"Steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; exertion of body or mind without unnecessary delay or sloth; due attention; industry; assiduity."
"DILIGENCE is the philosophers' stone that turns everything to gold."
These definitions were taken from Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary.
Over the last 10 years I've seen many types of businesses, and many types of business people. The businesses and people that have remained and prospered worked with a diligent hand. In the accounting and bookkeeping profession there are only two things more important than diligence. One, is a strong moral compass, the other, is knowledge of your trade. An ethically sound, knowledgeable accountant or bookkeeper, who works with a diligent hand can do wonders for a business. Sadly, in my experience, I've encountered several situations where very knowledgeable and ethical accountants failed to put forth a constant effort to accomplish what was undertaken. The net results were books fraught with errors.
When it comes to evaluating a bookkeeper or accountant, there are three questions to ask:
Am I dealing with an ethical, trustworthy individual?
Does this person have the necessary prerequisite level of expertise?
Will this person approach the engagement with a consistent effort without any unnecessary delays?
When you find those three elements in a bookkeeper or accountant, chances are you will be happy with the work they do.