Let’s face it – bookkeeping is probably the last thing on your mind. You’re focused on learning what your competition is doing. You’re trying to figure out what your customers’ paint points are. You’re positioning your business as a leader in your industry. You’re not particularly worried about your books at the moment, but you should be. In fact, there are quite a few things you’ll need to know in order to ensure that your business stands the best chance of growth and success.
DIY, Software or Professional Help?
Perhaps the most important decision you face is how you’ll handle your books. You have a few options, but they’re definitely not the same. Let’s break things down so you can better understand your choices, and how they might affect business growth and profitability.
One option is to handle things yourself and go the DIY route. If you’re a sole business owner, you might act as your own bookkeeper. If you have a growing business, you could hire a bookkeeper, or even an entire team to handle your books. Here’s the thing – both of these options have their flaws.
Obviously, going it on your own is a bad choice. You’re not a bookkeeper; you’re not an accountant. There’s also the fact that you have other things to focus on rather than keeping the books, like finding new customers, marketing your business, and beating the competition. So, does that mean that hiring a team of employees to handle your books is the better option? Not necessarily.
You may not be able to afford to bring that many employees onboard. You could struggle with the onboarding process. The costs of employing a bookkeeper could be too much for your business. Even if money is not an obstacle, you have other costs – benefits, vacation time, and the like. Then, you have the issue of ensuring that the people you hire actually have expertise and in-depth knowledge necessary.
Does that mean that you should go the software route? Actually, that may not be the best option, either. Yes, software is more affordable than hiring employees. Yes, software can help you keep accurate books. However, the issue is that software is something of a step backwards. It’s closer to handling everything yourself, unless you hire someone to use the program, in which case you’re opening yourself up to all the cons of hiring employees in the first place.
That leaves finding professional help – outsourcing your needs to a professional bookkeeping service can be one of the smartest decisions you make for your business. Why is that? For one thing, outsourcing doesn’t come with the significant drawbacks that hiring employees does. You’re entering a business relationship that you can terminate at any time, for any reason. You also gain access to additional benefits like in-depth expertise and experience handling potentially complicated books.
Payroll Is Not Necessarily Part of Your Books
Another thing that business owners should understand, particularly if you choose to outsource the handling of your books, is that payroll is not necessarily included. Technically, it falls under the heading of “payroll accounting”, so may bookkeepers will not handle it. Yes, they might record the amount paid out to your staff, but what about the other crucial elements involved in the process?
For example, how do you ensure that your employees have access to W-2 forms? What about other similar documentation? How do you ensure that you’re withholding the right amount from each employee’s paycheck? What about your own obligations when it comes to taxation? How are you supposed to ensure that you’re withholding the right amount for Social Security? What about Medicare? What if an employee has automatic deductions from their paycheck for garnishments, or for child support payments?
The right service provider can ensure that all new hire paperwork is handled correctly, that your records are accurate and up to date, and that all withholding amounts are correct at all times. In addition, the right partner will provide on-demand support, ensuring that they answer your questions quickly and accurately.
With that being said, make sure that you have access to affordable services. It should not cost an arm and a leg to have your pay-related needs handled professionally.
Taxes Aren’t Always Handled by Bookkeepers
We’re on to our final point – taxes. You might think that your books include them, but that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s often not. The reason for this is that most bookkeepers are not accountants. If you’re working with a company that does nothing but keep your books, then chances are good that you will need to find another solution to handle tax-related matters.
The good news is that you can find a provider that offers both tax-related help and can keep your books accurately for you. This ensures that when tax time rolls around again, you’re not stressed out trying to play catch-up. Of course, the right provider can also work with your preferred CPA if you’d rather, which increases convenience significantly.
There you have them – some of the most important things you should know about keeping your books. You need to find the right solution first (DIY, software or professional outsource provider). Then, you need to realize that some of the services you need aren’t offered by many companies. Handling employee pay matters, and dealing with company taxes don’t have to derail your business, though. The right provider can deliver an all-inclusive solution that fosters growth, alleviates stress, and ensures accuracy at every step of the way. Finally, the right partner will also ensure that you have access to affordable solutions as your business grows, and an increasing number of transactions or more complicated books will not necessarily result in skyrocketing costs.