Going It Alone vs Hiring a Professional

Doing Bookkeeping Yourself vs Hiring a Professional

It isn’t uncommon for small business owners to take it upon themselves to handle bookkeeping, accounting, and tax-related tasks. It may seem like a good idea in the infancy stages for your business. As you grow, however, there will come a time when you have to hire a professional.

Are you wondering whether it’s time to hire a professional accountant or put it off until later? If so, here are a couple of things that you should consider:

Your own capability

The biggest thing you have to keep in mind is your own capability. How much do you know about accounting and bookkeeping? Do you have a good grasp of financial statements and know how to put them together on your own? If you don’t but you’re interested and willing to learn, consider taking a class. There are plenty available online where you can learn bookkeeping basics. If you aren’t interested, don’t bother. Chances are you won’t be very enthusiastic about learning it and will end up making mistakes.

Your time

Small business owners are incredibly busy people. You may want to take care of the accounting tasks. Perhaps you’re even an accounting professional yourself. But do you really have the time to do so? If you can provide more value elsewhere, perhaps it would be a better idea to have someone else take care of the bookkeeping.

Your budget

The last thing to consider is your budget. It’s important to remember to take opportunity costs into account. You’ll often find that doing it on your own is less cost-efficient simply because you end up putting time into it that could be spent driving revenue. Plus, you often end up paying for classes and software. These costs can be avoided when you hire a professional.

I’m doing it on my own

If you’ve chosen to do it on your own, congratulations! It may take some time, but you’ll get the hang of it. Here are some things you have to do:

Organize your process

Before anything else, organize your process. Set time apart every day to spend with your books. Make sure everything is in order then carefully record every transaction where it belongs. This ensures that you are constantly aware of how the company is doing financially and you won’t be in for a surprise at the end of the month.

Choose the appropriate software

You can go ahead and forget about using that old accounting ledger notebook. Everything is online nowadays and there isn’t any reason why you should be keeping track of your finances on paper. Not only does it involve manual entry but it increases the risk of error and can be lost or destroyed. Look for a user-friendly accounting software instead. Quite a few companies choose QuickBooks, but there are plenty of other options out there. Look for software that can sync with your suppliers, online banking accounts, payroll systems, and tax software. If you run into any terms or issues that you don’t know how to figure out, don’t be afraid to look it up online! The internet is a wonderful resource.

I’m bringing in a professional

A professional bookkeeper or accountant is always the way to go if you have the resources. There’s only one thing you have to keep in mind here:

Hire the right person

You need to hire an accounting professional who has the expertise and experience to handle your accounting tasks. Do your due diligence on any candidates applying for the job. Better yet, ask friends and family for recommendations. It’s a great idea to look for someone with experience in your industry.

A lot of small businesses don’t need full-time accountants right off the bat and chances are you don’t either. Take some time to figure out what you need from a bookkeeper or accountant and hire accordingly. Don’t be completely hands-off either - it’s still important for you to always be aware of your company’s financial health.

With an accounting professional at your side, there’s nothing you can’t do! Well, there is..but you can still enjoy the perks of having an expert handle your finances, make the most of your tax exemptions, and even drive your business forward. Plus, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on running your business.

Totally Booked offers bookkeeping by QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisors based out of NYC. Get in touch today to see how we can help!