I’m doing my own bookkeeping – when should I get a professional?
Bookkeeping can be as black and white as an anchovy – you either love it or you hate it.
If you’re in the latter, it’s a no-brainer to get a professional in. It’s really not worth the time, pain and emotional cost for you to do it. Also, you’re more likely to make mistakes and have problems if you hate it.
If you love it, just be careful it doesn’t take you away from the main function of your business and inadvertently cost you more.
Have a good, honest look at how competent you are. Ask yourself the following:
- Are you religious with structure and organisation so that all of your data stays in the correct categories time after time?
- Are you able to do it in a time efficient manner?
- Do you make many mistakes?
- Is it hard to find time to work on your books?
- Does your businesses need you to work on other things?
Brooke McKitterick, principal at McKitterick Chartered Accountants, says if the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then it’s time to get help.
Having a professional bookkeeper can save on accountancy costs. If DIY bookkeeping is taking time away from your earning capacity, then weigh up the costs of having a professional bookkeeper versus what you could earn in the time it takes you to do your book work.
She says if bookkeeping is causing you undue stress and time, if the accountancy costs are increasing because of your mistakes, if you are starting out and need to know best accounting systems/software for your business then these are all signs a professional bookkeeper or accountant can help.
The cost of a professional bookkeeper can vary between $40 and $70 per hour. Some accountants also offer bookkeeping as part of their service/package.
It is better if the bookkeeper can be a part of your whole business and have the understanding, knowledge and communication skills to help you keep track of everything.
Some of the things to consider in a bookkeeper are:
- Experience in the software you’re using
- Experience in your industry
- Being able to suggest more suitable or new software programs that will help your business
- Being a BAS registered agent so they can submit your business activity statements to the tax office
- Being someone who will add value to your business.