As a small business owner, you are familiar with wearing many hats. Some you wear because you like them and some you wear because you have to. If bookkeeping is one you find yourself wearing out of necessity, how do you know when it’s time to hire a bookkeeper? Let’s take a look at the options.
You can continue what you’ve been doing, but unless you’ve had training or other experience in bookkeeping you could be costing yourself extra expenses. Not to mention the time you could be spending on things you do well that bring in money. Some of the extra expenses incurred could be missing tax write-offs, wasted time re-doing entries and the cost of hiring a tax professional at the end of the year to go over your books and prepare your taxes.
- Did you know that you have the option to get a nice deduction all in one year for buying equipment for your business instead of capitalizing it and deducting the cost over a series of years? Under IRS code 179 you can write off qualifying purchases up to $25,000 (click here for qualifying property/equipment).
- Online services such as an outsourced bookkeeper are also deductible on your taxes. Check your bank statements and see how many monthly subscriptions you’re paying for to help your business run. Have you been deducting them?
If you’re ready to pass the bookkeeping hat to someone else, consider the options below.
Hire an in-house bookkeeper
Even with all the resources available to small business owners to DIY their bookkeeping (like QuickBooks), the majority will find once they hire bookkeeping help that they haven’t been doing nearly as well as they thought they were. Hiring an experienced, certified bookkeeper will save you those extra expenses mentioned above. But before you put out the help wanted sign, do you have enough work to justify a full-time employee? Unless you have revenues above $1 million or 30 employees or more at your business, chances are you’ll only have enough work for a part-timer. If that’s the case, look into splitting a full-time position between administrative assistant and bookkeeping or outsourcing the work.
Outsourcing a bookkeeper
You have a lot of low-cost options here. You could hire a freelance bookkeeper on as as-needed basis for $15 to $60 an hour depending on expertise and workload. This person could either work remotely through cloud computing or directly in your office if they are local. You could also look into accounting temp agencies like Accountemps if you have certain short-term or mid-term projects such as year-end auditing, gathering and scanning of receipts, catching up on entries you’ve fallen behind on, reconciliations, and more.
The sooner you stop wearing this hat, the better. Don’t be afraid to delegate this to someone else because once you do you will have more time to focus on the core of the business — and that’s the next step toward the kind of growth you’ve always dreamed of.