SETTING UP YOUR RECORD KEEPING SYSTEMS: A BOOKKEEPER, AND ACCOUNTANT OR BOTH
When your company was new, you may have handled all the bookkeeping to keep all the costs down. As your business grows, consider these options for delegating bookkeeping duties.
- Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper works inside a company or for a number of companies.”Full-charge” bookkeepers have experience in all facets of business accounting, while others may specialize in a small niche, such as accounts receivable and collections.
- Accountant: This term is generally used to describe someone with a higher level of knowledge of accounting principles than a bookkeeper; however, there are no classes or certifications one must pass to be called an accountant.
- CPA: These licensed professionals complete extensive college-level training and pass an exam given by one of the 50 state boards of public accountancy. CPAs are held to high ethics and behavior standards, and undergo extensive continuing education annually. They are licensed to handle any tax matters before the IRS, and their work should follow GAAP.
You can handle bookkeeping in-house or outsource it.
Having an in-house bookkeeper (either part time or full time) has some advantages:
- Your bookkeeper can support your business without other distractions.
- He or she becomes familiar with your business and preferences.
- An experienced bookkeeper may offer financial or operational advise in addition to handling your books.
Outsourcing has some advantages too:
- You may save some money by using a bookkeeper connected to or supervised by your CPA.
- Certain accounting programs, such as QuickBooks, allow you to easily and safely share accounting data.
- A bookkeeping firm can give you access to multiple people with different skill sets.
TIPS: However you handle bookkeeping, set up these internal controls:
- Learn basic bookkeeping skills to ensure the accuracy of your bookkeeping.
- Don’t let the same person who handles cash to handle bookkeeping.
- If you have a cash register, do random checks and set a threshold at which you take action.
- Use checks and issue invoices in sequential order.
- Secure all financial documents, online and offline.
This series ongoing series handbook prepared by Marjorie Weber was prepared will also be part of the Miami Bayside Foundation to qualify small business owners for the Miami Bayside Foundation loan program.
Handbook series Small Business Start Up Part 1: Small Business Start Ups Making It Legal; Part 2: Small Business Start Up Capitall Access Primer and Key Steps ; Part 3 Definitive Steps to Create the Optimal Small Business Growth Team; Part 4: Once You Have the Dream Team, It’s About Employee Retention, Part 5: Delegating Responsibilities Policies and Procedures – Letting Go