As a member of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers I am often asked why a small business owner needs to use an outside bookkeeping expert, rather than doing the bookkeeping themselves to save money.
This is an easy question to answer because it is a “no-brainer”.
There are times in your life when only a qualified expert will do. For example, if you are about to undergo brain surgery, will you be happy if you found out that your surgeon was a plumber who had read a book on brain surgery and thinks he knows enough to do the operation? Or would you rather know that your surgeon has many years of experience doing exactly the operation planned for you, has trained his team to the peak of professionalism and that they have an outstanding success record?
Although I am not trying to compare bookkeeping and brain surgery, there is a principle here that applies to both scenarios. There is absolutely no comparison between reading a book or playing with a bookkeeping program for a little while, and the skill and experience of a fully qualified bookkeeper.
But why is this so important?
Your business records are the most important part of your business. In these days of changing approaches by HM Revenue & Customs, they are now starting to look at the day to day records of small businesses that are being kept at the moment, as we speak. The strength or weakness of these day to day records under this review will determine if the review becomes a full and in-depth investigation into your tax affairs.
This is a huge change in approach and is designed to catch out the countless businesses who fudge their way through the year with occasional and erroneous bookkeeping and trust their accountants at the end of the year to “make the accounts look right”. These businesses are in serious jeopardy unless they make a determined effort to change their ways.
So, back to why you need a qualified bookkeeper, a member of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.
My fellow members are trained over a period of years to a high standard and subjected to intense professional examination before they are even eligible for membership. Even then they are not allowed to open a business until they have satisfied the Institute that they are adequately covered with Professional Indemnity Insurance. These are the lengths the Institute go to so that business people know a member is a person of character who can be trusted to keep your business records to the highest standards.
Any business who has their records kept by a qualified bookkeeper will know they have nothing to fear when the Tax or VAT man come calling. They know that their records are being maintained to a high level of accuracy and reliability.
With a qualified bookkeeper there are no suspense items, no unresolved questions, no one sided entries, no “fudging” of the figures, no unbalanced bank/cash accounts, no capital items wrongly allocated to repairs or other expense headings.
When you use a qualified bookkeeper you have a source of knowledge that you can tap at all times for answers to complex questions about accounts, tax, VAT. They quickly become your rock of knowledge behind your business bookkeeping and financial matters.
You focus exclusively on your business, safe in the knowledge that your books are in totally safe, completely professional hands.
Why would you not use such a expert when they release you from all that hassle and tedium? Why would you waste your valuable time trying to learn how to do bookkeeping when all your energy should be channeled into growing your business?
Why would you try and be the plumber doing brain surgery when you are the experienced expert in your own business?
Think about it – then call me!!