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Pros and Cons of Hiring a Bookkeeper

Decision Criteria

Owners of small businesses have many opportunities to hire professional services from outside sources, including bookkeepers, accountants, marketing consultants and graphic designers, to name a few.

The decision whether to hire a bookkeeper or not can be one of the hardest ones to make because most often it's not a matter of necessity but of convenience. Here are questions to ask yourself when making your decision:

  • Do I have the time to do my own bookkeeping?
  • Do I have the discipline to keep detailed financial records?
  • Can my business afford to hire the services of a bookkeeper?
  • What are the penalties associated with not keeping accurate financial records of my business, and can I afford to risk them?

Pros of Hiring a Bookkeeper

  • You can delegate bookkeeping tasks to someone who presumably enjoys this type of work. (Unless you yourself enjoy this type of work, in which case this isn't a benefit to you.)
  • You can re-employ your time doing things that you enjoy more or that are more important to your business, such as giving massages and attracting new clients.
  • Since a bookkeeper is someone who specializes in this area, you reduce the possibility for errors.
  • Knowing that a bookkeeper will be doing your books (weekly or monthly) can motivate you to keep detailed and accurate records in a timely fashion rather than putting them off until later, if you are the only one working on them.
  • A bookkeeper can be an excellent source of information when it comes time to pay quarterly estimated taxes and file federal and state tax returns.

Cons of Hiring a Bookkeeper

  • If you rely on a bookkeeper to keep track of your finances, you become less familiar with the financial details of your business than if you perform the bookkeeping tasks yourself.
  • You are the person who is responsible for the accuracy and honesty of your financial records. You must trust the expertise, as well as the integrity, of the person you hire. You should review a minimum of a week's worth of postings every month to ensure that quality work is being done on your behalf. Be sure to ask for referrals and check them carefully.
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