How to Hire a Bookkeeper

Does your growing business need a bookkeeper? Bookkeepers maintain the accounts receivable, accounts payable and general ledgers.

Here are some tips to help you find great bookkeeper candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Bookkeepers searching for jobs on Indeed*

341,572

Job seekers that clicked bookkeeper jobs

61,701

Resumes for job seekers with bookkeeper experience on Indeed

8,666

Bookkeeper jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring bookkeeper?

  • Common salary in US: $18.53 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$36.05 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, bookkeeper jobs in the US are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 39 job seekers per bookkeeper job.

Why hire a bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping is extremely detail-oriented work. If you’re a high-volume business, then you’ll need someone who’s great at multitasking.

Additional benefits that hiring a bookkeeper can bring to your business are as follows:

• Entering and posting the daily financial transactions to the correct ledger accounts
• Invoicing clients and applying customer payments
• Completing the monthly, quarterly and yearly financial reporting requirements, such as financial statements

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance bookkeeper

Freelance bookkeepers are available for a variety of reasons for both businesses and individuals. Small businesses can hire freelance bookkeepers to keep track of their financial transactions. Since the business is small, it likely won’t have a large number of transactions, meaning a full-time hire would waste money for the company.

However, large companies that make a lot of financial transactions may benefit from a full-time bookkeeper. Depending on the company’s size and number of locations, it may require multiple full-time bookkeepers. Due to higher hourly costs, hiring a freelancer for this work may end up costing the company more money.

What are the ranks of bookkeepers?

In the field of accounting, there are quite a few positions that fill different roles. These roles make a clearly defined hierarchy that includes the following job titles:

  • ControllerControllers are almost at the top of the chain in the accounting field. They report directly to the director of finance or the CFO and are responsible for overseeing the entire department. 
  • Accounting manager: Accounting managers are just under the controller. They supervise all the accountants and are responsible for reporting decisions. 
  • Senior accountant: Senior accountants create fiscal reports in order to show the financial health of the company to upper management. They also sometimes supervise some of the accountants underneath them.
  • Staff accountant: Staff accountants have a variety of mid-level accounting duties, such as preparing accounts payable and receivable.
  • BookkeepersBookkeepers are entry-level employees who keep track of purchases and profits for a company. 

Where to find bookkeepers

To find the right bookkeeper for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Maintain relationships with local colleges and universities. By maintaining relationships with schools in the area, your business may be able to hire recent graduates who are looking for accounting positions. 
  • Post help wanted signs. Hanging flyers about the position around the community can spread the word and attract potential applicants. 
  • Hire from within. Your company may already have employees who are looking to break into the accounting field and willing to make a lateral move to an entry-level position. Schedule interviews with these individuals to gauge their level of interest in the job. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your bookkeeper job on Indeed to find and attract quality bookkeeper candidates.

What are the ranks of bookkeepers?

In the field of accounting, there are quite a few positions that fill different roles. These roles make a clearly defined hierarchy that includes the following job titles:

  • ControllerControllers are almost at the top of the chain in the accounting field. They report directly to the director of finance or the CFO and are responsible for overseeing the entire department. 
  • Accounting manager: Accounting managers are just under the controller. They supervise all the accountants and are responsible for reporting decisions. 
  • Senior accountant: Senior accountants create fiscal reports in order to show the financial health of the company to upper management. They also sometimes supervise some of the accountants underneath them.
  • Staff accountant: Staff accountants have a variety of mid-level accounting duties, such as preparing accounts payable and receivable.
  • BookkeepersBookkeepers are entry-level employees who keep track of purchases and profits for a company. 

Writing a bookkeeper job description

To attract highly qualified bookkeeper candidates, a well-written description is important. A comprehensive bookkeeper job description includes a summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your bookkeeper job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on bookkeeper jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounting clerk
  • Accounting assistant
  • Remote work from home
  • Remote bookkeeper
  • Accounts payable
  • Data entry
  • QuickBooks

Interviewing bookkeeper candidates

Ideal candidates for bookkeeper positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• QuickBooks or other preferred accounting software
• Accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger and payroll processes
• Preparing financial reports, such as balance sheets, income statements and statements of cash flows

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of bookkeeper interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a bookkeeper

Many bookkeepers are able to prepare tax returns for individuals, but not for large companies. 

Can a bookkeeper do tax returns?

Depending on the size of your company and its accounting department, you may not need to hire a bookkeeper. If you own a small company that doesn’t have very many financial transactions to keep track of, you may be able to handle it yourself. 

Do I really need to hire a bookkeeper?

If you own a midsize business with a few accountants, one of the accountants may be able to take on bookkeeping responsibilities. 

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