I can’t stand doing my Bookkeeping, she said

by | Jul 22, 2012 | Business | 7 comments

“I can’t stand doing my Bookkeeping”, she said

(and other “normal” thoughts)

I don’t meet very many people who are excited about doing their bookkeeping, for their personal life, or business life. It really a dreaded chore (for most) and this is probably one of the reasons so many of us put it off to the last possible minute. I’ve previously put off talking about it on my blog, because it was my primary business for 10 years. Frankly, I needed a bit of a break.
Photo credit: doctor_bob from morguefile.com

Granted, I’m still a little bit “odd”. Today is Sunday and I’ll spend part of the day popping in to check on my web stats (yes, I track them on a spreadsheet), and very briefly updating my bookkeeping & creating invoices. In fact, I look forward to this ritual all week long. Yep! It’s a “weird” quirk.

Recently I’ve chatted on the phone, in Facebook, group forums with so many entrepreneurs who are really concerned about their lack of interest in getting it done. Yet I hear they want to be responsible & care for their business in a healthy way. So, this question comes up often.

“Should I just throw my bookkeeping at an accountant or bookkeeper? or do it myself?”

In my typical pisces style, I have 2 answers for you. Ultimately, it depends 🙂  Read on, and then decide what’s best for you!

Are you giving it up because you don’t know how? Or what any of it really means? Is it just confusing?

If so, then I want to encourage you to spend some time over the next little while to understand your books. Especially if you’re in the start up phase. It’s easy enough at this stage to connect with simple (and free) accounting software that will sync to your bank account, paypal and other apps you’re already using so that you don’t need to manually enter every transaction (Try Wave or Kashoo for a full accounting process, vs ones that are only tracking your time, invoices & expenses).

Pros:

  1. Seeing the whole picture of your growing business (might be scary at first, but it’s really rewarding as weeks and months go by)
  2. You’ll understand your business, and be ready to hand it off to a bookkeeper in good time.

Cons:

  1. It takes dedication & motivation. But once you have a system in place you might find yourself looking forward to it.
  2. It’s possible you’ll make mistakes that will need to be fixed at the end of the year. Find an advisor (someone you can trust & ask questions)

Do you want to give your bookkeeping away because you’re so busy with creating income?

If this is about your volume of work, you’re business can support the expense of a bookkeeper, and you already have a good understanding of where your company stands, then now is probably a good time to outsource this project.

Pros:

  1. Your valuable time is freed up while the bookkeeper is working on this task
  2. You’ll be more diligent about writing details on each receipt and keeping proper records so the bookkeeper doesn’t need to ask as many questions

Cons:

  1. There is often a disconnect for entrepreneurs when they ‘hand over their bookkeeping’.  They may no longer look at their Profit & Loss statements, and begin running their business based on the cash in their bank account. Remedy this by asking for reports to be emailed at least monthly, and review them with the mindset of the CEO of your business
  2. Not taking responsibility for payments. Often bookkeepers will be responsible for preparing tax payments to government agencies. But the end responsibility is still always yours. Remain aware of your obligations and you’ll be fine.

Whether you’re ready to outsource your bookkeeping, already have a good relationship with it, or just getting started for the first time – I wish you luck. Keep communication lines open. Set up a routine for yourself, break it into smaller chunks (once a week invoicing, logging in to sync your bank accounts and take a quick peak, etc) and create a nice juicy reward for having completed it.

And if it’s driving you batty! Come back here and write me a note. I have a sympathetic ear, and my own personal love-hate relationship with bookkeeping!

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7 Comments

  1. Joanna

    Letting go of bookkeeping can be hard, for sure! But for me, the benefits, in terms of my time (and less frustratedness by me!) win out in the end 🙂

  2. Samantha Leith

    Ditch It Ditch It Ditch It. Great article. So many people are scared about getting a bookeeper involved because they think it means losing a bit of control in tehir busines…..no way….it gives you more control especially over the things you want to be doing!!!

  3. Denise Duffield-Thomas

    Great topic Loralee! I finally gave away my book-keeping last year and it was the best decision ever for me. I now get my monthly statements and I’ve got more to do on projecting and other “grown up” things, but it’s getting easier (and less scary).

    xx Denise

  4. cindy

    Egads, the top picture looks exactly like my desk most of the time. Great post – I’d love to hire the bookkeeper but keep putting it off because I think it’ll take so long just to get them going. Crazy but true. You’ve inspired me to JUST DO IT ! Thank you

  5. Alycia

    Oh, I hate bookkeeping. I hate numbers in general. I guess that’s why I’m a creative type, huh? One day I hope to give it to someone else.

  6. Helena

    I’ve been doing my own bookkeeping since July 2000 when we started our company. Only last September did I finally hire a bookkeeper that I’m happy with (I’d tried one in 2007 but I obviously wasn’t ready to let go).
    I think for me, doing all the entering quarterly meant I was too close to all the minute details and not seeing the bigger picture. I still do some entering (our pays) and I still make payments from the business so I know what’s going on, but overall, it’s a relief not to have to enter everything myself.
    I think it’s good for all business owners to have an understanding of how the bookkeeping works and a cash-flow report as well as P&L is beneficial.

  7. Cydney

    Agony, it’s agony! My mother once gave me post it notes with a cartoon of a bird holding a cheque book waving it around, saying, what do you mean , I don’t have any more money?? I still have cheques left!

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