Most small business owners work long hours and have a lot to juggle. They are often switching between different tasks in order to keep things running smoothly. They have to manage advertising, product purchases, customer accounts, employees and do the bookkeeping. These tasks differ in complexity and number depending on the size and type of business they own. The question often comes up in their minds: outsource or do it myself?
Bookkeeping is one of the tasks that must be done whether you want to do it or not. It is important to have financial information readily available for a number of reasons. So this is one more thing business owners find themselves trying to learn while managing all other parts of their business. At some point it becomes necessary to ask themselves if they should hire someone to do the bookkeeping for them.
Here are a few things to consider when weighing the cost vs the benefits of outsourcing this part of the business to an employee or freelancer:
Are You Qualified?
In other words, do you know how to do it properly? With so many desktop and cloud solutions out there for accounting, it can seem like it’s just a matter of signing up for a service and learning how to use the app or program. There are many excellent options and they are usually designed to help you get started as quickly and easily as possible. This sounds good, but it can pose a problem that does not become apparent until you are a few months into it or when you go to your CPA to have your taxes done and you discover a year’s worth of work needs to be corrected. Even though you may know how to operate a computer or mobile device, you many not know what you are doing when it comes to accounting.
I have helped a number of business clean up their books and I love doing that kind of work for my clients. When starting up their companies they have recognized the need for record keeping, but did not yet have it in their budget to hire someone. But when the time came that they could, they have outsourced their books over to me and asked me to not only take over, but help correct any of their mistakes. They recognized their lack of knowledge in that area and that their time was better spent growing their businesses.
Do You Have Time?
Your time quite possibly cannot be measured by an hourly rate. It may be worth more than you think it is. If it takes you 3 hours to do your monthly bookkeeping and a bookkeeper can do it in one hour and charge you a reasonable fee, you most likely will be saving money because you will have three hours to do something else and hopefully make yourself more profitable.
Do You Really Want to Learn Bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping isn’t necessarily very difficult in itself. It requires attention to detail and being sure that nothing is missed. For most people today it means learning a new app or software program. They can be easy to get started with and even to use on a regular basis, but they won’t always tell you if your are putting things in the wrong place. There are warnings in place to help you avoid mistakes, but they aren’t foolproof.
Maybe It’s Time To Outsource
Consider saving yourself time and money and outsource your bookkeeping or get some training. This can help you avoid frustration and disorganized record keeping. It will also help you stay on top of the financial state of your business. By knowing where you are financially on a regular basis, you are in a better position to make decisions about the direction you are taking your business.