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How to Hold Down the Costs of Bookkeeping Services

Every stage of business growth can benefit from accurate, efficient bookkeeping. Though some small business owners may choose to keep their own books initially, that may not always be the best choice. A successful company almost invariably grows to the point that a bookkeeper becomes a necessity. Though there may be instances in which it is not possible to use the services of a bookkeeper because of cost considerations, a competent, efficient bookkeeper often provides a value that exceeds the cost of the service.

That's particularly true when you use a bookkeeper on an hourly contract basis, but the same care should be used finding a contract bookkeeper as would be used to hire a full-time employee, perhaps more. Obviously, because of the sensitive nature of bookkeeping work, it's imperative to find an individual who is trustworthy and experienced. Take a little time to do some research. Talk to other business owners you know. Ask for referrals. If you decide to advertise for bookkeeping services, carefully check the references of individuals that respond.

Generally, hiring a more-qualified and higher-quality bookkeeper means paying more per hour (you get what you pay for), but there are ways you can hold down the cost of their services. Among them:

  • Make sure that the information you provide to your bookkeeper is as complete and accurate as possible. If your bookkeeper has to correct mistakes and search for missing information, that takes additional time that you'll have to pay for. Time is money.
  • Make the commitment to come into the 21st century and keep your financial records on a computer. If you insist on keeping handwritten records, your bookkeeper will have to input those records onto a computerized system. Why pay for that time needlessly? By the way, when you're selecting your bookkeeper make sure they're willing to provide occasional help with whatever software system you decide to use in your business.
  • If there are some written records you have to keep, make sure they are neat, orderly, and legible. Deciphering figures takes time and can often lead to mistakes.
  • Learn as much as you can about the process of bookkeeping. This offers two benefits. First, you may decide that there are some aspects of bookkeeping you can handle yourself, which will help you reduce costs. More importantly, the conversations you have with your bookkeeper will be easier and more productive.

As your business grows and your financial service needs become more complex (such as financial consulting, financial planning and investing, tax audits, creating loan packages and business statements, business evaluations, and others), use the relationship you've developed with your bookkeeper to help you find the best provider for those services. No doubt, your bookkeeper will be able to refer to you to an individual qualified to handle these types of financial matters. That individual will necessarily have more training and will work at a higher rate of pay. Usually, you'll pay for services such as these on an hourly basis.

Contact Debra Rowand CPA today to learn how your small business can benefit from working with a professional accounting firm.
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