Home / Articles / Finding a bookkeeper for your nonprofit

Finding a bookkeeper for your nonprofit

April 4, 2018

Share:

Looking for the perfect bookkeeper is something like looking for an ideal mate. You’ll want to think hard about your organization’s needs before you start searching for, and commit to, the person who’ll handle your day-to-day accounting functions.

Define the role

Before advertising the position, define the role. Crafting a detailed job description that outlines responsibilities will help you attract qualified candidates and give you a consistent yardstick with which to measure them.

Common bookkeeper responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and recording accounts payable, accounts receivable and cash receipts,
  • Tracking expenses,
  • Reconciling bank statements,
  • Posting accounts to the general ledger, and
  • Preparing for year-end financial audits.

If you’ll be relying on your bookkeeper to send donor acknowledgments, order supplies or handle any other clerical duties, spell out those duties in the job description.

Ensure a good fit

Not-for-profits have special bookkeeping challenges that for-profit businesses don’t. At the very least, you want a bookkeeper who understands there are differences, such as accounting for pledges, donated goods and services, and restricted donations. Candidates also must be:

  • Knowledgeable about accounting basics,
  • Willing to learn your organization’s accounting specifics,
  • Attentive to details,
  • Deadline-oriented, and
  • Computer-literate.

Finally, because your bookkeeper will handle cash, financial records and proprietary information, potential hires must be trustworthy and above reproach. Conduct thorough background and credit checks on anyone you’re seriously considering, including following up on any references.

Get what you need

Many organizations hire a bookkeeper because other staff members don’t have the necessary accounting skills. If you’re in that situation, you may wonder how you can judge the accounting acumen of bookkeeper candidates. We can help you define the role and provide advice on hiring the bookkeeper that meets your needs.

© 2018

All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a Clark Schaefer Hackett professional. Clark Schaefer Hackett will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.

Guidance

Related Articles

Article

2 Min Read

The Details on GASB 97

Article

2 Min Read

Lease Accounting Standard ASC 842 Impacts on Debt Covenants and Capital Requirements

Article

2 Min Read

Federal Audit Clearinghouse Provider Changing from Census to GSA

Article

2 Min Read

Consequences of Not Being Proactive on Lease Accounting Standard ASC 842

Article

2 Min Read

Infographic: 4 Steps to Implementing the New Lease Accounting Standard

Article

2 Min Read

Maximize Your Tax Filing Preparedness & Awareness

Get in Touch.

What service are you looking for? We'll match you with an experienced advisor, who will help you find an effective and sustainable solution.
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.