Your bookkeeper wants to do an excellent job for you; help them help you!
Real bookkeepers understand the bookkeeping cycle and how bookkeeping works. They know how taxes and deadlines can make or break a business and the impact of paying extra tax on it. Real bookkeepers are not data-entry clerks.
In part one of our satirical look at how to pay more for bookkeeping services, we looked at the danger of not giving your bookkeeper adequate and complete information. You can read this blog post by clicking this link.
In this blog post, we look at #2 on our list -> how to leave everything to the last minute. This is a guaranteed way to pay more for bookkeeping services!
2 – Leave Everything to the Last Minute
Bookkeeping doesn’t matter until tax time, right? I’ll drop a garbage bag at their office – It’s easy; they’ll have everything ready in a week, right?
When you walk into your bookkeeper’s office with a bag or shoebox of paper at the end of the year, you don’t have a real business – you have a mess.
Real businesses monitor their finances regularly, create systems that work, and set and adhere to internal deadlines. They find problems early and adapt to mitigate the risk. They plan for the future based on real data. Finding a leak in your boat 18 months after it began isn’t helpful. Nobody can go back and change the past, but early identification of a problem allows you to implement change quickly.
Understanding your business operations and finances can allow you to find efficiency, make more money and take advantage of new opportunities. If you don’t know these things, your decisions are based on guesswork.
Do you think Google, Tesla or Quickbooks were built on the bag of crap method? I assure you that they weren’t.
When you walk into a bookkeeper’s office with a shoebox full of paper, you need to check your expectations. They weren’t sitting around waiting for you to show up. They have regular clients they work with – you’re second fiddle. They’ll get to you when they get to you. If they were sitting around waiting for you, you should check on their qualifications and the quality of work they provide.
If the bookkeeper looks through your pile, it soon becomes time for the memory test. Do you remember what happened in January? How about in January of the prior year? Can you find the deposit slip for the time you deposited three cheques?
Get in the habit of sending your bills and receipts when you receive them. Don’t allow them to build into a pile that “you’ll get to” because you won’t. You’ll make a mountain out of a molehill, and bookkeeping will become something you dread. The bookkeeper asking you for documents is a poor use of their time and your money. They should only ask for clarification about the transaction, not for records.
Set reminders to send statements when they arrive. Set aside a time when you’ll work with your bookkeeper to ensure you answer questions regularly while they’re still fresh in your mind. Doing these things will help you stay on top of your bookkeeping tasks and ensure you have quality information regularly.
Keeping things up to date regularly sets up success. Doing things at the last minute often results in paying more than you need to and always results in unnecessary stress for everyone involved. Be proactive; be a real business.
In our next blog post, we look at #3 on our list -> using your business as your piggy bank. Watch for that blog post on how to pay more for bookkeeping services!