Business

Who Really Needs a Bookkeeper?

This is one of the questions that tends to be asked almost like clockwork when it comes to new business owners setting up operations for the first time. In the early stages in particular, bookkeeping services can seem somewhat on the superfluous side of things for no reason other than the fact that it can essentially be tackled in-house. And of course, in-house solutions immediately curry favour in the minds of smaller business owners as a means by which to not only retain full control, but save a packet in the process.

Does anyone really need to be thinking of SEPA transfer duties this early on?

Well, the aim of any business of any size is of course to master its particular trade and build a strong, prosperous future. This in turn means that time is perhaps the most valuable resource of all and thus the more time spent wrestling with painful admin tasks like accounting, the less time there is to focus on what the business does best…or at least what it will one day do best.

So, is a bookkeeper the answer?

Checklist to Consider

All circumstances of course differ, but to offer some of the most obvious examples at least, chances are a bookkeeper would be of huge value to you and your business if:

  • You’re already finding yourself guessing or totally clueless in terms of how much money is coming in and how much is going out – records should be 100% flawless.

  • Invoices and receipts have amassed in boxes and filing cabinets in such large and disorganised numbers that you have no idea what most are for and would need about a week to find a specific one.

  • Income is suffering from time to time due to delays in issuing and chasing up invoices and payments owed.

  • Paperwork is mounting up and becoming a headache you’re putting off every day.

  • You’re finding yourself spending more time on paperwork than actually moving the business forward.

  • Numbers aren’t your thing and see you tearing your hair out.

  • You look at paperwork like the root of all evil and despise hitting the books.

Any combination of any of the above scenarios really should indicate that things are not going forward as well as they could be and that a little outside help wouldn’t hurt.

Bookkeeper Benefits

So how can a bookkeeper help? Again, service packages will vary, but the staple benefits include:

  • Massive time saving and freed-up resources.

  • Flawless accuracy.

  • Faster chasing up of all payments owed to stabilising income/outgoings.

  • Reports on performance to enable modifications to be made in the business plan.

  • Legal assistance when and where needed.

  • Peace of mind knowing all tax matters are being handled professionally.

  • Extensive cost-savings compared to buying equipment and running an in-house accounting effort.

Making the Choice

There are very few, if any businesses that couldn’t benefit from at least considering and talking to a pro book keeper– it is simply a case of finding the right one for the job. Just use a little common sense to find an individual or firm with experience in the relevant business area, the right kind of guarantees to ensure a quality partnership and as much positive feedback and accreditation as possible.

Farooq Patel is a self-employed finance professional who holds a number of high-profile contracts he manages from his office in Swindon. He is married with two children and recently returned to the UK after living and working for seven years in the US. 

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