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4 Tips if You’re Not Ready to Hire a Bookkeeper

I’m building a business, but I’m never one to hard sell anyone into hiring me who isn’t 1) able to afford outsourcing their books, 2) ready to loosen control over their financial reins (never completely let go of those reins, btw, even if you CAN outsource), 3) you’re just starting out and don’t think it’s necessary yet, or some combination of those.

And sometimes people actually enjoy doing their books; it’s a little break for the part of your brain that works on the higher-level or more creative parts of your business. Because there is always an answer with your books. If you follow the rules and the steps, it results in things being more organized, everything in its place, every equation coming out exactly, well, equal. If this is you, lady, you’re speaking my language. I see you. I know you. And I’m cheering you on.

If this is not you, click here to read my post When Should I Hire a Bookkeeper? and here to distinguish between a just okay bookkeeper and a great one.

While I encourage you to outsource your books as soon as you can, if only to give you more time to focus on your business (and your personal life), I like to give solopreneurs a few tips to make the most of their bookkeeping:

Do Small Chunks More Frequently

If you’re someone who gets to tax time and have to spend entire days slogging through receipts and statements….how’s that working out for you? I’m guessing you get anxiety throughout the year, not knowing how the numbers are adding up, what you’ll owe in tax, or how your business is even doing. You’re making decisions based on guesses, never really knowing if they were the right ones.

So instead of putting it off until you get to this point, block time for your books in smaller chunks. Maybe you log or categorize transactions each week, or every two weeks if your volumes are low. That way you’ll know it will only take you a few minutes vs. hours and hour. If you do it more frequently, you can take tiny bites out of it instead of eating the whole pie in one sitting. AND you’ll be in a better business mindset, acting as a true CFO of your own company.

Schedule it Like an Appointment

Pick a time of day/day of the week when you will actually be able to get it done. Be realistic! Make it a time that your kids are in school or napping, when your husband isn’t home, when you don’t have a lot of noise and distractions.

Associate doing your books with something positive

Have a glass of wine and some dark chocolate as you work in that spreadsheet! Put on your favorite show in the background if you can multitask like that. (My secret, I do all of these when I’m doing my own books. Not everyone else’s books – that would be a bit of a problem). Blast some music, or schedule some kind of fun activity or just an afternoon off to read or something for when you get done. That way doing your books is associated with something you love, and you might (dare I say) even look forward to your books time?

Set Goals and Run Reports

We all have business goals, even if they change from time to time, or we’re too afraid to dream big. I recommend writing those goals down – specific, numerical goals, and then running your Balance Sheet and your Profit & Loss each month or quarter and check them against your goals. If you’re nowhere close, so what? Do a quick calculation of how close you are, and track where you were last month. Maybe you’re “only” 50% to your first income goal, but hey, you’re halfway there! And last time you checked, you were only 40% there, so that extra 10% is something to celebrate!