Bookkeepers take on many varying responsibilities when they’re employed to work within small businesses – some bookkeepers even specialise in certain areas – but their main efforts centre around organising all the financial transactions involved with operating a small business. Listed below are just a few of them:
- Tracking and recording all daily financial transactions
- Managing accounts receivable (chasing late payments) and preparing and mailing invoices to clients
- Managing the accounts payable ledger, which includes making all payments on the behalf of the company to clients, and to cover expenses and petty cash
- Monitoring the balance of revenues and expenses to ensure that the business has a constant cashflow that can be used on a day to day basis
- Getting the accounts up to date ready for the accountant, he/she can then come in and use their skills to make business recommendations or complete tax returns, to name but a few of their duties
- Software training for clients
- Implementing point of sale (POS) systems for recording daily retail transactions
- Developing and monitoring internal business processes
In general terms, it’s a bookkeeper who will complete all the tasks associated with the daily running of a small business so that an accountant can focus their energies on the more strategic side of the businesses financial operations. Without a bookkeeper, an accountant will struggle to fulfil their role successfully.
Can your small business manage without a bookkeeper?
Many small business owners attempt to manage all aspects of running their business themselves, and because their company is small or in its initial stages, they believe this to be the cheapest and most efficient option. However, since keeping proper records can be time consuming, it is often considered wiser to hire the services of a professional bookkeeper, even if only for a few hours a week. Even if you are handling the duties of an accountant yourself, it will make your job much easier if you have a bookkeeper.
Won’t a bookkeeper’s services be expensive?
Bookkeeping rates will vary from state to state and depend on other factors, such as whether the work will be carried out at home, and how great the workload is. Rates can be as low as $15 an hour if hired on a part time basis, so depending on how frequently you require their services, hiring a bookkeeper may be extremely cost effective.
How do you know if you really need a bookkeeper?
If you’re attempting to manage all the bookkeeping duties yourself, then it’s safe to say that other areas of your business will quickly fall behind, as you simply will not have the time and resources to focus on every other aspect of your business.
If you already have a part time bookkeeper but they’re struggling to keep on top of things, then it might even be time to bring in a full-time bookkeeper.
Investing in the services of a bookkeeper – whether it be on a part time or full time basis – will always prove a wise decision and could even end up saving you money. You could reap the rewards when it comes to tax time, and hiring a bookkeeper and an accountant, will almost certainly save you a lot of time and stress.