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How To Hire A GOOD Accountant!
The world is full of mediocre accountants, bookkeepers, Controllers and CFOs. The businesses who get the good ones are lucky... or are they?
When bringing on an accountant to your company, whether full time, part time or independent contractor, here are some keys to success:
1. You don't want to deal with someone who doesn't do their job well, and therefore requires significant supervision and training.  The first priority is effectiveness - getting someone who knows what they're doing.  The second priority is minimizing cost.  Not the other way around.  Few things are as costly as a bad hire.
2. It's easy to benchmark accounting salary costs.  They're widely available.  I like the Robert Half Accounting & Finance Salary Guide.  Google search it to find the latest.  Don't miss the by-location multiplier in the back to adjust the base numbers to your region.  Other firms publish similar benchmark reports, also.
3. It is always better to have a choice between multiple top candidates, so you can compare and contrast them, than to just have a "yes or no" decision for one single candidate.
4. In general, I have found Craig's List is NOT an effective job posting source when hiring good accountants or bookkeepers.  I prefer ZipRecruiter + LinkedIn.
5. Use your network! Let your peers and acquaintances know you're looking. Aggressively seek referrals.
6. Ask tough interview questions. Expect some of the questions are over the candidate's expertise level, and don't be surprised when they are. But... some candidates might surprise you and give you a good answer. Give the promising candidates a chance to impress you on the tough ones.
7. Accounting requires technical skills and training.  You need to assess accounting expertise, even if you're not an accountant.  Ask technical accounting questions even if you wouldn't know if the answers are right or wrong.  You'll be able to tell whether the candidate got many of the questions right by their confidence or lack of confidence, especially if you follow your question with "Explain how this works to me in more detail."
At online guidance, you'll find a list of our favorite accountant interview questions in Course 2.  You don't have to know the answer to every question to ask it!  

Email us if you're struggling to hire the right accountant for tips and advice at  

Friends don't let friends hire under qualified accountants.
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