Why might you need a bookkeeper?
In most small businesses, the owners handle the financial data and recording themselves, and come tax time, they hand it over to a CPA. “My business is small,” they might think, “and I only have a few transactions a month; when I get big enough to hire employees, I’ll hire an office assistant to do it for me.” There are two problems with this proposal. First, by the time a business reaches that point, it will be much harder to change, adjust, or repair their bookkeeping practices. Second, the typical office assistant does not have the expertise to make those kinds of changes.
That is why it is good idea to have an outside bookkeeper help you out, at least at the beginning. A competent bookkeeper can help you get set up correctly, tweak your accounting to match your business, produce useful and customized information on a regular basis, prepare for future growth, and provide you with necessary training. And believe me, the sooner it’s done, the easier and cheaper it will be for the business.
I also ought to explain the difference between bookkeeping and accounting. Bookkeeping encompasses the day-to-day financial recordkeeping of the business, and accounting is the interpretation of those records. While it’s a good idea to outsource your business taxes to a professional tax preparer, it is an equally good idea to have your bookkeeping reviewed by someone with experience in the most effective and efficient ways of recordkeeping.
Here are a few additional reasons why you might need a bookkeeper:
1. You never “get around” to doing your own bookkeeping until the day before taxes are due.
2. You’re not entirely sure you’re doing it right.
3. You don’t have a good or consistent system for invoicing your customers or keeping track of bills.
4. You can’t always get your bank account to reconcile exactly, so you end up entering adjustments at the end of the month.
5. There is something on your financial statements you don’t understand.
6. Your accountant or CPA changed something in your files and you don’t understand what they did.
7. You wish there were a way to track a certain type of expense or income better, but you don’t know how.
8. You are occasionally/sometimes/often confused by Quickbooks.
9. Your balance sheet is incorrect.
10. You don’t know what a balance sheet is.
Do any of these apply to you? If yes, then you can benefit from the expertise of a professional bookkeeper.