Many small business owners often do as many things themselves or with the help of staff members to save on costs. Similarly, non-profit organizations often rely on volunteers for help with everything from marketing to bookkeeping.
User-friendly accounting software like QuickBooks Online makes basic accounting a little less daunting for entrepreneurs and their teams.
Here are the top 10 signs that you need a bookkeeper
(Pro tip: there are many benefits to hiring a virtual bookkeeper):
- You’re always scrambling to get the bookkeeping done. If doing the books is taking you – or one of your non-financial-background employees – away from working on your business or if you end up doing the bookkeeping after normal business hours, then it’s no longer making the best use of your time.
- There’s never time to get a handle on Accounts Receivable (A/R). A bookkeeper can manage, report, automate, and identify potential problem accounts for you before your cash flow is impacted.
- You’re out of stock on necessary items. If you’re struggling to manage inventory, an experienced bookkeeper can digitally keep track of inventory levels and notify when stock needs to be reordered, so you can focus on the other parts of your business.
- If, right now, you know that your books are outdated. If you have a stack of paperwork awaiting entry and receipts stashed in various places, then you need a bookkeeper. It’s too easy to put off managing your books, tracking expenses and reconciling income from payments that have been made to your business.
- You’ve noticed errors in the data entry of transactions. Manual tracking often results in errors (even with apps — especially if you’re using various apps for various purposes but they don’t “talk” to one another). A professional bookkeeper will know how to improve systems and use apps that seamlessly share information.
- You don’t have a firm idea of what your business finances are like right now. When you can’t keep up with all the business transactions, you’re not able to accurately track and manage your cash flow. Having up-to-date books and financial statements gives you, as the business leader, the data you need to make informed business decisions, like spending strategically so regular expenditures are processed at an optimal time. You’ll also have knowledge of any financial issues early enough to talk to your accountant or Virtual CFO to figure out helpful strategies.
- You thought your records were all right – until your accountant reviewed them at tax time. An experienced bookkeeper knows how to keep your records properly by regularly completing bank and credit card reconciliations and categorizing transactions to the correct classifications of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses. They also ensure that there are no duplicate payables, that clients have been billed correctly, and outstanding bill payments or receivables are monitored and reported on.
- Your cash flow is unpredictable. You might think that unpredictable cash flow is a reason that you need to wait to hire a bookkeeper, but it’s the opposite. If your cash flow is unpredictable (common for startups!), you need a bookkeeper to track both your accounts payable and accounts receivable and follow-up on overdue invoices. This way, you can see where your money goes and when money comes into your business over a specific period of time. Instead of scrambling to cover costs at the end of the month, you can plan better to manage cash flow.
- Your business taxes are more complicated. If your transactions have become more complex and you have to comply with more regulations and/or additional requirements, this kind of reporting usually requires a professional bookkeeper to maintain additional tracking. This ensures your financial records are clean and ready for your tax accountant.
- You missed the federal or provincial sales tax reporting deadline. A professional virtual bookkeeper is up to date on sales tax rules and regulations and will help ensure that your remittances are filed accurately and on time.
Feel like you might need a bookkeeper? Contact our experienced team at Finatics. We help small and medium sized businesses all across Canada.