Monday, September 11, 2006

Only if You Want to Save Time, Money, AND Sleep Better at Night

Running a business is a matter of survival for most, if not all of us. Entrepreneurship is an ever-evolving world in which you must make timely decisions on a daily basis that either put you ahead, or behind, the competition. We’ll never be able to make the right decision all of the time. I wish I could say we would. The choices you make regarding your vision, the direction of your business, staffing, expansion, your niche, the list goes on forever. Those choices can’t be made for you, nor should you want them made for you. There are however, several choices that should be no-brainers. The most important is the one that can save you, or cost you, thousands, or tens of thousands, of dollars a year.

I’m referring to your accounting, bookkeeping, and taxwork. This area needs to be in the hands of a professional. That may or may not be you. If it is, fine, if not, outsource it. You need to make sure your bookkeeping and taxwork is done properly. Improper bookkeeping and taxwork can cost you a TON of money, just being incomplete or sloppy. You work hard on your business, you deserve to take advantage of every loophole, deduction, or discount you can find. Wouldn’t you be better off to pay a few hundred bucks a month and insure the job is done properly, than to keep the books yourself and miss out on the countless deductions you could have had? You also set yourself up for some hefty fees and fines if any of your work is not done properly and on time. Let someone who knows what they are doing handle this. It will more than pay for itself.

I understand being a small startup and not having the capital to afford an extra couple hundred dollars a month. Make it a high priority. I’m speaking from experience, this will be one of the best investments you make. My first experience of keeping the bookkeeping in-house was VERY expensive. Look at it like this; you will spend that money one of two ways; 1) on fees, fines, or taxes, plus you will be spending your own time on your books, or 2) on an accountant, who is spending their own time, and they can deal with the govt and the IRS. And I can promise you this, option 1 will always be more expensive than option 2.

I’m sure you can get online and find some accounting software that promises to make things easy. And you probably feel better balancing your accounts each day and writing each check, which you can still do with an accountant. Can you ask your software or your spreadsheet whether you should lease or buy a car, extend a business trip into a vacation, and how much you should put aside for retirement?


In short, specialists are worth their salt because they know how to save you time and money. Your accountant needs to be a part of your management team.

If you need some help deciding if you need an accountant or a simply a bookkeeper, I’ve put some more information regarding accounting up at:

Unless you are a tax specialist yourself, you are probably going to need some degree of help with your financials. Don’t be afraid to spend the money, it will pay off. Get the books out of your way, and focus your mental energy on those other choices I talked about. They are the choices that can take you from good to bad, bad to good, or Good to Great. I have to mention Jim Collins' Good to Great, I'm currently reading it for the second time, and I forgot how good it was. Incredible book. If you haven't read it you should.

Nick Berry


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