A bookkeeper can be a lifesaver for businesses large and small. However, not all bookkeepers are created equal. Consider the following 10 signs you have a bad bookkeeper.

10 Signs You Have a Bad Bookkeeper

If you experience the following with your bookkeeper, consider hiring a new one. These issues can start out small, but can easily snowball into a much more serious deal. 

Consistently Unavailable: 

While your bookkeeper may not be available 24/7, they should be reasonably accessible during business hours. If your accountant doesn’t get back to you within one business day, it can be a serious issue. When choosing a bookkeeper, talk to them about their policy when it comes to client communication. It’s important to have a bookkeeper who is invested in your account and business. 

Behind On Your Books: 

A bookkeeper is hired to take the work off your hands. This is beneficial as it can free up your time to do other tasks to grow your business. If they are behind on your books, it can be difficult to make both short- and long-term business decisions as you won’t have the information readily available. A good bookkeeper will provide you with timely information, reports, and even a dashboard that can provide you with key figures whenever you need them. In fact, periodic bookkeeping services can be highly beneficial for businesses that have busy seasons.

Panicked or Lack Confidence: 

A skilled and experienced bookkeeper can provide you with peace of mind that they have your account handled. However, if your bookkeeper is often frazzled or doesn’t have a lot of confidence in their work, you may be in trouble. 

Zero Ideas: 

Accounting is more than just crunching numbers. In fact, an outstanding accountant can provide you with reports and relevant ideas based on your business goals. This can be highly beneficial as it can help you spot areas of growth and capitalize on lucrative opportunities. It’s important to work with an accountant that provides you with comprehensive accounting services. 

Inadequate Understanding Of Terminology: 

If your bookkeeper does not understand basic bookkeeping terminology, consider starting to outsource accounting to online professionals. This can be highly beneficial as an uneducated and inexperienced bookkeeper can be costly. Avoid working with a bookkeeping professional who lacks the ability to communicate effectively.

concept image of firing a bad accountant

Lack of Understanding Of Reports: 

Creating reports based on your business numbers is essential to growing your business. Not only can it help you understand your business inefficiencies, but it can also help you make effective decisions based on your business goals. You should be able to curate the information you want from your bookkeeper. 

Avoids Asking Questions: 

While you want an accountant that doesn’t waste time, they should have some questions for you. This is integral to getting to know your business. Once your bookkeeper gets to know you and your business, they may not have as many questions. However, avoiding any questions can be a red flag.

Unable To Provide Answers With Explanations: 

Because bookkeepers are the experts at accounting tasks, they should be able to provide you with answers that can be understood in layman’s terms. Providing clear and understandable information is necessary. This can help you understand your business’s financial health so you can make the very best financial decisions.

Conceal Your Own Books: 

Your financial information is yours. Even if you hire a bookkeeper, they should be forthright with your information. If you have an accountant that conceals your information or their work, it’s important to address the issue. You should have access to your financial accounting information at all times.

Inconsistent Work Product: 

It’s important to address your expectations at the beginning. This can help you and your accountant understand what you need and how they can provide that information to you. Without this, they may end up providing inconsistent work. Be clear in the beginning and put things in writing to ensure the bookkeeper maintains accountability for their work product.

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