There are a lot of frequently asked questions that we receive as a bookkeeping firm, but one of the most common by far is, “Why do I need a bookkeeper?”
(There’s also the runner-up, “What’s the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?”, but we’ll save that for another blog post).
Being your own boss is a big benefit, yes, but it also means you’re in charge of a lot of additional duties you may not have considered: things like budgeting, invoicing, and piles of paperwork that take up a lot more time than most people who are trying to focus on starting their own business. It means that on top of the day-to-day management, maintenance, promotion and general upkeep of running a company – a very full-time job in itself, as I quickly discovered a decade ago – you’re also going to be looking at a lot of spreadsheets with numbers, figures and data that are all crucial to the future of your business.
Unless, of course, you hire a professional to do it for you.
An article over at Business IT entitled Tax late? 5 signs you might need a bookkeeper delves deeper into this subject and offers five reasons you’ll want to consider hiring a bookkeeper for your business. Perhaps I’m biased because of my lifelong career in the industry, but I think they laid out some very simple, very logical reasons for why it would be a sensible business decision. Here’s a look at one:
When customers aren’t being chased for money
Another key sign is when your customers aren’t paying and you don’t have time or you don’t want to chase them because you don’t want to risk the relationship. Where possible it is a good idea to separate the face of the business with the debt collection – the old good cop/bad cop. It helps keep the client relationship warm and fuzzy yet keeps the cash coming in the door.
Non-paying clients can be pretty common in any industry, but it can be hard to address. It’s a fickle situation that has the potential to turn hostile pretty quickly, so the idea of “separating the face of the business with the debt collection” is a helpful suggestion because it means there’s still someone ensuring you get paid for your services while maintaining a good business relationship with the client and focusing on your other ones.
I realize that the question of, “Why do I need a bookkeeper?” will always be asked of me, from owners of both brand new and growing businesses. I also realize my answer will depend on several factors, like the size of the company, their client base and the industry in which they work. But articles like the one at Business IT can help bring a general perspective as to why it’s a good idea to either outsource one or have one on your staff.
What do you think? Is it time for you to hire a bookkeeper? Are you planning on doing so? Have you recently done so, and did you find it helped you manage your business more easily? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!