Today I wanted to take some time to chat about something that is probably a thorn in most of our sides, but something we can’t avoid as business owners. Bookkeeping and Accounting.
And most importantly, is this something you should be outsourcing or taking on yourself? Well – there really isn’t a wrong or right answer, but more so dependent on you and how dedicated you are (or aren’t) to it.
Years ago when I first started my stationery business, I had to pay my sales and use taxes quarterly. So therefore I didn’t touch my books until about 24 hours before they were due. It was a nightmare, to say the least. I would try to balance 3 months of books and I dreaded it. It NEVER failed, the books wouldn’t balance and I would spend hours trying to figure out where that extra $18.45 went.
Well, of course I dreaded it, because I was trying to make sense of 3 months of transactions and fees and expenses. Granted back then, there wasn’t a TON since I was still growing my business, but nonetheless, it was such a thorn in my side.
Then one year, I grew my business enough that I had to start paying my taxes monthly, oh good, now I will be forced to sit down at least once a month and balance everything. Still a pain. Trust me.
I asked myself a million times, should I just outsource this part of my business and hand it over to a professional? Usually, I would come back and say no because I didn’t really have the additional resources at the time to outsource. So I sucked it up.
I will add, though, I DO have a local accountant still, someone I can reach out to if I have a question and she also files my annual taxes for me along with our personal taxes.
And guess what – I don’t dread it anymore! I mean, it’s definitely not my favorite thing to do, but it’s become such a habit doing it once a week for the last few years, I can take care of my bookkeeping (for both businesses!) in 30 minutes or less. And when my monthly taxes are due, all I have to do is generate a report and plug my numbers in!
If you do decide to do your own bookkeeping, below are a few items that I use to make it a little easier.
In addition to doing my bookkeeping weekly, I also set my deposits to come in weekly instead of sporadically from my different payment processors. So for instance, my online shop runs through Shopify, my custom client work runs through Stripe and my recurring subscriptions run through Paypal. But I have them all set to deposit their balances into my account every Friday, opposed to as soon as something comes in. This allows me to just see 1 transaction a week per processor instead of multiple that I have to match up.
So, my personal opinion, on whether you should outsource your bookkeeping or do it yourself? I would suggest you at least try to get into a good routine with your bookkeeping and even get some systems in place for you and see how it goes.
If it is something that still keeps you up at night and your time could be better spent elsewhere, then look into outsourcing. Because at the end of the day, it is something you can’t avoid, it has to be done and you may have to cut some other areas to budget for it, but if you need to outsource, you need to outsource.
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