Do you need to hire a bookkeeper? If you are asking the question, the answer is yes!
Most commonly bookkeepers are brought in due to lack of time, lack of financial expertise, or growing business complexities. Whether a bookkeeper is freeing up time for an owner to engage in revenue driving activities or providing deeper financial knowledge, this professional role can be a crucial hire at a growing business.
When you are looking to hire a bookkeeper for your small business, will any bookkeeper do? Or do you need a bookkeeper that specifically works with small businesses? And, what can a small business bookkeeper offer that you cannot do yourself with QuickBooks or another accounting software?
It is not a secret that many professionals have side hustles doing what they do for their day job (whether their employers know about it or not). When employees had a reasonable level of job security and still felt fulfilled going into the office every day, these side hustles remained just that – on the side.
However, in the current economic recession, a lot of side hustle jobs are serving as interim primary jobs. They will likely transition toward becoming full-time jobs over the next year. Labor experts say the country is poised for an unprecedented shift in the employment landscape across myriad industries.
While many professionals use some form of free online accounting software to keep track of their side business finances, this type of solution often cannot scale when your side hustle grows. Just using QuickBooks is not enough either. You should hire a bookkeeper any time your business experiences significant growth, is looking for funding, starts hiring, when time is constrained, or if knowledge gaps limit the quality of work you can put into it yourself.
However, people that do not have the expertise and integrity needed to offer credible bookkeeping services, put the businesses employing them at risk. Furthermore, these imposters give career bookkeepers a bad name, and threaten the progress being made in a bookkeeper’s role at companies nationwide.
A bookkeeper has typically been a multi-hat office worker or secretary who paid bills, sent invoices, reconciled bank accounts, and cut checks for employees but as offices have modernized so has the role of an experienced bookkeeper. Bookkeeping has become a much more transformative role.
Today’s top bookkeepers are more tech savvy than ever before. They know how to use apps and new platforms to keep financial business operations running efficiently, leading to higher output and better accuracy. Modern bookkeepers are more than just data monkeys – some are asked to bridge the gap that traditionally existed between bookkeepers and accountants.
Shifting business demands, new technology, and cost reductions have changed bookkeeping expectations. Skilled bookkeepers are sometimes asked to give input for budgeting and forecasting, which has led some businessowners to assume that bookkeepers should handle anything related to the company’s finances.
So, is that an accurate assumption or is it overreaching?
Assuming your bookkeeper is not a marginal performer, which responsibilities should be included in your bookkeeper’s role and which should not?
QuickBooks is an excellent bookkeeping platform for small businesses. However, it is just that – a tool to keep track of finances. The benefit that a business derives from QuickBooks is contingent upon what is put in and how much expertise is available to use the tool correctly. QuickBooks will not manage a business’s finances any more than a hammer will build a house without a carpenter there to swinging it.
Business owners frequently wrestle with determining which activities should be outsourced to a freelance bookkeeper or accounting company. Budgetary restrictions can limit a company’s ability to outsource financial tasks, as can concerns over delegating duties. In these instances, it often makes sense to offload tasks that will have the greatest ROI first, and then include others later as means allow.
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