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Bookkeeping: Do It Yourself Or Hire A Professional?

Deciding to do – or not do – your own bookkeeping is much like deciding whether to change your own oil or hire a mechanic.

Sure, you could do it yourself and save some money – that is, if you know what you’re doing – or you could end up making a huge mess and, potentially, some costly mistakes.

And when it comes to deciding whether you can handle your bookkeeping or whether it’s better left in the hands of a professional, it’s often helpful to ask yourself some soul-searching questions.

So join us, if you will, on a Choose Your Own Adventure, where you’ll answer four questions in order to determine whether or not you should handle your bookkeeping – or call in the professional cavalry.

Can I do bookkeeping myself?

Do You Need To Be In Control?

Listen. You’re in the Trust Tree here so no judgment if the answer is a sheepish-but-honest ‘yes.’ You’re a business owner and being in control is likely a large part of what has brought you success. If you want to know your exact financial situation at any given moment, you need control. However, if you’re comfortable passing the financial information baton to a bookkeeper, control – at least regarding accounting – may be a little less important to you. And you should definitely consider doing just that.

Do You Have Time To Handle Your Bookkeeping?

And no, we don’t mean, ‘Are you willing to forgo all sleep and a personal life to be able to juggle all the balls and wear all the hats?’ As a business owner, you’re acutely aware how precious a commodity time is – and you also know that as a business owner, you’ll always be able to make time to get things done. So the real question is: Does this have to be something you sacrifice *insert: peace of mind, time, sleep, a personal life* for? If not, hire a professional and save your sacrifice for something else.

Does Bookkeeping Interest You?

There is no wrong answer here. There is a seat for all of us on the bus of life and if you don’t occupy a left-brained, number-crunching seat on it, that’s OK! But it’s hard to find time and motivation to do things that don’t genuinely interest us. If maintaining accurate accounting records, balance sheets, and P&L reports doesn’t float your boat, hand it over to someone for whom it does.

Does It Make Financial Sense?

Last but certainly not least, there is the small matter of dollars-and-cents. The simplest way to ask this question is: Can you afford your own hourly rate if you were to take time away from other pressing matters to handle your own bookkeeping? You may not have considered it from that perspective – but it warrants some thought. Because while you may think you can’t afford to hire a bookkeeper, you’re technically costing yourself whatever your hourly time is worth every time you sit down to handle a task that could be delegated to someone – often surprisingly – more affordable than you.

Ultimately, however, the most important question to ask yourself is this: Am I the best person to do this? Because without experience in bookkeeping or an understanding of balance sheets and income statements, that answer could be all you need to recognize that it’s time to treat yourself to a professional.

Your finances are not the place to be experimenting, holding your breath, fingers crossed and hoping for the best. Hiring a virtual bookkeeper eliminates all questions, concerns and issues – and you and your business are so worth it.

Ready to get started? Let’s talk!

Still deciding? Check out this infographic to see the difference between a bookkeeper and a CPA.