When is it a good time for a business owner to outsource bookkeeping? Here's a list of things to consider.
1. Are you no longer bootstrapping it? When you’ve moved to the point where your business is generating enough cash to pay its own bills, and support you as the owner (even if just barely – and this includes generating enough money to cover your taxes), then you can start to think of what hidden tasks you’d like to outsource so you have more time to grow your business.
*If you are bootstrapping, your bookkeeping is probably very simple. Shoebox, notebook or spreadsheet. But this is a good time for figuring out the what you need to track for your particular business needs. If or when you decide you want to use Quickbooks, it can be worthwhile to have bookkeeper to do just the setup and tailor it to your business. Then you will have a good framework to guide you as you enter your own data.
2. Are you short for time? Could you be in better health or have more family time, make more sales or innovate more products if you had more time? If struggling with bookkeeping is eating into your sleep or family time; if it’s draining energy from your marketing or production efforts, then it may make a lot of sense to get it off your plate. We all have only so much energy and it makes sense to delegate the things that drain us.
3. Are you scrambling at tax time? This is where bookkeeping can pay for itself. Tax time goes a lot faster and tax prep is cheaper when your tax preparer gets everything they need right off the bat. And you get a lot of springtime energy back from not having to deal with it. It gives you time to map out new ideas and business strategies for the year ahead.
4. Are you just crappy at it? Do you really get it? Or does QuickBooks and accounting in general seem like a whole different language? (News flash: it is.) If you're hoping that you can just dump transactions into QuickBooks any old how and QuickBooks will figure it out for you, I'm sorry to tell you that it just doesn't work that way. The Quickbooks A.I. is not turn-key by any means. You have to teach it, and to do that, you have to know what you are doing. But one of the benefits of being the boss is you get to hire people who are good at things you suck at. Spending your time where you shine will ultimately grow your business faster and better than when you are trying to be all things and wear all hats at once. One of the stages of growing from bootstrap business owner to CEO is getting a team of people around you that are better than you at all things except the one thing you do best of all.
In sum, depending on how you answered these questions and where your business is financially, you may want to consider how much of a relief you would feel to know your bookkeeping is:
A. Being done right
B. Not by you.