If you are a small business owner you will know all about the time and problems that you can face with keeping your books up to date, after all you have sales to make, products to order or make and suppliers to pay meaning that the bookkeeping is often a job that gets pushed to a back burner to be done either at a week-end or the end of the month (and then something crops up which seems more important and before you know it the Tax man is asking for your accounts).
Of course, you might consider employing a member of staff to do the bookkeeping, although if you are a small business this might be expensive unless they do other work for you as well. Another solution is to “outsource” the work to someone else, there are several options here that you might consider :-
- An independent bookkeeper. This is an individual or firm that looks after the books for many businesses and can finalise the books to trial balance but doesn’t undertake any other accounting or audit work for you (possibly because they are specialist, qualified, bookkeepers). If you look around in your local town or area there are likely to be several local independent bookkeepers advertising and all you have to do is select one that you feel you can get on with.
- Use your accountant.
- Some firms of local accountants are happy to undertake the bookkeeping for you and this service can range from having a member of staff visiting your office on a weekly basis right through to you giving them boxes of invoices and receipts at the end of the year (this latter option is usually offered by accountants that specialise in small businesses). Personally, the author feels that it’s better to have regular updates to your books and wouldn’t feel happy if the financial records were not updated at least on a monthly basis.
- o Other firms of accountants use file sharing technology such as dropbox (or their own systems) where you can send copies of the paper records to them in a secure area that only you and the accountants have access to. There are several firms of accountants that offer this online accounting service with the advantage that you can often get access to the accounts online when-ever and where-ever you want by using a laptop / tablet or even a smartphone.
If you are not comfortable doing your own bookkeeping, or don’t have the time to, and choose to use one of the above options remember that you are giving someone else details of your business. You need to be happy that you trust the person or firm that you are giving the job to, not only that they will keep your details confidential but also that they will carry out the work both quickly and accurately. If you don’t have experience in this field then it’s suggested that you talk to other local business owners to see if they have any recommendations or failing this talk to local business advisers.