In Pursuit of Profit
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How is your bookkeeper doing right now? Is your bookkeeper focused and able to do high-quality work, or stuck in the weeds and struggling to keep up with business demands?
Bookkeeper burnout is extremely common because bookkeepers are often asked to do more than their job description would indicate that they should be handling. This is especially true at small businesses, where everything including the kitchen sink is often thrown at bookkeepers because there are just not enough employees to do everything.
Professional burnout leads to carelessness and poor-quality work, which is especially dangerous when the work is managing the company’s finances. Burnout among bookkeepers can lead to errors, sloppy work, and missed deadlines that can jeopardize ongoing cash flow and future profitability. The best way to avoid overwhelming your bookkeeper is to have a strictly defined role and stick to it, hiring additional personnel to handle other tasks where needed.
So, what should be included in your bookkeeper’s duties and what should not?
Bookkeeper Duties: What Should Be Included?
Whether a bookkeeper is working on-site or via the cloud, a bookkeeper’s core duties should center around managing the business’s day-to-day finances, performing duties such as:
What are you asking your bookkeeper to do that is outside of a bookkeeper’s normal role?
Despite maintaining financial reports to assist in filing taxes, most bookkeepers are not qualified to file local, state, or federal business taxes themselves. Instead, your company should lean on a tax professional or accountant to create a beneficial ongoing tax planning strategy.
Similarly, while bookkeepers monitor spending trends to inform spending decisions and aid in cash flow management, the job of forecasting should not fall to your bookkeeper. An experienced accountant or CFO should handle sales and cost forecasting to achieve optimal results.
In some instances, a bookkeeper has enough experience to handle a company’s finances right up until the point when a major business shift occurs. Then, an experienced accountant is crucial when:
Part of planning for that shift or responding to an unexpected change is bringing in the right person to keep the business moving forward.
Lastly, bookkeepers should abide by internal controls, but they should not be singlehandedly responsible for establishing or maintaining these controls for the organization. A security company can mitigate financial risk by setting user permissions, establishing a system of approval checks and balances, setting up multi-factor authentication, implementing a secured VPN, and using data encryption protocols.
Is a Bookkeeper Enough?
Using a small business bookkeeper has a lot of benefits, but what happens when your business needs evolve and a bookkeeper is not enough any longer? Hiring a third-party accounting firm is the best way to fix the problem of overloading your bookkeeper’s role:
Businesses looking to harness the experience of a professional accountant can hire one in-house, but that is certainly not the only option. The steep cost of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding an accountant internally is the primary reason that business owners opt to utilize a third-party accounting firm instead. Additionally, individual accountants are initially vetted and subsequently overseen by the accounting firm, removing the onus from business owners and minimizing ongoing liability.”
Have you moved into the territory of needing an accountant instead of a traditional bookkeeper? Accountants can perform more sophisticated financial functions, but they can also help set the strategic roadmap for the business because an accountant is more than just “a numbers person.” An accountant is also an advisor, strategically partnering with your company to achieve its goals.
An accountant can also provide a significant return on investment by reducing business expenses, improving profitability, and implementing accounting controls to reduce fraud risk and ensure compliance.
Find out how to hire an accountant quickly to get the help you need right away when your bookkeeper is overwhelmed and unable to keep up any longer.