How to Hire Skilled QuickBooks Bookkeepers

Bookkeeping Calculator Computer

What skills should a bookkeeper possess?

CHOOSING SKILLED QUICKBOOKS BOOKKEEPERS
REQUIRES ASSESSING SKILLS & TECHNOLOGY SAVVY

I’m frequently asked to interview my clients’ prospective bookkeepers because choosing skilled QuickBooks Bookkeepers is challenging. As Siegel Solutions grows, I routinely hire more bookkeepers to meet client demands.  If a decision-maker isn’t responsible for completing the kind of tasks their potential bookkeeper will be doing, it can be quite difficult to make a good choice. Frequently the result is an inadequately skilled hire. To complicate matters, most bookkeepers are self-taught or trained by self-taught bookkeepers. Since QuickBooks’ setup is intuitive, it is easy to learn. However, like Othello, it can take years to master.  Moreover, even if someone uses QuickBooks and can navigate the software, they might not really be a “Bookkeeper”.   Too frequently, QuickBooks users are hired as Bookkeepers when they actually lack significant bookkeeping skill and knowledge.  

Here are tips for choosing skilled QuickBooks bookkeepers.

First, you want to determine the requirements of a bookkeeper specifically suited to your business’s demands. For instance, are you only looking for someone to do financial data entry of transactions such as bills, invoices, check payments, customer payments, and payroll? Will they usually just use QuickBooks’ forms? Or, are you seeking someone who in addition to those skills really understands the data? This person is someone who looks at a Balance Sheet or Income Statement and grasps the financial picture. Not all bookkeepers have skill in analyzing financial data and determining its meaning.

Therefore, to discover if a candidate has the skill to understand what your financial data means, show her your QuickBooks File. Then ask her to give you a detailed assessment of it. Make sure that she is digesting the data from a financial perspective. While she begins processing your requests, notice how she navigates QuickBooks. Observe what she focuses on and if she asks relevant questions. Are her comments insightful and pertinent?

What should I find out about bookkeeping candidates?

    1. Is he moving around QuickBooks with experienced ease and fluidity or does he seem lost?
    2. Is he looking at the Balance Sheet, Income Statement and other reports? If so, is he asking you about details that stand out?
    3. If he peruses the Income Statement, is he drilling into the accounts? Is he looking at the statement by month for trends? Or is he pulling up the statement and looking at it with no real focus and initiative. A good bookkeeper will drill into specific accounts and find out how the business is recording transactions. He’ll ask if you have consistent accounts and/or if you have any redundant accounts.
    4. In the cost of goods sold section, is your candidate investigating if all appropriate expenses are included? 
    5. Is he is looking at the payroll accounts to see if payroll is recorded properly?
    6. Does he create a comparative YOY Balance Sheet to reveal if accounts are changing adequately?
    7. Is he pulling up an Accounts Receivable Aging Report to see how old invoices are and if collection issues exist?

How can I resolve these questions?

Firstly, ask prospective new hires to explain how to record nontraditional transactions. Many prospects come to interviews able to create invoices, input vendor bills, pay bills and receive customer payments. Ask them if they can explain how to write-off an invoice, how to create a journal entry, and what they would do if the reconciliation is off. Be specific. Ask how to handle a barter situation, book the purchase of a vehicle, book a new loan, or get rid of a bill that is no longer open.

Secondly, inquire if candidates understand how to dispose of old outstanding checks that should be added back to the bank. Do they know how to pay bills with a credit card, how to account for owner draws, and how to set up an item on an invoice?  These types of transactions pop up routinely and unfortunately, some self-professed bookkeepers do not know how to manage them.  However, experienced, well-trained bookkeepers with accounting knowledge will.

What else?

Next, investigate your candidates’ accounting knowledge. Frequently, prospective QuickBooks Bookkeepers learn to use QuickBooks and perform bookkeeping tasks specifically based upon the industries and companies for whom they work. And, many bookkeeping roles are transaction-oriented and do not require accounting skills.  If you seek a bookkeeper who will ensure that your business’s books are accurate, accounting knowledge is essential. Ask them how they ensure the accuracy of the books on a monthly basis.  If they explain that someone else reviews them in their current company, that won’t inspire confidence in their initiative and ownership of those responsibilities.  If they reconcile the bank account and or credit card accounts in their present role, ask them what other related accounting responsibilities they perform. 

