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When Is It Time to Hire a Bookkeeper? (How Hiring Bench Saved Me Countless Hours at Tax Time)

As a business owner, I enjoy the creative side of what I do. I enjoy the days where I can dream and do, create and execute. What I don’t have are days when I get excited about categorizing expenses.

For the longest time as a business owner, I did my own bookkeeping. At the time it made sense because I could save money, but after a while I started to realize it was time consuming work and that I was more valuable to my company doing what I do best–creating, marketing, and pushing the business forward. That’s when I decided to hire a bookkeeper.

For me, hiring Bench.co to do my books has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as a small business owner. Let’s talk about why.

The Books are Important

It’s hard to think of an aspect of your business that’s more important than cashflow.  Making sure your money is accounted for and your expenses are paid is what keeps you in business.

But many business owners find that the details of keeping the books is not their strength. If this describes you, it may be wise to hire a bookkeeper early on.

Accountant vs. Bookkeeper

These two titles may seem similar. After all, don’t they both keep track of your numbers and make sure your money is accounted for?

Well, not really. Accountants and a bookkeepers actually serve very different roles.

Bookkeepers deal with the details

Bookkeepers record the daily activities in a business, such as:

  • Recording all transactions
  • Entering all debits and credits in the business accounts
  • Balancing accounts and keeping ledgers
  • Paying bills
  • Payroll

Accountants look at the big picture

Accountants help a business analyze their income and expenses.  They work with the business to form financial plans and goals, like:

  • Analyzing business costs
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Taxes
  • Working with the business owner to plan and reach financial goals

If you need cash basis bookkeeping, along with someone to keep a ledger of and categorize your transactions and receipts, Bench is a valuable service at a great price.

Why You Need to Hire a Bookkeeper

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You may feel like the books are one thing that you can do yourself.  Why spend money to hire a bookkeeper?

1. Time

If you own a small company, you are probably working more than full time.  In fact, many business owners work more than 60 hours per week.  Your talent and effort are probably better spent building your business and client base.

Consider whether keeping the books is the best use of your time.

2. You might fall behind

Your books will show the financial state of your company.  It’s important to know where your stand at a glance, so you can make financial decisions.  If you have fallen behind in your bookkeeping, you will be lost when you try to determine your cost basis or do your taxes.

3. Too much time and money spent with your accountant

At tax time, you don’t want to be scrambling to reconcile accounts and complete ledgers.  Your higher-paid accountant may end up having to do bookkeeping for you just to get your documents ready to file.

If you have had a bookkeeper working for you, you can just hand off the completed, reconciled documents to your accountant for them to reference.

4. You may miss a tax write-off

When you hire a bookkeeper to track and categorize your receipts, your accountant will be able spot any deductible expenses.  You won’t miss obvious ones like mileage or other expenses related to your business.

 

Why You Should Hire a Company Like Bench

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Consider outsourcing your basic bookkeeping with a company like Bench.  Bench is an online bookkeeping service that has saved me countless hours. It didn’t take long for me to see results on my investment into our bookkeeping.

Here are a few of the reasons we’ve enjoyed using Bench:

  • Bench assigns a dedicated bookkeeper to each company. You use an app to send a message directly to your bookkeeper or to set up a phone call.
  • Your Bench bookkeeper will link to your accounts and keep track of all your transactions. They’ll categorize each entry and then reconcile all transactions with your statements.
  • The bookkeeper keeps track of all receipts and finds and reconciles errors right away. This will save you time and trouble, especially during tax season.
  • Bench only keeps track of transactions. They won’t have information about invoices or accounts payable that haven’t happened yet.  If you need someone to track what you owe or to invoice clients on what they owe you, you’ll have to go beyond Bench bookkeeping.

One of the things that I like about Bench, is that they arrange a monthly phone call for me to go over the books–after they’ve already categorized all my expenses. I like to be aware of our overall financial picture, and having someone put our ducks in a row, and then followup with me, has been invaluable.

We tried out their service for a free sample month. Choosing to hire them for the long-term was easy.

Conclusion

As a business owner, you’re used to DIYing what you can. You may be tempted to do your own bookkeeping instead of deciding to hire a bookkeeper, but a competent bookkeeper or bookkeeping service, like Bench, can deal with the details of the books so you don’t have to.

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    LAWYER & ONLINE ENTREPRENEUR

    After graduating from law school and passing the bar, I struggled to find work, pay my bills, and make ends meet. That's when I decided to take control of my future and start working for myself. Now, several years and a handful of companies later, I'm sharing how I launched a successful business, and how you can do it too.

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