How to recruit a Sage bookkeeper

How do you recruit the right person for an accounts role using Sage 50 Accounts? 

It is important to recruit the right person for your business because they will be responsible for handling your company’s finances.

If you hire someone who is not qualified or experienced in Sage 50 bookkeeping, it could lead to mistakes and financial losses. Therefore, it is important to take the time to find the right person for the job.

What types of questions should you ask them? 

These are questions I get asked all the time and a lot of clients turn to me to interview candidates or assess their skills.

These are some questions I recommend you consider asking during the selection process and my reasons why (this is not an exhaustive list!):

Q: Have you got any practical experience of using Sage 50 Accounts in the workplace?

This question is very valid, as if you’re recruiting someone into a role using Sage 50 you will have a clear idea as to whether you are prepared and willing to give them the support and training they need to understand Sage or whether you need them to hit the ground running.

If it’s the latter, you’ll really want someone who has used Sage 50 in practice on a set of accounts, rather than using it in theory.

When did you last use Sage?

Not only does this question give you an idea of how current their knowledge may be of the latest features, but it tells you how long ago they last used the system, so you can predict how much ‘refresher’ training they may need.

It’s also useful to ask them what version they last used. That way you’ll a) know if they are up-to-date in understanding what the latest version is, and b) get an idea as to how the user interface may have changed since they last used it.

What areas of the program have you not used before?

Knowing what areas of the software they are already proficient in is great, but posing the question about what areas they have not used before will allow your candidate to open up and talk freely about areas they may lack confidence in. 

You’re also asking them by posing this question, if they know the wider capabilities of Sage 50 Accounts and/or areas in which they need to expand their knowledge!

Don’t be afraid to probe about how experienced they are in particular areas. 

If the candidate agrees at interview, I like to use a technique whereby I ask candidates to sit down in front of the software and navigate their way to certain areas of Sage… you know instantly within a few minutes if they really know Sage 50 Accounts or if their C.V. just looks impressive!

What is the non-vatable tax code for Sage 50 i.e. the one that doesn’t pull through to the VAT return?

You would expect any experienced Sage user to know at least this and more, so if they get this answer wrong, alarm bells should be ringing in your ears!

What is the default nominal code for sales?

Again, this is a simple question, so if they are experienced with Sage, they should know the answer to it.

These are some basic examples!

When candidates sit our Sage Assessment Papers we start with the basic paper and then offer them the opportunity to sit the intermediate and technical papers, as this will:

1) Build their confidence as they are starting with the easy papers

2) Allow you to see what gaps in their knowledge there might be

3) Enable you to compare the tests results of all candidates sitting these papers to rate them as part of the selection process (this is obviously only one area, there are many others to consider to give you an overall all-round score!)

For further advice and tips visit our Sage 50 Accounts User’s Community on Facebook.


Disclaimer: Sage Accounts Solutions Limited will not be held responsible for any loss or damage caused as a result of the information contained herein.

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