There was an article in Fortune Magazine in January that was excellent. It talked about how to hire a business pro.
Many will agree that hiring an accountant or bookkeeper is a little stressful. I mean, come on, they’re going to know every detail of your life through your business finances. Doubly so if you’re a sole proprietor. You want someone you can trust.
- As for referrals! If your associates (friends or business peers) know them and trust them, they automatically have a level of trust to you. I’m a member of a networking group where the members are vetted as to knowledge, professionalism, etc. If your friends or business associates don’t know anyone in the profession you need, branch out. Ask your hair stylist/barber, your neighbor, online community, lawyer, dentist, doctor… you get the idea.
- Keep your professionals separate. I subscribe to Google Alerts for bookkeepers, but finally had to discontinue the notification. EVERY single one had to deal with bookkeeper fraud. It was depressing to see so many in my profession ripping their clients off. I want GOOD examples, not bad! In a previous job, the company was huge on what they called “separation of duties”. It was something I had always believed in, and I believe it’s a safeguard for my clients as well. I don’t prepare taxes for this reason. I’m not a dishonest person by any means, but it’s an added layer of security if my client knows their CPA is double-checking my work, and I’m watching theirs. It’s a peace-of-mind thing for my clients that they probably never thought of. This is also why I don’t like to be a cardholder or have signature authority on my clients bank accounts. It’s an added layer of security for them just to know I don’t have access.
I know there are a lot more suggestions/tips for hiring reliable and honest professionals to help you in your business, but those are subjects for later blogs!