(Or: How your bookkeeper can help you make great business decisions)
Recently we were talking with a small business owner who does her own books. She described bookkeeping like a chore — she only does it so that she can report her taxes correctly.
Many business owners who do their own books are quite pressed for time and end up prioritizing the books last, so the financial records pile up and up for months. You really only need to do it once a year, right? The longer you wait, the more it turns into a serious project, but what does it hurt?
I’ll tell you what it hurts. A lack of accurate, timely bookkeeping reports hurts your business. I love financial reports. They tell the story of what’s going on with your business right now — and that helps you make great business decisions!
Good business strategy relies on both creativity and data.
You have to make all kinds of strategic decisions all the time. Should you invest in a mastermind course? Hire a business coach? Pay for some other kind of learning development for yourself or your employees?
Do you need a shared office space, and if so should you have your employee work with you at your house or should you rent an office? Which software subscriptions will help your business see a return on investment? Should you raise your rates?
Is it time to launch a new form of service to provide an additional income stream? Do you need to change your marketing strategy? Is it time to hire or fire?
You get your creative inspiration from whatever works best for you — listening to the right music, communing with nature, exercising, keeping a dream journal, spitballing ideas with your friends. But once you have an idea, you have to check whether it’s possible for you with your current business situation. Can you make the investment it would take to get this idea off the ground? You need clean, clear financial reports for that.
Then when you put your idea into place, you want to track it to make sure it’s performing as expected, or see where to nudge it to make it even better. Again, clean and timely financial reports from your bookkeeper are vital to keeping an eye on each segment of your company’s performance.
Why can’t I just rely on my self-discipline to keep the books myself?
If you’re already doing it, you’re doing it, and good for you! Maybe you enjoy it and understand it well enough to lay the groundwork to create accurate, useful financial reports on a regular basis. I love it when one of our clients learns enough to do it themselves!
But for growing businesses, eventually the bookkeeping work is no longer the best use of the business owner’s time. You could be generating more revenue with that time by creating new products, teaching classes, or leading your sales and marketing team.
Another thing to consider when doing your own bookkeeping is whether you’re really sure that you’re doing as well with your financial data as a professional bookkeeper can do.
Business owners commonly make mistakes in setting up and maintaining their financial reporting systems, so the reports that you end up producing aren’t giving you the information you need. You’ll know that’s happening if you understand the basics of reading the most common reports such as your P&L, yet you feel like you don’t have enough clarity about what’s going on.
Worse, your reports might make it seem like you understand what’s going on, but they’re steering you in the wrong direction. You’ll know that’s happening either because you’ve slammed into a painful wall or because you noticed that your reports are claiming something that is definitely not true.
(For more on this subject, see my earlier post on the four keys to clarity in accounting.)
Why your bookkeeper can make your books cleaner, get it done faster, and produce great reports every month more reliably than most business owners can.
First of all, this is what they’re trained for! At Bliss Your Money, we make sure all of our bookkeepers are certified in QuickBooks Online at the highest levels, and we work as a team to make sure that problems get solved in the best way according to generally accepted accounting principles. (We also fill in for each other in case of illness or vacation.)
Secondly, bookkeepers are detail-oriented and tenacious. We will categorize every single transaction correctly. We will get all of those bank statements reconciled, even saving you money by finding bank errors or drawing your attention to recurring charges for services you’re not using.
And thirdly, we know the relationship between the tiny details of what we do and the bigger picture of producing reports that clarify your decisions — so we will suggest the occasional update to your bookkeeping and reporting system so that you have an even stronger foundation for picking the best business strategies.
Here’s where it gets fun!
You don’t have to be the business owner who sweats over the numbers every month, especially if you hate doing it, usually don’t have enough time for it, or are unsure whether your financial reports are trustworthy.
Hiring a bookkeeper means you get the support you deserve. It means you’re free to devote more time to helping your clients. It means you’re dreaming up exciting plans for your business with the confidence that you’ll be able to figure out which ideas are the most actionable and profitable for you right now. That’s the heart and joy of making great decisions.
Hiring a bookkeeper is a great decision. Contact Bliss Your Money today!