What to expect when you hire a bookkeeper: roles, responsibilities, and results


Hiring a bookkeeper is a strategic decision that can significantly impact your business’s financial health. However, setting realistic expectations is key to leveraging this resource effectively. This article will outline what business owners can expect from a bookkeeper in terms of roles, responsibilities, and the tangible results they can bring to a business.

1. Roles and responsibilities of a bookkeeper

– financial record keeping: a primary role of a bookkeeper is to maintain accurate and up-to-date financial records. According to the american institute of professional bookkeepers, accurate bookkeeping helps reduce accounting costs by up to 30% through efficient record management (aipb, 2020).

– managing transactions: this includes invoicing, handling accounts receivable and payable, and processing payroll. A study by intuit found that businesses that maintain regular invoicing practices have 35% higher revenue (intuit, 2019).

– financial reporting: bookkeepers prepare essential financial reports like balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, which are vital for decision-making.

2. Improving financial accuracy and compliance

– error reduction: a proficient bookkeeper significantly reduces the likelihood of financial errors. The journal of accountancy reports that businesses with dedicated bookkeepers see a 25% reduction in accounting errors (journal of accountancy, 2021).

– tax compliance: bookkeepers ensure that your financial records adhere to tax laws and regulations, thus reducing the risk of penalties.

3. Impact on cash flow management

– effective cash flow tracking: a bookkeeper’s diligent tracking can improve cash flow management, a critical aspect for any business. A survey by quickbooks revealed that businesses with effective cash flow management are 2.5 times more likely to succeed (quickbooks, 2020).

– debt collection: they can also streamline the process of debt collection, improving the business’s liquidity.

4. Budgeting and financial planning

– budget assistance: bookkeepers assist in creating and maintaining budgets. A survey by clutch found that 80% of small businesses that maintained a budget were profitable (clutch, 2021).

– financial insights: their insights can aid in long-term financial planning and strategy.

5. Software proficiency and technological savvy

– software management: expect bookkeepers to be proficient in bookkeeping software, providing efficiency through technology. According to xero, businesses that utilize cloud-based bookkeeping software save an average of 110 hours per year (xero, 2021).

– adaptability: they should be adaptable to new technologies and software updates, ensuring your financial systems remain current and efficient.

6. Long-term financial improvements

– business growth: over time, a bookkeeper can contribute to business growth through efficient financial management and strategic advice.

– financial health analysis: regular financial analysis can help identify areas for cost-saving and investment, driving profitability.


Hiring a bookkeeper goes beyond mere transaction management; it’s an investment in your business’s financial accuracy, compliance, and growth. By understanding the roles and responsibilities of a bookkeeper and setting realistic expectations, business owners can reap substantial long-term benefits, from improved cash flow and reduced error rates to strategic financial planning and business growth.