5 signs that you need a bookkeeper

3rd February, 2016

Like many small business owners, you might have had time to manage every part of your business when you started out. But as the business grows, you need to take stock. Is it time to outsource some tasks?

As a business owner, it’s crucial to focus on the areas of the business that you can impact with your expertise — and allocate other tasks to other specialists.

One of the roles you can hand over easily is the financial record keeping. You may consider hiring a qualified bookkeeper — but when is the right time to do this?

READ: What do bookkeepers do?

Here are five signs that you need to get yourself a bookkeeper.

1. Doing the books is taking you away from working on your business

Once you find yourself spending a large portion of your day or week keeping the financial records of the business and following up on other financial transactions, then it is time for you to employ a bookkeeper.

A bookkeeper can take on duties such as chasing customers for money, ordering stock, reviewing supplier invoices and checking the bank account balances and transactions so you can focus on other aspects of the business.

READ: Bookkeeping basics: Guide for business owners

2. You’re not keeping up to date with all the business transactions

As your business grows, so does the paperwork and record keeping.

Every small business owner is time-poor — well most that I know of — and they often leave the important task of updating the records until they have to do it (usually for BAS or tax time). If you don’t keep your records up to date and there are financial issues that have not been identified early, you can be headed for trouble without even knowing it.

Falling behind on record keeping is definitely a sign you need a bookkeeper.

3. You are not sure you are keeping the records correctly

You can’t be an expert at everything, so if you are spending time looking at your books and wondering if they are accurate or correct, it’s time to bring in the expert — a bookkeeper.

Bookkeepers have knowledge and experience that will save a lot of hassle and give you more time to improve other areas of your business.

4. Your tax and/or other compliance is getting complicated

It’s very important that your business complies with regulations and other requirements (such as accreditation) that are necessary in your business, but adhering to these obligations can become very time consuming.

You’ll need to keep up to date with changes — such as the continuing changes in superannuation law — and update your business processes and records to meet your responsibilities. A qualified bookkeeper who attends regular training can save you all this time and ensure your business remains compliant.

5. Your accountant is performing bookkeeping duties — but charging accountant fees

An accountant is more specially qualified than a bookkeeper and therefore will charge higher fees for their services. If you are using your accountant to update your financial records or prepare your BAS or other compliance requirements, you may be paying more than you have to. A good bookkeeper will be able to do all of these tasks at a lower price.

It is always difficult to identify the right time to bring in help for your business. At the first sign of an issue, do yourself a favour and seek out a good bookkeeper.

Need help finding a bookkeeper? Try MYOB’s partner search to find one near you.