What do bookkeepers have to do with your success? If you’re a business owner, a LOT.

Not using a bookkeeper creates nasty problems that cause major stress. Here are ten examples:

  1. Government and payroll filings get done late, incorrectly, or *shudder* not at all.
  2. Invoices don’t get created and sent to customers on time.
  3. Outstanding invoices don’t get tracked and followed up on.
  4. Bills are paid late, incurring late fees and ill-will among suppliers.
  5. Cash and inventory goes missing.
  6. Messy internal processes hamper growth.
  7. The lack of current or accurate financial information makes it tough to make sound decisions.
  8. It’s stressful not knowing how much cash is available.
  9. It’s SUPER stressful if cash is tight.
  10. Doing the books yourself eats into family time and may cause friction (and more stress).

All of this takes away your time, energy and peace of mind, not to mention the significant financial impact on the business. Most important, it keeps you from your REAL job which is to maximize your business’s value for you and your family.

Five Bookkeeper Benefits
If you have a good bookkeeper then you’re already experiencing these amazing benefits:

  1. Your time and mind have been freed up so you can focus on customers and gross margin.
  2. You’re getting important information when you need it so you can make better decisions.
  3. Your cashflow is being properly managed; invoices are going out, money is coming in, and bills are being paid.
  4. Your business has proper systems and processes in place to support cash management and prevent cash “shrinkage”.
  5. You are well prepared for growth.

Pretty magical, right?

Five Reasons NOT To Have A Bookkeeper
If you DON’T have a bookkeeper, you probably have a good reason. Here are the five most common I’ve heard from entrepreneurs. Is yours on the list?

  1. You think you should do the books yourself because you want to be close to your cashflow. Absolutely the right motivation but absolutely the wrong thing to do. Business owners should be READING financial statements and the Accounts Receivable report, not PREPARING them. Your time and skills are too valuable to be doing work that others can do, and probably do better.
  2. You feel uncomfortable sharing confidential information like this with others. This is VERY natural and it’s something you must overcome to be a successful business owner. You simply can’t maximize the value in your business without a small team of trusted advisors. This team starts with a good bookkeeper, a good accountant and a good lawyer, all of whom will keep your secrets safe.
  3. You think they’re expensive. Actually, a good bookkeeper won’t need much time each month and their hourly rates are reasonable. I tell every starting business owner that the first $200 they spend every month should be for a bookkeeper.
  4. You don’t know how to find a good one. This IS a problem especially because anybody can call themselves a bookkeeper. So how do you find a good one? Start by visiting the website of a national bookkeeping association. A good association ensures its members are properly trained, provides them with accreditation so you know there’s a minimum standard, and they’ll help you find a bookkeeper with the skills you need. My friend, Louie Prosperi of Canada’s IPBC for example, takes this stuff VERY seriously.
  5. Your current situation is embarrassingly out of control. I blush because I really understand this one! But now’s a perfect time to remember the old saying, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today.” Bookkeepers are used to walking into messes. You’ll probably be astounded at how fast they can clean up yours!

All told, a good bookkeeper is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your business.

BTW, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to get an email from a bookkeeper in Woolloomooloo, Australia. Can you guess why? If you’re the first to personally introduce me to one, I’ll send you a signed copy of my book Customer Dreams.

What’s your favourite bookkeeper story? You can leave a comment below.