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Should I Outsource My Bookkeeping?

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Do you run your own small business and try to do it all yourself? Why?  Shouldn’t you spend your time doing what you do best- whether it is selling and marketing, customer service or making decisions on how to grow your business?

An entrepreneur tries to juggle many balls each day, but sooner or later one of them is going to be dropped.  A smart business owner will realize that he/she can’t do everything because there are only 24 hours in a day.  Unless you are extremely organized and enjoy working with numbers, then maybe you need to outsource this job.  Too many business owners spend their time doing what they are not very good at simply because they don’t know how to go about finding someone to do that job for them.

Where do you start?  Ask your accountant for referrals.  Obviously you don’t need a full-time person to do your books, so your best bet is to look for someone who wants to moonlight at a part-time job.  There are also bookkeepers with their own small business who are looking for clients.  If you don’t have any other employees, this situation will work best for you because you can pay them as a subcontractor instead of an employee on payroll. However, you will need to give them a Form 1099 at year end for tax purposes. But, since they are accounting experts, they can help you with that task too.

You should interview your prospective bookkeeper just as you would if you were hiring him/her as an employee.  Ask for a resume and references, and check them out.  Since this person will be handling your confidential records, you want someone who is trustworthy.

Depending on your location, you should expect to pay between $15 and $50 an hour for a bookkeeper. Don’t necessarily hire the one who offers the lowest rate- remember you get what you pay for.  The more experienced person will cost you more, but will provide valuable input and suggestions to streamline your business that will wind up saving you money in the long run.

Since this person will be working closely with you in your business, you should feel comfortable with him or her.  If you have any reservations about this person, go on to the next candidate.

While the selection process may take a while, it will be worth it later.  Take your time to find the perfect bookkeeper, and in a few months you’ll wonder how you ever managed to run your business before you hired one.

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