5 Signs You Need to Hire a Bookkeeper

By Arnab Bannerjee Mar 28, 2019
5 Signs You Need to Hire a Bookkeeper

These days, there is a new trend emerging in the offshoring industry in India. Bookkeeping services in India are gaining traction among Western clients, especially small businesses with limited budgets for non-core business activities. And, let’s face it, when it comes to bookkeeping, it is not exactly a money-spinning activity. It’s necessary, but not exactly what pays the bills (you see the irony!). Businesses don’t want to separately hire a bookkeeper just to keep tidy records. Hence, they club the function with some other activity—usually accounts or with secretarial staff. However, with the cost of hiring secondary resources rising manifold, many small businesses have completely done away with the concept of hiring a body of secretarial staff to “man” the “office”. More often than not, it’s all hands on deck, since businesses want 100% of its staff to be productive. A classic example of this is Freeman and Sons Fire Restoration, which is based in California. You can listen to its CEO, Spencer Freeman, talk about his experience below:

In such a scenario, it is often the owner or proprietor who takes on the extra load of keeping the books in order. And when that happens, there is a real danger of the business’ core activities suffering. Of course, that doesn’t mean that all businesses need to look offshore and hire bookkeeping services in India or elsewhere. If you are a boutique establishment with few clients and not a lot of work pressure, why would you want to hire an extra resource—even if that resource is extremely cheap?

So the question is, at what point should you start thinking of getting outside help to ease your bookkeeping responsibilities? Below is a list of five telltale signs that indicate it is time to get a professional to help you out.

  1. Your company starts growing: This one’s a no-brainer. As your business grows, it will require two very crucial things—the business owner’s undivided attention, and an absolutely secure backend.Any mistakes in bookkeeping might hamper the future prospects of the business. The moment you feel that the business is becoming too big for an ad hoc bookkeeping arrangement, start looking for bookkeeping services in India for an inexpensive but experienced virtual resource.
  2. You start getting more customers: If you are pulling in more customers, congratulations! Your product/idea works. However, more customers also means increased revenue and increased paperwork. If you are drawing that bit extra, don’t begrudge spending a bit more to keep your affairs in order.
  3. You start becoming error-prone: If your current bookkeeping is error-prone and past records keep throwing up mistakes, then it is time to let the big boys in. You tried, but let’s face it, it might not exactly be your forte. By choosing bookkeeping services in India, you will be able to get an experienced executive who will not only be able to bring your affairs to order, but also quickly identify and correct past mistakes. Hiring a professional will also help you stay on the right side of the law and avoid needless fines and penalties.
  4. You start overpaying and underemploying your CA: We have noted above that bookkeeping is often clubbed with other activities. The most common example of this is having your chartered accountant (CA) perform bookkeeping activities. The fact remains that a CA is way overqualified for the role and hence you are suffering on two counts:
    1. You are underemploying a valuable resource.
    2. Your bookkeeping is costing you more than it should because the CA is doing it and they will charge their normal hourly rates, regardless of the work.

    This obviously isn’t a very clever way to function. If you have fallen into this sort of a work arrangement over time, it’s time for you to rethink. Reduce your costs and hire experienced bookkeepers abroad. You heard how Spencer Freeman, CEO of Freeman and Sons Fire Restoration, benefitted from such an arrangement. Engage a CA only when you need to. Hence, it might be a good idea to hire a CA only part-time while employing a fulltime remote bookkeeper.

  5. You start becoming bigger, but not better: Such a scenario is not as uncommon as you might think. Businesses often fail to fully capitalize on short term gains due to inept bookkeeping, which makes future planning mostly based on guess work. So while you might be gaining customers and hence revenue, the same does not reflect on the balance sheet due to poor bookkeeping. When something like this starts to happen, or if you fear that is the route your business will take soon, maybe it is time to look for a remote bookkeeping assistant who will be able to ensure that you reap the full benefits of any growth achieved over a period of time.

The above scenarios serve as indicators that a professional is required, and amateur bookkeeping will no longer do for your business. Whenever you hire a bookkeeper, remember that you must hire someone you can trust, since the person will be entrusted with a lot of sensitive information. In case you are hiring a bookkeeper overseas, it is wise to hire him/her through a reputed agency or consultant where you can be protected by ironclad service agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and internationally-recognized data security norms like GDPR.

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