So your bookkeeper has been great. In fact, information they’ve been able to provide you has helped you make decisions to grow your business to where it is now. But now you find that your bookkeeper is overwhelmed, dealing with transactions outside of their expertise, and the sheer volume of work is beyond their capacity. What should you consider when hiring a financial accountant? Consider these:

Academic Background

Formal, academic training cannot be overstated. Clearly training by a prestige university is desirable, but technical training may just be what your business needs. Before hiring, make sure that you know the level of skills and academic qualification you need. If you need someone more advanced, consult a more experienced professional to help you outline the duties and the training that will be required in the candidate.

Specific Experiences at Work

I mention specific experiences, rather than “Work Experience,” because the specific situations that they’ve already encountered/have been trained on, will have a huge impact on their effectiveness for you.  Consider the business needs you foresee for your organization over the next few years. Will you need to transition to a more robust accounting system? Is there information you wished that could be provided in a report but your bookkeeper didn’t have the expertise or expertise to produce? Ask your top candidates if they’ve produced reports from scratch that provide XYZ information, and ask them to provide specific examples. If you want to really test their knowledge, then ask them how that report was used and what impact it had on a given transaction.  In the end, someone who has already dealt with growth and other various situations should be able to help you avoid pitfalls that may otherwise by laying wait for your organization.

Certifications By Accounting Bodies

Smart, practicing financial accountants seek certifications to distinguish themselves from other candidates. This shows dedication and a commitment to personal growth—a trait valuable in any organization, for it shows a desire for mastery and constant improvement. Aside from the qualification itself, a good financial accountant will be responsible and honest. These certification organizations all have codes of conduct that helps act as a screen. Any business will need an accountant who can be relied upon and trusted to fulfill his/her duties with honesty and integrity.