Small business owners are the kings of DIY and pride themselves on wearing many hats: marketing, managing, creating, IT, customer relations - the list goes on and on. The accessibility of financial software apps such as QuickBooks and Zero contributes to entrepreneurs’ belief that they should be doing their own bookkeeping too. Is spending time deep in the books a better use of your time than meeting with prospects and customers, finding new sales opportunities or developing your marketing plans? Chances are, you and only you can handle these all-important tasks, and finding a good bookkeeper will pay dividends in giving you the breathing room to engage in activities that are the lifeblood of your business. Add in the potential for saving money, and you will begin to wonder why you ever sat down with those piles of receipts to begin with.
Take Back Your Time
Outsourcing your bookkeeping tasks frees up valuable time which can be spent growing the business and developing critical systems – fundamental to bringing your business to the next level. At every stage of business, your time is money, and the hours you reclaim will allow you to concentrate on your core business, innate skills, and billable activities. Even if you have the necessary background and skills to complete the bookkeeping yourself, delegating the tasks will empower you and position you away from non-essential activities and towards customer-critical tasks.
Cutting Edge Expertise
Your business will benefit from full-time expertise without having to pay a full-time salary. By leveraging the knowledge base and experience of your outsourced bookkeeper, you will reap the benefits of best practices and efficiency that larger firms enjoy. An experienced bookkeeper is a highly skilled professional, and will be able to complete the job in less time while providing value through expert suggestions, comparisons to industry standards, and economies of scale. Tax and compliance regulations and technology change quickly – a bookkeeper who invests in training to stay current on issues and state-of-the-art solutions can reduce your risk and give you an important competitive advantage.
Better & More Timely Information
When your books are up-to-date, you have the necessary information at your fingertips to make informed decisions about your business. From applying for a loan to completing your annual workman’s comp audit, everything is more efficient with clean books. You can easily compare your monthly expenditures to your budget, and there’s the added benefit of having your information organized in a way that’s helpful when making forecasts. Estimating future income is always challenging, but the process is easier when you make your projections using sound historical data.
At first thought, you might be inclined to handle all your books yourself, or delegate the work to an existing employee. This may seem ideal on the surface – but consider what comes along with doing everything in-house. Unless you or another employee are experienced in bookkeeping, mistakes are inevitable – and the time to correct them can quickly outweigh the cost savings from not outsourcing. Outsourcing your bookkeeping means you won’t miss important payments, get behind on client invoicing, or make mistakes on critical compliance tasks such as filing payroll taxes and forms. These mistakes result in expensive penalties and interest, and cumbersome paperwork to fix the problems. While proper bookkeeping cannot guarantee you will never be subject to an audit, it may reduce your risk of being flagged for an audit. If you are audited, properly documented books will help you support your position with the IRS.
Every small business owner is looking to cut expenses, and hiring a bookkeeper seems counterintuitive to this goal. However, there are a number of ways in which professional assistance in this area can actually save you money. You will save money by having your books ready for year end with your tax accountant. You will save money by avoiding late fees. You will save money by not paying for hiring and training expenses, payroll taxes, employee benefits and IT equipment and support of an in-house employee. You will save money by not having to pay someone to fix your mistakes when it would have been cheaper and easier to have it done properly the first time. Finally, a dedicated bookkeeper is extremely focused on the tasks at hand instead of being distracted by other operational issues, so the hours you are paying for are all productive ones.
Outsourced bookkeeping allows you to expand or cut back as your needs require. A good bookkeeping firm will have the resources in place to start your project right away. A flexible service contract with your preferred vendor allows you to increase or reduce your level of service as your business requires. Hiring your own internal bookkeeper, by comparison, can take weeks or months and requires resources to train him and provide the support he needs. When you hire internally, you are committing to a dedicated payroll; with outsourced bookkeeping you pay only for what you need at the time.
Take the Next Step
When it comes down to it, finding a bookkeeper you trust can be extremely beneficial to you and your business; keeping costs down and allotting more time for you to attend to higher level matters in the company that require your particular area of expertise. You will want to make certain that your prospective bookkeeper has undergone a background check, has experience helping others in your industry, and has systems in place which will enhance accountability, communication, data security and uniform bookkeeping procedures. If there is anything the Sharp Point team can do to assist you in your search for the right bookkeeper, please feel free to contact us.