Bookkeeping, the task that most business owners hate, find painful, boring and time consuming. In my experience, they try saving money getting it done by trying to manage it themselves, usually unsuccessfully, or they think their sisters, brothers, mothers, aunties or teenage children can do it rather than hiring a professional bookkeeper! I believe that the reason for this is business owners see bookkeeping as processing receipts “data entry”. Where is the value in that?
Bookkeeping can be a confusing trade and can be hard to tackle for businesses trying to run every aspect of their operations by themselves. Some people even think that bookkeepers are jargon-spouting number crunchers that overcomplicate finances and charge extortionate rates for a superfluous service.
These negative stereotypes of bookkeeping stand to the testament of the importance of practicing good bookkeeping habits. The complicated nuances behind managing your company’s finances won’t simply disappear if you don’t hire a bookkeeper to tell you about them.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a huge multi-national conglomerate or a humble bakery on the corner of a residential street, any business can benefit from a good bookkeeper.
ere are just some of the myths that surround the bookkeeping profession and why they are nothing more than myths.
Only big businesses need help from a bookkeeper
Even the smallest businesses can benefit from bookkeeping. Just because the company may be making a lot less money than a big corporation doesn’t mean that money is easy to manage. The same rules apply to all businesses, no matter what the size.
If anything, a smaller business is going to have an easier time when it comes to going over the books because there will be less records to organise and take into account. A bookkeeper would take no time at all to keep you on top of finances.
Regardless of your company’s size, you could always use the spare time to concentrate on other duties within your company. Bookkeepers save you time and money in the long run.
My business doesn’t make enough money to hire a bookkeeper
The same rule applies here. Every single penny that your company makes needs to be accounted for, whether it’s going in or out. Leaving money unaccounted for can cause some serious financial troubles further down the line, resulting in a fine or even prosecution in extreme cases.
Keeping on top of finances is crucial as soon as your business is founded, because it can help your business get off to a promising start and keep paperwork from piling up and making bookkeeping extremely difficult further down the line. A bookkeeper can keep you up to date on all of your finances and ensure that you don’t leave any stone unturned.
If you keep putting off your bookkeeping until you’re ‘making enough money’ then you may never make enough money – not for bookkeeping or any kind of business progression.
Bookkeeping is just about maths
Yes, mathematics is a part of bookkeeping, but there is so much more involved. Taking on your own bookkeeping could end in disaster if you assume that all you’re doing is counting.
One of the most important aspects of bookkeeping is getting in contact with the right people to ensure that the information that you have is reliable. Communication is key to ensure accurate records.
A good bookkeeper is very well connected and can help your business connect with only the most trustworthy partners. For instance, if you’re unhappy with the results you’re getting from a particular supplier of goods, a bookkeeper can research good candidates to take their place, and advise on which firms to avoid.
Bookkeepers are more than just bean-counters, they’re a valuable asset to your company.
Anyone can do my bookkeeping
There’s a reason why bookkeeping qualifications are available. Bookkeeping, as a profession, is very complicated and comes with a myriad of responsibilities that require very specialised knowledge of finances, the economy and other key players in the sector they are working in.
Bookkeepers go through years of training to become qualified for the job, learning the specific techniques behind referencing information and properly analysing accounts. Through their training they learn to understand different kinds of transactions and how to properly categorise them.
The responsibilities of a competent bookkeeper go far beyond common knowledge, so your finances will likely suffer if you leave them in the hands of a friend or family member.
I’ve been okay so far, I don’t need a bookkeeper
But what if the financial climate changes? What if your idea of ‘okay’ is actually a mountain of unaccounted records just waiting to collapse on top of you? What might seem manageable now could become more than you can handle further down the line.
Businesses are evolving all the time, and a bookkeeper can keep you on top of everything as it changes. It’s a bookkeeper’s job to foresee these sorts of sudden changes and help your company to safeguard itself from unexpected tax changes.
Not only that, a bookkeeper can also provide a fresh perspective on your company’s financial situation, which can help you realise where your company might be struggling.
Don’t let your businesses suffer…
Don’t ignore the importance of your company’s finances or try to do them yourself. Give yourself some much needed extra time, a fresh perspective and an untapped well of potential connections and invaluable financial advice in the form of an experienced bookkeeper. They’ll pay for themselves in no time.
To find out more about bookkeepers, the services they can provide and how you could train, visit the International Association of Bookkeepers.
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