Consider this - your new business idea is on its way to reality or you might even have launched it… the last thing you want to think about is extra expense in the form of a bookkeeper, right?
However, do you really want, and is it even possible to run all the operational functions of your business yourself? Let’s consider the reasons you might consider the services of a bookkeeper.
All businesses, but particularly start-ups need the attention of it’s owner – it’s not only time that you will need to deal with things like strategy, marketing and funding but also your concentration – should these really be used up on operational tasks?
Stick to your Speciality
Unless your new business is in accountancy or bookkeeping – your understanding and knowledge is likely to be elsewhere – better to find someone, who has taken qualifications and is certified in the areas of financial matters such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and taxes so costly financial mistakes aren’t made at the outset or later on as your workload intensifies.
Even if you are really confident that you know all you need to know about the accounts side of your business – when would you tackle this? If it’s during office hours, that’s time taken away from your main business – the other option is after work and at weekends – this could result in burn-out making you resent your business, or even worse – divorce!
A different viewpoint
You might think your business is going great – but do you really know? Your bookkeeper can make sure all the finances are in order and run off regular reports for you to show you exactly where you are – what is working, what is not, where the money is going and where it’s coming from. From this you will be able to see the bigger picture and if where you think you are at, is in fact a reality.
Does the idea of writing up your books fill you with excitement? Likely not unless figures are what you do for a business – even then, balancing bank statements may not be your idea of fun. Believe it or not, bookkeepers can actually get a buzz out of making your books balance! They’re far more likely to do the job well because of this.
Make sure everything is paid on time
When you’re busy doing what you do, it can be easy to overlook that supplier’s invoice who would have given you a discount had you paid within a set period of time. Even worse, sometimes late payments can give you bad credit – just what you don’t need, especially when you’re starting out.
Your bookkeeper can keep an eye on things for you and make sure this doesn’t happen.
HMRC waits for no man or woman
Your turnover might not warrant having to register for VAT as first… but when you’re busy making more money, it could be easy not to notice that threshold has come and gone. Do you know the threshold? What if the registration level has changed? How do you even register? When you’ve registered are you totally sure you’ve done the return correctly and know when to do them? Is it worth the hassle? Let a bookkeeper deal with it all and take the worry out of a potential audit or having the taxman after you.
Very often when you’re busy, you might not even realise you’ve not been getting paid by one or more clients – then when you need to pay your suppliers you could get into trouble. With a bookkeeper working for you, he/she can keep on top of all this and do a little credit control for you. This will help to keep a positive cash-flow that might have otherwise been lacking.
Conflicts of Interest
If there are two or more partners in the business, it might be easy for one of them to overstep the mark in some way with the finances, even if unintentionally. A bookkeeper has their eyes on the ball and can even be the gatekeeper for the company’s money, so the partnership can continue with good relations and minimise conflict later on down the line.
You might at first think that a bookkeeper will cost you more money – in fact, if you review the previous points, you will see that it could easily save you money to hire a bookkeeper. This is due to the reduced level of risk of human error, lack of knowledge or understanding, missed payments, tax obligation due dates, delayed accounts receivable and fines.
You must also consider the value of your time – it would probably take you far longer to do the work of the bookkeeper and how much is your time worth per hour?
What’s the conclusion?
To sum up - from the time and money savings, to the focus on expertise and greater cash flow, hiring a bookkeeper makes for a good business decision for your start-up or maturing business.