When you are starting out, most small business owners start with doing everything themselves. As your business grows, this can become overwhelming and stressful. You will also need expertise beyond your current level of skill and experience. You can’t know everything about everything. This is when it may be time to start considering outsourcing some tasks to allow you to focus on the continued growth of your business.
It is imperative to spend your time focussing on what most needs your specialised expertise and consider using experts for other tasks.
Often small business owners find handing over their financial record keeping an easy step to take and may consider hiring a qualified bookkeeper to do this.
The next question is, when is the right time to do this?
Here are six signs that the time is right:
1. Is doing the books taking your focus and time away from working on your business?
If you are finding yourself spending significant amounts of your working hours keeping the accounts reconciled, maintaining financial records and your compliance obligations in line, this is the time for you to employ an expert bookkeeper.
A good bookkeeper can alleviate you of accounts receivable, accounts payable management, debt collection, bank account reconciliation, payroll, all of your compliance obligations with the ATO and financial reporting. They’ll know what’s due and when.
This will enable you to receive the financial information and KPIs you need on the business at the right time to make the best decisions for the business going forward; All while you are working on other things.
2. It is just not getting done
As your business grows, so does the book work. As a small business owner, you are typically time poor and stretched to the max. Often the critical task of maintaining financial records gets left until last – or until it becomes an out of control mountain of work to catch up on. If you don’t keep on top of your finances, small issues that have not been identified early can turn into something monstrous.
If your accounts are not up to date and current, this is a critical indication that you need a good bookkeeper.
3. Are you sure you are managing your bookkeeping correctly?
While someone can’t step into your line of work and know how to do everything correctly, the same can be said for bookkeeping. If you are looking at your financial performance, reporting and compliance obligations and are not sure if they are 100% accurate or not, it is time to work with a good bookkeeper.
In order to make the best decisions for your business, you need to have accurate financial information at your fingertips – not to mention you are fulfilling all of your compliance obligations with the ATO. A good bookkeeper has the experience and knowledge to save you a lot of time and unnecessary stress.
4. Are you managing your accounts as efficiently as possible?
In today’s world, there are many different software, apps and add-ons available to save you time and money. A good bookkeeper will be able to automate and systemize your accounts processes. This will ensure that you are maximising what’s available to you and not wasting your or a staff member’s time doing unnecessary time-consuming tasks. This includes everything from the management of staff, time sheets, payroll and rostering right through to the automation of accounts payable data entry.
5. Is it all getting complicated?
It is critical to your long-term success that you ensure your business is compliant with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Adhering to the regulations and other requirements your business may have can be time-consuming.
You need to keep abreast of the latest changes in legislation, particularly relating to the employment of staff, and update your business to meet your responsibilities. A good certified bookkeeper who regularly updates their skills and training can help to ensure your business remains compliant.
6. You are paying accountant rates to do bookkeeping
It is important to understand what you are paying your accountant to do. An accountant is typically more specifically qualified than a bookkeeper and therefore is likely to charge higher fees for their services.
If you are paying your accountant to prepare your BAS and other compliance requirements or maintain your accounting records, you should check what rates exactly you are paying. A good bookkeeper may offer more value at a lower price and enable you to focus your relationship with your accountant on the structure of your business, managing your tax obligations and your overall financial performance.