Financial Tip of the Week
How do you pick an accounting professional for your organization?
Nonprofits need to evaluate 3 areas when making that decision:
Area 1 – Essential skills and competencies
While your bookkeeper does not need to know everything about accounting, they should be able to post and update journal entries, reconcile bank statements, and understand the basics of reading and explaining financial statements. Understanding the underlying accounting principles is just as important as understanding software applications.
Your bookkeeper should also have strong problem-solving skills, good communication skills, and impeccable organizational skills.
Area 2 – Experience and certification
There are many nuances to nonprofit accounting that require experience or certification to be able to fully and accurately execute accounting responsibilities. Your professional should have relevant experience working with organizations of similar size and background. Additional credentials, such as certificates in nonprofit financial management, add to the credibility of any professional.
Factor 3 – Processes and accountability
A true professional will implement written processes and procedures to keep your books clean and make it easy for your organization and its financial team to review and query the entries. A good bookkeeper will answer any questions and should have references and testimonials from accountants or organization with whom they have worked in the past. Do your due diligence and find someone who you can like and trust.
The right accounting professional should have the skills, experience, and accountability to partner with your organization for the long term.