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Knowing When To Hire A Bookkeeper

March 24, 2017

There are often several reasons why small businesses don’t employ the services of a bookkeeper, but as most business consultants will tell company owners that hiring a bookkeeper could really benefit their business, knowing when to hire one is quite simple! 

While each of the reasons why small businesses don’t take on a bookkeeper may be valid, they could still leave a company struggling to complete the necessary paperwork or to file their tax returns in a timely manner. 

So, if you have not yet taken the decision to hire a bookkeeper for any one of the reasons listed below, perhaps it would make good business sense to rethink your decision: 

Your business doesn’t require a full-time bookkeeper: 

This may be true, but most businesses would certainly benefit from a part time bookkeeper, and these can be found if you take the time to conduct a thorough search of available services in your area.

Taking the decision to simply combine bookkeeping with other work within your company, may find you discovering that the person who you have assigned to the tasks may have no fiscal background and may therefore be less inclined to push bookkeeping duties and cashflow management to the top of their to-do list. They are also far more likely to make errors when they do get around to fulfilling those tasks and duties, and will not have the ability to analyse the information to the benefit of your business.

You think that you can’t afford the services of a bookkeeper: 

Despite the fact, that as you don’t employ a dedicated bookkeeper you have had checks bounce, payments have been made late and you’ve incurred fees for late tax filing, you may mistakenly believe that you still can’t afford a bookkeeper. 

Rather, by employing a knowledgeable and dedicated professional to handle your finances, you could save your company money, and big bucks in some cases. 

The list of slip ups that small businesses can make when they leave their finances in the hands of those who have no fiscal background - or are too busy with their other tasks to be able to dedicate a good amount of time to bookkeeping duties – is a lengthy one: 

  • Late credit card payments and the risk of future credit being compromised 
  • Bounced checks resulting in account closure and distrust from vendors 
  • Lack of financial awareness which leads to otherwise avoidable cashflow problems 
  • Overheads aren’t being analysed extensively enough, and possible savings are missed 
  • The business may end up paying too much in taxes when deductible expenses aren’t accounted for

You’re worried about the possibility of theft:

A certain amount of personal information and data must be given to bookkeepers for them to complete their work successfully, and many businesses worry about handing over such confidential information. This is often a barrier for company owners when they’re thinking about whether to handle the bookkeeping duties themselves. However, it’s possible to minimise the risk by following these simple procedures:

  • Implement a duo system whereby two people are involved each time money goes out or comes in
  • Make one staff member responsible for taking customer payments, and another for reconciling daily cash pay-outs against receivables and bank statements; that way you can be sure that all sales have been deposited 
  • Use the same duo set up for payments; have one employee take responsibility for entering vendor invoices and check writing, while the other signs the checks and reviews what is being paid 

As you can see, for every concern that a business owner might have about outsourcing their bookkeeping, there is an explanation as to why these concerns are often unfounded and plenty of ways to go about avoiding them in the first place. Most businesses will benefit from having a bookkeeper aboard, and so if you don’t already have one, it makes sense to at least research your options.

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