Hiring an In-House Bookkeeper: Bookkeeping Options for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Remember how much paperwork you filled out the last time you got a “real job?”

When running your own business, you’re on the other side of that paperwork. Only an entrepreneur knows the difficulty of hiring someone to take on a specific role within the business, and it goes far beyond the annoyance of paperwork.

From the point at which you make the decision to hire someone, there are many decisions to make and tasks to do. Here’s what it takes to have an in-house bookkeeper, the benefits, and things to consider when hiring one:

What It Takes to Have an In-House Bookkeeper

If you’ve ever had an employee, you know there’s a lot more to having one than the hiring process. Here is what it will take from you and your business.

  • Expenses

Hiring and keeping an employee on staff can be expensive. You need to consider payroll taxes, benefits, and overhead if you are requiring the employee to work from your office.

  • Search and Hiring Process

Finding the perfect bookkeeper is difficult, but you have a better chance of finding him or her if you spend a considerable amount of time, money and effort in the searching and hiring process. The downside is that you’re spending time, money and effort! This temporarily takes you and other employees away from other aspects of your business.

  • Training

Well, you’re hired – good luck!

If only a new hire could start the next day with no further instruction. Even if you’re hiring an experienced bookkeeper, they may have to learn the specifics of your industry, accounting software, and preferred processes. You need to get your books started correctly from the start, and that’s hard to do without training.

  • Management

After your first hire, you become a manager in addition to all of your other responsibilities. Depending on the employee, their communication and work style, you will be required to spend some of your time working with them, discussing the business and overseeing their work to some degree. This is a big responsibility and absolutely necessary if you hire.

  • Workspace and Related Items

When you’re the employer, unless you run a remote workplace (and sometimes even if you do), you’re responsible for supplying a desk, computer, and other needed materials and software that wouldn’t be needed if outsourcing or doing yourself.

  • Processes

The work inside your business is done by employees, but processes are the essential core of any valuable business. The bookkeeping side of your business needs to be built on standards and processes; helping a bookkeeper follow instructions and making sure you have proper checks and balances in place.

Benefits

  • Building your team brings a new dynamic to your company. If you hire talented people who enjoy the company of others, you’re improving your team with each person you bring in.
  • You may no longer be managing the daily activity of your books, but you can oversee your bookkeeper and design the accounting system they use for the benefit of your company. Shaping each aspect of your business is an opportunity to create things how you best see fit.
  • Being required to manage an employee can be a negative. However, if you’re an excellent manager who knows your way around your own books and proper accounting procedures, you may be able to bring out the most in an employee. This will make them much more valuable than what you’re paying them and help them become an asset to your tema.
  • Having a bookkeeper means you’re free of having to record and manage daily transactions and that you have a professional bookkeeper on your team, which is an asset. Growing your staff can improve morale and corporate culture if managed correctly, meaning proper time and training is given to the bookkeeper and if they possess the skills to benefit your business and want to stay with you long-term.

4 Things to Consider

  • Can you provide attractive compensation that will bring in and keep an above average bookkeeper?
  • Having an in-house bookkeeper requires having a contingency/backup plan in the case that they leave, are sick for an extended period of time, or you need to let them go.
  • Does having a person in-house bring you additional value that you couldn’t gain even if another virtual or outsourced option is more affordable?
  • To have a bookkeeper, you have to train and manage a bookkeeper. If there aren’t checks and balances in place, your business could be at-risk for mistakes, or worse. Also, there are employment costs above their hourly wage that need to be taken into consideration as mentioned in the “what it takes” section.

This article is part of the Bookkeeping Options for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs series by Kahuna Accounting. For a summary of the six most popular options that entrepreneurs choose when handling their small business’ books, read the initial piece in the series here: Bookkeeping for Small Business: Six Options for Entrepreneurs.

Discuss How Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping Can Help You Grow with Kahuna

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