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DIY (do it yourself) has been on the rise over the past decade, and why not? We live in the information age, an age where we can become pseudo-experts in everything from gardening to rocket science (ok maybe not rocket science) in a matter of hours. Thanks, Google! We can’t knock DIY as a whole. If you’re building a shed for your backyard, that’s one thing. If you’re risking your business, however, that’s another. That’s why we advise against simply Googling “how to bookkeep as a small business” and calling it a day. Let’s talk about why DIY bookkeeping isn’t always the best idea.

Burnout 

When starting a small business, the idea itself creates energy, excitement, and hopefully, movement. You want to ride that surge of energy for as long as you can. But how can you do that if you’re so bogged down in learning new skills you can’t focus on what needs to get done? This is a common problem for small business: trying to do too much with too little. In fact, according to Shopkeep, “trying to do it all” is one of the top 10 reasons small businesses fail. It creates burnout, and burnout is a small business killer. If you’re googling “how to bookkeep as a small business”, we can wager you’re also Googling things like:

  • How to setup a website for my small business
  • How to drive customers to my small business website
  • How to create an email marketing list as a small business
  • How to make a profit as a small business
  • How to create a stunning product for my small business
  • How to hire people for my small business

You get the idea. We’ve all been there. The short of it is that learning all of these things all at once and proficiently enough to be successful is overwhelming. Few people can get away with doing all of this themselves. If, instead, you delegate tasks to people that already know what they’re doing, they’ll be able to focus and get more done. Hiring expert bookkeepers will help keep burnout away, the dream alive, and kinetic energy in the room.

Debt

If your bookkeeping habits are poor, your business might just wind up in debt. Debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, a 2016 Experian study confirms that the average debt for small businesses is $195,000, according to a USA Today article. However, what’s worse than debt? Mismanaged debt. If you’re in debt, you need to get it under control–especially if it’s your bookkeeping habits that put you in debt. Debt should always be an intentional choice just as much as an intentional fix. To do as much, you’ll want the help of an experienced bookkeeper. Just “Googling how to manage debt” probably won’t cut it the same way Googling “how to bookkeep as a small business” won’t.

Taxes

Filing your own taxes (often using a software solution) is one thing. Filing taxes for a business is a whole other beast. The IRS is the last thing you want nipping at your heels as a small business, right in front of a fire-breathing, three-headed Cerberus. It can get pretty complex, so once again, our Google search for “how to bookkeep as a small business” probably won’t cover the minutia of tax forms and tax code. Again, it’s not as if you cannot do this yourself. You just probably shouldn’t if you’re already overwhelmed. Delegate. Hire a professional bookkeeper.

Conclusion

Small business owners may or may not do their own bookkeeping. Sometimes you simply don’t have the resources or means to hire someone else when you’re first getting started. But you should always work toward hiring a professional bookkeeper. It’s just smart business strategy. If, for whatever reason, this isn’t possible, you might at least consider getting some training from professionals such as the ones on our team. At the end of the day, however, if you can, you most definitely should hire a professional bookkeeper. We can help with that too. The risks of doing it all yourself are simply too high.

Alexander Eakins

Author Alexander Eakins

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