The number one reason we get new clients is because most small business owners are too busy to handle their bookkeeping. It is often true that a business owner is too busy to update their bookkeeping, but that doesn't mean it is important. I'm also quite a busy person but I find time for all the important aspects of my small business, even if I am not directly doing the work in a particular area. If you are too busy to handle your small business bookkeeping here are a few things you still need to know.
You Are Too Busy
If you feel as if you are too busy to attend to your own bookkeeping you are probably correct. I feel that many small business owners waste a lot of time instead of focusing on critical business tasks. You need to focus on long-term goals and big picture items, and it may feel like bookkeeping does not fit into this area. However, financial reporting is incredibly important and does impact your long-term planning. This does not necessarily mean that you have to do your bookkeeping, but you also cannot ignore it. You should focus on those business tasks that you enjoy and that you are good at. Even though you may be too busy to handle your bookkeeping on your own it still needs to get done and you need to make time to analyze it.
You Hate Bookkeeping
If you hate bookkeeping then you certainly should get someone to handle it for you. For many business owners the initial reaction is that they do hate bookkeeping. Typically business owners hate their bookkeeping for several reasons. The reality for most business owners is that they just don't have the skill or knowledge to handle their own books. Since they feel uncomfortable they tend to neglect their bookkeeping, rather than be pro-active. Many business owners may have taken an accounting 101 class way back in college, but they didn't like it and just got through the pre-requisite. It can be hard to find a way to apply the accounting knowledge you picked up in college to the "real world" of your small business. Additionally if you are not seeing any value from your small business bookkeeping, then you see no reason to keep up on it. When on a tight budget many owners try and save money by handling their own bookkeeping. Frustration will often lead to neglect and eventually you will have to look for some help with your small business bookkeeping.
Outsource Or Hire With Caution
When you do outsource your bookkeeping or hire an internal bookkeeper you want to do so with caution. The bookkeeping for any small business is a very sensitive area so you are not going to just let someone into that world without checking them out. If you hire someone internally you go through the process of checking them out. You interview them and check references, but nothing is foolproof. You should do the same with any outsourced services you are considering. Check them out online by looking at some of their blog content, Google reviews and LinkedIn profiles. Ask around your own business network for suggestions on service providers that they trust.
You read so many stories about bookkeeper theft these days that it is incredibly important to audit your bookkeeper on a regular basis. Any good bookkeeping system should be set up where theft is nearly impossible and that should be able to be proven to the business owner. No matter how much you like or trust your bookkeeper you should look over their work and ask questions. If something stands out to you on the financials ask your bookkeeper what is going on. If your bookkeeper is not hitting deadlines demand that they do so. Just being aware of your bookkeeping system and asking questions shows you care and keeps your bookkeeper on their toes.
Bookkeeping As A Business Tool
Just because you are too busy to handle your bookkeeping does not mean you should ignore it. There is a lot of valuable information in your books but you need to be shown how to extract it and use it. You need to turn your bookkeeping into a tool for your business and use it as a growth mechanism. Your bookkeeping system will have no chance of being a valuable tool unless it is first updated and accurate. If you are not going to update your bookkeeping then you need to find a reliable person or service to help you. Then you need to find a way to use the information in your bookkeeping to help you grow. Don't start by thinking about accounting and financial reporting; start by thinking about what is important to you as a business owner. Then communicate your needs to your bookkeeper. Your bookkeeper should be able to provide you with valuable information in a meaningful format that meets your business needs.
Are you too busy for your bookkeeping? Do you neglect it? Are you not finding value in your bookkeeping?
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