You’ve decided to hire a bookkeeper. Good move! Using a professional bookkeeper to help you maintain your accounts can take a lot of stress off your already busy daily routine.
Entrepreneurs tend to thrive on a DIY mentality: Do everything you can yourself and don’t pay for anything new until you have absolutely have to. It’s especially difficult to justify hiring financial help like a bookkeeper. However, small business owners who hire accounting help usually discover they weren’t doing nearly as well on their own as they thought they were. Even if you don’t think you need a bookkeeper full time just yet, there are key times during the year that it would be wise to hire a professional bookkeeper to enhance your business.
At The Start Of A New Business
Many business owners decide to hire a bookkeeper at some point during the initial 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. Knowledge is power when it comes to your finances. If you don’t have a bookkeeper, you’re probably not being as strategic as you could be in how you spend your money. For the first six to nine months of a new business, have a bookkeeper focus on recordkeeping, then when things begin to stabilize, you can see trends and you can start to think strategically about where your money is going and where you can save. And this is when a bookkeeper becomes valuable.
Before Major Issues
Entrepreneurs need to be proactive and hire a bookkeeper well in advance of any bookkeeping issues arising, which would be at the initial steps of setting up your business. Usually bookkeeping doesn’t come to mind until it’s too late. And by then, your financial records are in a state of chaos. Most small business owners have great plans to keep records current, but it quickly becomes tossed in the mix if you are doing the other daily parts to your job. If you want to be proactive then the best time of year to hire a bookkeeper would be during the late spring months through the end of the summer.
During A Busy Season
We hope everyday is busy for new entrepreneurs, because busy means business is going well. The main benefit to hiring a bookkeeper is that it frees you up to concentrate on your business. It shouldn’t cost too much to hire a bookkeeper, and they are usually very efficient, often completing the tasks in half the time it would take you. This is their job and they do it day in and day out, so they become very good at it. Also, they have multiple clients so can provide assistance with best pricing on items that may be common to their clients; accounting, budgeting, taxes, payroll, etc. Taking a little help to get you through that busy season is worth it and may actually save you money in the long run.
To Handle Payroll
Payroll can become a big headache for most small businesses, especially as you add more and more employees. Bookkeepers can take care of payroll, gov’t remittances, year end payroll forms, all your monthly transactions, budgets, pay bills, etc. How often depends on how many transactions you have, but the norm is at least monthly, if not weekly. They can come in for an hour or two each week to record transactions, discuss any items with you, etc. Most can set up customized payroll packages tailored to your specific business needs.
During Tax Season
There is a lot going on once the New Year begins. Businesses are coming off the holiday season but 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, however it is one of the most important times to hire a bookkeeper. 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. Once taxes are filed, business owners tend to relax a little bit and enjoy the ease of the burden. So before April 15th comes and goes, it’s time to start considering hiring a bookkeeper for your growing business.
Small businesses require special attention. Hire a bookkeeper who specializes in small businesses, so their knowledgeable accountants can easily answer any of your questions and can help advise you on all of your quarterly payroll needs. Its a great time to get a perfect bookkeeping system put in place. It also helps create a relationship with your bookkeeper instead of just during tax season. Your professional bookkeeper can understand you and your business much more if on a quarterly system. Also, financial issues tend to creep up less when using a bookkeeper on a quarterly basis.
You can usually start with a contractor, and as you grow eventually bring someone in-house. Meet with at least 3 and ask how they would manage your books and have a relationship with you. It is important for you to still be on top of key items such as cash balances and expenditures vs budget, which they can provide to you regularly. Just find a system that works.