Bookkeeping is a critical aspect of any business, but it can be time-consuming, confusing, and stressful, especially for small business owners already wearing multiple hats. One question arises whether to do it yourself (DIY) or hire a professional bookkeeper. The decision between DIY bookkeeping and hiring an experienced bookkeeper can take time, as it involves weighing the costs against the benefits.
On the one hand, doing it yourself can save money, but it can also lead to mistakes, missed deadlines, and increased stress. On the other hand, hiring a professional bookkeeper can bring peace of mind, increased accuracy, and efficiency, but it may also come at a higher cost.
This article will explore the costs and benefits of DIY and professional bookkeeping, helping you decide which option is best for your business.
Different Types of Bookkeepers and How Much They Cost
For businesses needing help with bookkeeping tasks, several different types of professional bookkeepers are available. The most popular and commonly used type is the outsourced bookkeeper. Outsourced bookkeepers are experienced professionals who oversee the entire accounting process for businesses, managing record keeping and reporting, invoicing, payroll processing, and financial statement preparation. Outsourced bookkeepers generally have at least five years of experience in the field and charge an hourly rate starting at around $65-100 per hour.
Other types of bookkeepers include accounting clerks or employee bookkeepers, and certified public accountants (CPAs). Accounting clerks provide similar services to outsourced bookkeepers but typically have less experience. They handle day-to-day tasks such as receiving and recording payments, reconciling accounts, filing reports, and overseeing payroll processing. Accounting clerks usually pay you back $25-$45 per hour plus payroll costs.
CPAs are highly qualified professionals who specialize in taxation services. They can also provide other business accounting services, such as auditing financial statements or performing tax compliance reviews. CPAs typically charge a higher hourly rate than outsourced bookkeepers and accounting clerks — starting from $120-$180 per hour for a Junior Accountant, $200-$280 per hour for a Senior Accountant, and Partners of an accounting firm charging from $300 upwards — depending on the complexity of the project and their experience level.
The Unseen Expense of DIY Bookkeeping
Doing your bookkeeping may seem like a cost-saving solution for your small business, but it can lead to unseen expenses that you may have yet to consider. DIY bookkeeping may seem easy, but it can quickly become overwhelming, leading to missed deadlines, mistakes, and increased stress. Here are some of the unseen expenses of DIY bookkeeping:
- Time: Bookkeeping takes time and can significantly drain your resources, especially if you need to familiarize yourself with the process. Doing it yourself can take away time you could spend growing your business, leading to lost opportunities.
- Training: Bookkeeping requires knowledge and skills, and if you need to become more familiar with it, you may need to invest time and money in training. This can be a significant expense, especially if you need to learn new software or accounting principles.
- Stress: Doing your bookkeeping can be stressful, especially if you need more confidence in your abilities or are worried about making mistakes. This stress can harm your health and well-being, leading to additional costs in the form of missed workdays or decreased productivity.
- Mistakes: Bookkeeping mistakes can have serious consequences, from late tax payments and penalties to incorrect financial reports. Doing it yourself increases the risk of errors, which can be costly.
- Loss of Expertise: Bookkeepers offer expert insights and advice for business growth. Doing it yourself means missing out on this expertise, leading to missed opportunities and decreased efficiency.
Tips for Finding the Best Value in a Professional Bookkeeper
Finding the best value in a professional bookkeeper can be a daunting task, but it’s essential to ensure the financial health of your business. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:
- Determine your needs: Before starting your search, list the bookkeeping services you require. This tip will help you identify the skills and experience you need for a bookkeeper.
- Shop around: Don’t settle for the first bookkeeper you come across. Take the time to research and compare different bookkeepers to find the best value.
- Ask for referrals: Word of mouth can be a powerful tool in your search for a bookkeeper. Ask friends, family, or business associates for recommendations.
- Check credentials: Make sure the bookkeeper you choose is qualified and has the necessary certifications and licenses.
- Clarify pricing: It’s essential to understand the cost of services upfront, including any hidden fees. Ask for a detailed quote and compare it with other bookkeepers to ensure you get the best value.
- Schedule a consultation: Schedule a meeting with potential bookkeepers to discuss your needs and get a feel for their personality and approach to bookkeeping.
By following these tips, you can find a professional bookkeeper who offers the best value for your business.
Stop Struggling with Bookkeeping. We’ve Got You Covered.
We understand the importance of accurate and timely bookkeeping and are here to help you manage your finances. With our expertise and experience, we can provide you with the support and guidance you need to keep your finances organized and up-to-date.
By outsourcing your bookkeeping to us, you’ll save time, reduce stress, and gain peace of mind knowing that your finances are in good hands. You can focus on growing your business while we handle the complex bookkeeping task.
So why wait? Stop doing it yourself, and let us help you manage your finances. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see how we can help your business.