Then, review answers to questions and note if candidates routinely reconcile all transactions. Look for insight and critical thinking beyond mere reconciliation of the bank account.  Furthermore, if they regularly review Balance Sheet accounts and Income Statements for accuracy, anomalies, and improperly recorded data, then chances are they have deep, well-rounded experience and skills. However, if they reconcile the bank account, make sure to ask if they review old outstanding checks and deposits.  These finer distinctions are important when choosing skilled QuickBooks Bookkeepers. Often, bank reconciliations are completed and indicate that everything balances. Then, if overlooked, old outstanding transactions result in loose ends.

What are some critical questions to ask people’s references?

Pose revealing questions that drill into their skillset and experience.

    1. What transactions does he enter in QuickBooks? On what timeline? The answers determine when after month-end he can produce a good report.
    2. Is he responsible for fixing entries and converting data in QuickBooks?
    3. Is she comfortable printing reports and giving them to a bank?
    4. Does he send suggestions about improving the books?
    5. Was she the only QuickBooks user in her most recent company?

Skilled QuickBooks Bookkeepers Invest in Training!

    1. Is your prospective bookkeeper QuickBooks certified?
    2. Is his certification current?  (There is an annual exam.)
    3. Is he attending regular webinars or onsite QuickBooks training?

QuickBooks is constantly evolving. For example, it integrates with many 3rd party add-ons that make bookkeeping more efficient, like Bill.com and ReceiptBank. QuickBooks also utilizes bank feeds for banking and credit card downloads

    1. How technology savvy is a prospective bookkeeper?
    2. Ask candidates about trends, add-ons, and bank feeds. Then, ask if they keep up with software developments? How do they stay current?

SUMMARY

It is a complex process of assessing whether prospective hires are bonafide bookkeepers. So, separating candidates who are QuickBooks experts from those who merely use QuickBooks helps weed out inexperienced candidates. Therefore, you should test bookkeeping candidates in QuickBooks and pose direct questions to their references. The results clearly indicate their ability, tech-savvy, accounting knowledge, and overall bookkeeping skill. Lastly, if you use these recommendations you can be confident that you’re hiring highly-skilled bookkeepers who are valuable additions to your team. 



kim

Kimberly Mitchell
Partner Development Manager

 

Kim is a Partner Development Manager with 10 years of experience working with Strategic Partners. As a 19-year veteran with Intuit and a history of driving growth and sales results within the QuickBooks echo system Kim, brings a wealth of knowledge to our team by assisting us with sales and marketing initiatives while helping us strive for the highest net promoter (clients satisfaction) scores. Kim is passionate about creating and nurturing new partnership opportunities through the relationships she has built over the past 25 years of sales experience.

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Noah

Noah Raney
Senior Account Payroll Manager

 

Noah is our dedicated Intuit Senior Account Payroll Manager who can help you find the right payroll solution for you and your business. He is well versed in all of the QuickBooks platforms being desktop/online/standalone and payroll has been his world since joining Intuit 13 years ago. Whether you are looking for ways to save on time, reduce inflated payroll costs or just get set up with the best discounts, he is here to help. Your success and satisfaction are of utmost importance!

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Sean

Sean McCaffery
Global Channel Sales Partnerships and Alliances Leader

 

Sean McCaffery has more than 15 years of experience leading channel sales and cloud solutions in the US and Internationally. Sean has held leadership positions with Avaya in Europe growing the channel business with resellers and distributors in key countries driving double-digit growth. He then joined Rackspace Technology and was instrumental in developing sales growth strategies in cloud adoption for customers and partners. Most recently, he ran channels at Dizzion responsible for dynamically growing and expanding the partner ecosystem through SaaS-based VDI solutions before joining Intuit. Currently, he runs the QuickBooks Solution Provider Program supporting the strong business that solution providers and ISV partners have established as well as finding new opportunities to drive emerging mid-market growth together!

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Gabor

Gabor Terebesi
Account Manager

 

Gabor Terebesi is an Account Manager with the Payments Team of Intuit for over 15 years. He works in the partner division for Intuit payments to ensure Intuit partners along with any clients of theirs are in the most suitable and financially cost-effective solution accepting payments through eCommerce, QuickBooks, mobile payments, or any other options necessary for their business.

