Many owners decide to hire a bookkeeper at some point during the growth stages of their business. Sometimes it's due to pressure from an accountant because taxes are due and the books are a disaster, sometimes it's when an owner gets spread too thin to handle all aspects of the business, or it may even be when an owner tries to get a line of credit and they don't have any sort of financial reporting to submit to the bank. Either way, it's usually reactive as opposed to proactive. How can this be avoided? That's easy, be proactive and hire a bookkeeper well in advance of any issues arising, which would be at the initial steps of setting up your business. I know, that is pretty unrealistic since most business owners are usually focused on getting their brand out there, creating a name for themselves, and getting established as quickly as possible. Usually bookkeeping doesn't come to mind until it's too late. If the owner is being proactive then I would think the best time of year to hire a bookkeeper would be during the late spring months through the end of the summer.
1st quarter craziness and tax season
There is a lot going on once the New Year begins. Businesses are coming off the holiday season and either the business was open because it could be the time of year a lot of revenue is earned, or on the other hand a business may be opening back up because they close down during the holidays to give their employees time off. Either way, once January 1st passes, most business are letting the dust settle or getting back to work. The next item on the radar is tax season. Tax season can be very stressful for the small business owner and the last thing on their mind is hiring someone, unless an accountant is holding a gun to their head.
Once taxes are filed, owners tend to relax a little bit and enjoy the ease of the burden. Hiring a bookkeeper might come to mind because they realize how much stress can be reduced come next tax season. On the other hand, there are the owners that file for an extension and let the stress from taxes weigh on them until the fall deadline comes around. Either way, once April 15th comes and goes, it's time to start considering hiring a bookkeeper for your growing business.
Post tax season and the 2nd and 3rd quarter
What better time than the months of May, June, July, or August to hire a bookkeeper. Its a time of year when the transactions from the earlier part of the year are still fresh on the mind and not yet forgotten or pushed out of memory for good. Its a great time to get a perfect bookkeeping system put in place before the fall and winter holidays roll around. I'm never a big fan of getting thrown into a last minute high stress bookkeeping project for the sake of just getting taxes filed. Although it provides a great service and usually leads to strong relationship between myself and the owner, I would prefer to do it on much more comfortable terms.
4th quarter and the holidays
Now that the bookkeeper is in place, you can finish the year strong and be ahead of the game for tax season. My business partner and I often joke about waiting for the clock to click 12:01am 1/1/12 and be the first to upload books to our accountant. Wouldn't it be nice to get your taxes submitted in January? If there is anything that needs to be adjusted, there is plenty of time to do so before the April 15th deadline approaches. Your accountant would love you, the IRS wouldn't have to hit your company with any late fees or interest, and your stress levels would be non-existent.
If this sounds like something that would be beneficial to your business and your stress levels, let me know and I would love to help.