookkeepers come to you. Perhaps less work for you, but again, wading through the pool of a ton of people who can’t read the job description instructions, or people who just click every open job out there. There are some agencies that will work with you on job ads and even do some initial screening to narrow the field before the candidates list gets to you.
- “Talent” Sites: Here are some of those big lists you could weed through. Limited information provided, what the professional wants you to see, and often a focus on price to draw businesses in.
- Bookkeeper Groups/Organizations: There are a few organizations whose member base is all bookkeepers. Some of these organizations are better than others though by testing members for certain levels of bookkeeping skills and providing a list for businesses to search through.
- Business Groups/Organizations: Think of your local Chamber of Commerce. They are likely a source of businesses in the area, if you feel you need someone local. Like the bookkeeper groups, keep in mind that paid member groups are not looking out for your needs per se, they are there for their members.
- Placement Agency: Depending on the bookkeeping role, you might be able to find someone you’re looking for with an agency. A little more customized to you, a focus on the skills, but often limited in available people, and can have high, ongoing costs.
Finding the RIGHT bookkeeper for your business here in Canada will take you a bit of time but you do not have to go it alone. We designed our Find Our Bookkeeper™ program to help you avoid many of the options above, while utilizing some of the best key features. Our program is based around the referral premise, with some custom matching, and also comprises pre-screening, aptitude testing, and an in-depth assessment of your accounting needs to narrow in on the best candidate for you. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website at www.findourbookkeeper.ca to learn more about this unique program for finding bookkeepers in Canada.
No matter how you find that right fit, the best advice I can give you is to understand, and communicate, what you want from that person, before you begin working together.
A self-proclaimed “non-blogger”, Susan has been an accounting professional for over 20 years. Education is a passion for Susan, and she can be found writing and editing for many organizations, such as Intuit Canada TurboTax, Knowledge Bureau, and QuickBooks Canada. She often speaks at events on businesses planning and taxation, teaches at Mohawk College, and works with many businesses and entrepreneurs as a financial management consultant. Susan is known to be approachable but pulls no punches when it comes to the reality of business finance and taxes.