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?
We see it every day – businesses that put off hiring an accountant for too long. By the time they come to us, they have finally hit the breaking point, and now they need someone immediately to get their books in order and implement strategic financial planning. They ask questions about how quickly an accountant can be onboarded and approach the hiring process with panicked urgency.
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?
Shrewd business owners understand the benefits of outsourcing accounting functions. Utilizing an accounting firm maximizes business value by improving financial reporting accuracy and timeliness, allowing for better strategic planning, and reducing tax burden. However, these benefits depend on a solid working relationship with an experienced accounting firm. When there is a poor fit or the firm is performing inadequate work, its value is likely lower than expected. In extreme cases, business objectives and strategic growth plans can also be stymied.
If you notice any of these critical issues, it may be time to fire your accounting company:
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