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Aimee

Aimee Garneau
Accounting Manager

 

Aimee joined Siegel in 2022 as the Accounting Manager overseeing the accounting and bookkeeping team. Aimee brings 18 years of experience with increased responsibility with privately and publicly held companies. Her experience lies with SaaS-based companies as well as in healthcare, consulting, education and nonprofits. Prior to joining Siegel, she held accounting leadership positions with Waban Projects, Elastic Path, Moltin, and Ned Davis Research. Aimee loves partnering with business owners to establish financial reporting and results that promote growth and expansion. When Aimee is not working, she loves spending time with her family and friends and exploring all New England has to offer. She is also an avid Red Sox fan and enjoys going to Fenway Park when she can.

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Jeffrey Siegel
CPA, CEO

Jeff has spent the last twenty years working providing solutions to emerging growth businesses. After graduating from Northeastern University, he spent five years working with two multinational CPA firms in an auditor capacity building a foundation for understanding how business work. He later went on to work in various controller and CFO roles before starting Siegel & Associates (previously Siegel Financial Group) in 2000. In those roles, he sold a company to ADP, raised funds for a major expansion of a large regional IVF clinic, and helped set up accounting and financial structures for dozens of companies. Since starting Siegel & Associates, Jeff has worked with hundreds of clients providing accounting system solutions. Those solutions include setting up QuickBooks in a single-user environment putting in QuickBooks Enterprise in a 30-user environment and integrating various add-ons including inventory, CRM, and e-commerce. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a QuickBooks Pro Advisor, a QuickBooks Advanced Pro Advisor, and an Intuit Solution Provider certified in Enterprise Solutions, Point of Sale & QuickBase. Jeff is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

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Lori Swartz
Client Support Manager

After graduating from Boston University, Lori spent eight years working in various managerial positions for two national companies. In those positions, Lori developed the skills necessary to manage multiple projects, clients, and resources. She later went on to work for a management company that handled over 25 real estate properties with multiple tenants. Lori joined Siegel Solutions in 2003 as a client services manager where she utilized her skills developed to manage multiple clients and multiple staff. She recently moved into the client support manager role where she is responsible for meeting with and onboarding new clients, managing and maintaining our technology stack along with QuickBooks setups, conversions, training, and consulting.

In her free time, Lori enjoys spending time with her family. She loves to travel, music, and theater.

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Kristin Hogan
Office Administrator

Kristin has been with Siegel Solutions since 2008 when she started as a part-time Office Administrator. In addition to the administrative work for Siegel Solutions, Kristin also assists with bookkeeping for a handful of clients, and manages and processes payroll for about 25 clients. Kristin has been working in administrative roles for many years in various fields, including from an academic department in a local university, a start-up biomedical company, to recording and pricing inventory for a small gift shop. Kristin has also held customer service positions in food service, department stores, a local Boys & Girls Club, and a nursing home.

Outside of work, Kristin enjoys hanging out with family, friends, and the family’s black lab named Clyde. Kristin is a New England Revolution fan and goes to as many games as possible each season.

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Kathy Crouse
Senior Bookkeeping Associate

Kathy graduated from Framingham State College. She then attended Bently College in their Accounting Certificate program, while also working as an Assistant Payroll Supervisor and Compensation Specialist in the corporate offices of a large contract employer. After many years of experience as a Full Charge Bookkeeper for a private investment firm, and various small CPA firms, Kathy joined Siegel Solutions in 2001. She enjoys learning about different types of businesses working for Siegel and the satisfaction of tailoring our role to best serve each client's needs.

During her free time, Kathy loves spending time with her family and her dog. She also enjoys DIY projects and exploring the beautiful New England coast.

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Janet

Janet Jodoin
Bookkeeping Associate

Janet joined Siegel Solutions in May of 2022 as an Associate Bookkeeper. In her younger years, while raising her family, she completed her degree in Business and she spent 20 years in the trades as a custom designer. Janet also has 16 years in corporate management. Her strong team support, training, and development led her to support and manage Human Resources. Janet's desire to change careers has led her to return back to bookkeeping at Siegel Solutions. In Janet's free time she enjoys spending time with her growing family. Her personal favorite is creative landscaping in her yard. She also enjoys working alongside her partner in construction and remodeling.

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Tricia

Tricia Gullage
Associate

Tricia Joined Siegel Solutions in 2022 as a bookkeeper and works with our clients to keep their day-to-day bookkeeping in order. Tricia has 12 years of bookkeeping experience working for a large construction company for 10 of those years handling all their accounting and Payroll. She met Jeff our CEO while working there and decided she wanted to join our team.

When not working Tricia enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She recently moved up to the lakes region in NH and loves going to concerts, enjoying her time boating and snowmobiling.

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