11 Sep 4 Ways to Know if Your Bookkeeper is Honest
Bookkeeping is a serious and sensitive business. As a business owner, there might be an itch to do things your way and just do bookkeeping by yourself. Alas! Keeping and managing financial records are not tasks for everybody. Bookkeeping is a meticulous and tedious tracking of financial transactions and overall accounting of a business. This is a task for professionals. So unless you are an accountant by profession, you might not be able to do this. And even if you are an accountant, bookkeeping is actually better off done by someone that can have an unbiased look at the business.
So how would you know if your bookkeeper is honest?
Careful hiring process
There is no sure-fire way of ensuring that the bookkeeper you are going to hire is an honest one. There is no honesty certification. All you can do is just be more diligent during the hiring process. Credentials are well and good—it is important in terms of getting the job done. However, since this involves money, it is important that you have an inkling that the bookkeeper is of good character. To do this, get referrals from close friends and other business owners who you trust implicitly. When you look at the resume, notice the bookkeeper’s previous employers and ask them about the bookkeeper’s character. Don’t be embarrassed to do this; your business depends on it.
Check out the books randomly
If you have a regular pattern in checking the books, then chances are a dishonest bookkeeper has already kept track of when you monitor the reports. A dishonest bookkeeper can easily pattern his thievery according to your monitoring activities. Actually, if you have the time, it is best to look at the books every day. This way, you won’t be giving the bookkeeper a chance to steal. However, there is more to the business than just accounting books—so of course, monitoring them every day would be a waste of time.
Trust is very important when it comes to hiring a bookkeeper. But you also have to realize that money is the root of all evil. So while you may have hired a bookkeeper because you trust him tacitly, trust also that money could turn the best people into criminals. So make sure you open your eyes and be very observant about your bookkeeper—and all employees for that matter—and his activities. There will always be danger signs when one is doing something wrong. Nothing escapes an observant eye.
Be cautious when signing checks
Make sure checks require two signatures—yours and that of the bookkeeper. Even if the tasks of the bookkeeper are more routine like paying utilities and other bills, your signature should still appear in the check. This will ensure that your bookkeeper will not be indiscriminately issuing checks for his personal gain. An honest bookkeeper will not mind this practice. In fact, he would be more understanding about your right to be careful especially with financial matters.
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