Let’s be honest about something- most of us *hate* doing the financial part of running a business. You know- the numbers, the expense tracking, the late night sifting through receipts- all of that yuck that is a necessary part of owning and running a business.
When you’re first starting out, you try to save some dough by doing everything yourself and slugging through your bookkeeping. But, as you grow, you will get to the point where you are ready to outsource parts of your business and the first one to go are the finances!
Buuuuuuuuut….how do you know it’s time? (because real talk- committing to pay someone else to do something in your biz is scary)
So, here’s the thing, I’m actually a bookkeeper. Have been for over 8 years and I have a fully booked out bookkeeping practice with a waitlist (which is now closed). I’ve seen a lot of business owners make the transition from doing it all themselves to hiring me to take the reins of their finances.
Here’s how to know if it’s time to hire a bookkeeper:
You’re booked out and bookkeeping is taking time away from clients
As your business grows there will be a point where it isn’t economical for you to do your own bookkeeping. For example, if you charge $150/hour and are fully booked out- does it still make sense to spend 4 hours a month doing your own bookkeeping?
That time you spend on your bookkeeping costs you $600 in billable client hours. And it would probably take a professional bookkeeper half the time at $50/hr. Which means you spend $100 so you can earn $500 more in billable hours.
In this scenario, the investment in the bookkeeper is a benefit to you because it frees up your time to see more clients.
You don’t have time to put into growing your business
The time vs value equation doesn’t have to be as literal as hourly rates. Perhaps you can’t launch a new product or service because you have too many admin tasks.
Most businesses have 1-2 admin days where they take care of all the tedious but must-do admin tasks.
Except, what if you start needing these admin days to develop a new product or service? Or run a workshop? Or learn marketing so you can bring in more customers?
If your bookkeeping is taking up a big chunk of your admin time, and keeping you from growing your business, then it’s time to outsource.
You may not see immediate financial savings, but you will have the time to devote to growing your business, which will result in a positive return on investment down the road.
You have more complicated tracking/invoicing needs
Another thing that happens to business owners is that as their business grows their bookkeeping needs become more complicated. In the beginning, you’re just tracking income and expenses, which is pretty straight forward.
But, eventually, you may want to add more products, services, or diverse streams of revenue to your business and all of these decisions mean a higher level of tracking or invoicing functions. At this point, you may need to upgrade your bookkeeping system to get all the moving parts to work together.
Instead of trying to learn whole new system and process for tracking, this is the perfect time to let a professional take over. Not only will a bookkeeper be able to set up a streamlined financial system for your business, they will also be trained to use it.
You’ll get a better financial system, the tracking you need, and you won’t have to do it all yourself.
You have no idea what you’re doing and keep making mistakes
Are you giving your bookkeeping your best effort and still NOTHING is adding up correctly? If you’ve been trying to do your bookkeeping yourself and it’s just *not* working, then consider hiring a bookkeeper.
While I am a believer that everyone can do their own bookkeeping, there are small details that need to work together in order for the numbers to add up correctly. Even one small mistake can throw off your balances and, if you’re not used to searching for these types of mistakes, they can be hard to diagnosis.
If your bookkeeping has become a tangled web of errors and “being off” hire someone now! Trying to fix it yourself can actually make it worse and will cost you more money in the long run.
Trust me on this one. For a long time my specialty was bookkeeping cleanup projects and fixing bad bad files and people paid me a lot of money to fix seemingly innocent mistakes. Save yourself some coins by just hiring a professional now.
You hate it and never do it
Is your bookkeeping 6 months behind? 12 months behind? 24 months behind? If you nodded your head for any of the above then it’s time to hire a bookkeeper.
Your bookkeeping is probably behind because you hate doing it and keep putting it off. The thing is if you hate your bookkeeping that much there’s nothing that’s going to make you love it. Be honest with yourself about where you are at with it and just hire someone.
Trying to convince yourself that you’re going to learn to do it or learn to love it is just more time wasted not getting your bookkeeping done. It’s OK that you don’t want to do it- there’s no clause in the small business owner’s handbook that you have to love your bookkeeping.
AND there are professionals that actually like to do bookkeeping- they would enjoy doing this thing that you hate! So instead of beating yourself up for being super annoyed every time you hear the word bookkeeping- hire a pro and fall in love with your bookkeeper!
What do you think? Is it time for you to hire a bookkeeper?
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