I am a business owner and creative person (not a numbers person) that has had a successful freelance business for 17 years. I always had a bookkeeper that came into my house quarterly and did my books. It worked out great for the longest time; I had no idea how to do it and so why not have a professional come and ensure that it was all done correctly? All the files were on my computer so I could do my invoicing and then the bookkeeper could reconcile everything and do my tax stuff.
Well, time went on and technology moved forward. Soon my software became incompatible with the newest operating system on my Mac. It was a nightmare, the software kind of worked, but I had to “MacGyver it” (sorry, dating myself) most of the time. I asked my bookkeeper to help me find new software that would work, but there wasn’t any for the Mac platform, so she set up an Excel spreadsheet to track my expenses and invoices. This, for someone who very rarely used Microsoft products, was VERY painful. I grew frustrated and dreaded the quarterly HST remittances that would take me hours to complete.
As a professional procrastinator, I would usually begin my HST the day before it was due. I would sort all my bills, invoices and receipts. This alone would take quite a bit of time. I would then input it all into the spreadsheet and then send it to my bookkeeper to check. It usually had a few mistakes but she would correct them and file the return for me. Very stressful but I was saving money because I did it myself, right?
I really hated doing this and it always dragged me away from paying jobs. I ended up paying the bookkeeper to check it all anyway, so what was I saving? Time? No. Money? No. I was losing both because my hourly rate was higher than the bookkeeper’s. And then there was my sanity; I lost lots of that too. Lol.
I needed a better solution. I found one; a cloud-based accounting software package which is compatible with my Mac. It allows me to do my invoices and share access to the files with my bookkeeper who works on my books on a quarterly basis. She motors through my stuff five times faster than I can, she does it correctly and I am able to focus on building my business or spending time with my family.
People are always talking about “Opportunity Cost” these days. How is doing your own books affecting you as business owner? Think about it.