Essential Data Entry Skills When Hiring a Bookkeeping Assistant | Magic Assistant Blog

Essential Data Entry Skills When Hiring a Bookkeeping Assistant

Jacqueline Florida
Jacqueline Florida
June 3, 2022
Bookkeeping Assistant working on his laptop

The efficiency of a company is seen in how accurate and systematic its records are. This is why any bookkeeping assistant you hire should have the right data entry skills. To be organized and accurate in business records, a bookkeeping assistant has to regularly manage various data entry tasks for the company.

Decide on the skills for data entry to look for when hiring your bookkeeping assistant. Plus, set the data entry requirements your company needs to ensure that you’re getting the right virtual assistant.

What is data entry in bookkeeping?

The data entry done in bookkeeping includes recording all of the business’s financial transactions and updating its company data in a specific electronic database or service. 

Proper data entry ensures accurate financial records and makes it easier to track and retrieve information when needed. This, in turn, makes it easier and less tedious to compile reports on such data.

A bookkeeping assistant with a good data entry skills resume requires no or minimal supervision and won’t take up much time setting up after they’ve been introduced into the company. They can also handle data entry tasks accurately and efficiently for any business. Read the best tips for handling data entry duties in the next section.

7 Skills Needed for Data Entry Jobs

Here’s a data entry skills list you can check to know the qualities of a data entry clerk:

A bookkeeping assistant in front of a laptop

1. Keen Attention to Detail

A high level of attention to detail is one of the most important data entry skills that a bookkeeping assistant should have. It allows you to concentrate on a particular data entry task so you can do it quickly and accurately. In contrast, lacking attention to detail results in more errors and more time to check data inputs. 

Companies value a bookkeeping assistant who’s detail-oriented since they can do data entry tasks accurately and reduce any risk of errors.

2. Basic Computer Operation and Software Knowledge

A bookkeeping assistant in charge of data entry is required to know how to use office equipment and software competently. Office equipment includes touchscreens, printers, scanners, copiers, and dictation machines. 

They must also be able to use popular data entry software like Quickbooks and Xero and basic computer software such as spreadsheets like Excel, word processors like Word and Doc files, databases, and other kinds of record management software. They should be able to enter financial, statistical, and coded information using scanners, a keyboard, and a mouse.

As a business owner, you can give a data entry skills test as part of the hiring process. This will let you see if applicants have the software proficiency you’re looking for in a VA.

3. Verbal and Written Communication Skills

Written communication skills are vital for a bookkeeping assistant. Since they constantly encode data, sloppy grammar and misspelled words are unacceptable. Accurate recording of financial transactions includes using correct grammar and spelling. 

As part of a business, they’ll also be exchanging information with other team members, managers, and customers. There are times when they need to discuss tax filing details or payroll. To do this, they’ll need to be effective communicators whether on the phone or in writing.

4. Build Typing Speed and Accuracy

To attain a good typing speed per minute, you must be comfortable with the kinds of input devices that the company uses, especially on the keyboard. The basic data entry speed is 40 words per minute while the average is 50 words per minute. A good typing speed per minute, though, should be around 70⁠—that’s what a bookkeeper should have.

In addition, a data entry VA should strive to have 92% typing accuracy. That’s mistyping 8 words out of 100, compared to a professional typist’s average of 3 mistakes per 100 words.

Data entry experience allows a bookkeeping assistant to build on accurate typing proficiency. They should strive for accurate encoding since mistakes annoy customers and waste money and time. They can keep mistakes at a minimum by focusing on their tasks at hand and making a habit of double-checking their work. This includes grammar, spelling, and accuracy of encoded information.

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5. Research and Data Collection Skills

There will always be research and data collection involved when doing data entry tasks. Whether it’s for creating financial and monthly reports or preparing end-of-the-financial-year reporting, these skills allow you to create better outputs.

Coupled with data processing skills, a bookkeeping assistant should be able to handle credit control and bank reconciliations fairly well.

6. Teamwork

Whether in an office or remote working, a bookkeeping assistant will always be part of a team. Teamwork-oriented VAs can contribute to effective work conditions.

Here are some examples of teamwork skills:

  • Listening skills
  • Perspective-taking skills 
  • Open communication
  • Negotiation skills
  • Problem-solving skills

7. Organization Skills

Time management skills often go hand-in-hand with organization skills. This combination is the most efficient way to perform data entry tasks. Data entry requires inputting a lot of information as quickly and as accurately as possible. 

Having good organizational skills enables a bookkeeping assistant to strategize, prioritize, and accomplish daily tasks better. Plus, having this skill enables them to quickly sort, batch, and archive files.

A bookkeeping assistant organizing his files

When hiring a bookkeeping assistant, do your due diligence in conducting background checks. Call their previous employers or check their social media accounts. Ask questions to know their character and if they’re a good fit for your company.

Hire a Magic Bookkeeping Assistant to Handle Data Entry Tasks

Using Quickbooks and Xero software, Magic bookkeeping assistants are skilled in handling various tasks such as: 

  • Data entry tasks
  • Updating financial records 
  • Encoding accounts receivable and accounts payable
  • Creating financial and monthly reports 
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Credit control
  • Payroll
  • Tax filing
  • End of the financial year reporting

Magic supports the importance of seamless collaboration. We created a special tool called client portal to allow you to easily and quickly assign tasks and communicate with your hired virtual assistant. Get a list of shortlisted VAs so you can choose a bookkeeping assistant with your preferred data entry skills. Call us today to get started. 

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