I get many questions about bookkeeping and accounting for small business and start-ups, here are a couple of things you should consider before making your decision:
What do you want to achieve? Do you want to:
- Do you just want to collect your receipts and other documents and than hand it over to someone else?
- Are you happy to fill in a simple online forms and have the double entry done by an bookkeeper or accountant?
- Or do you want to do the accounting yourself and have the accountant prepare your tax-returns for you?
Each of these options is OK, as long as you do not relinquish all your responsibility to the other party when you outsource. You need to keep your books up-to-date, so you know where you small business is going and so you can make good and informed decisions.
If you are considering option 2. then their are products on the market that can help you, one of them is our AccountsOffice- Lite Edition ( currently still called CashBook), for a full tri-ledger accounting system you can use our AccountsOffice Standard Edition, both of the single user versions are free BTW.
For small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer-, Professional-, Personal business, the only way to go is online – I’m sure you think I would say that – but consider this.
You will need to get information fast – to make an urgent decision – how is anyone going to give you advice without up-to-date numbers on your business. There are other benefits to consider, but this one to me is the most crucial. Remember most small businesses fail because of bad financial decisions being taken, often based on false or out of date data.
What if your accountant or bookkeeper wants you to use an offline accounting system – do your business a favor find a new accountant, fast. Accountants are sometimes slow to change, they are also very often very busy people, but you should not worry about that, you need to worry about your business.
I wrote in the past about many accountants wanting to live in the past – that they are not interested in helping you plan your future. Michael Gerber in his book “The E-Myth Revisited” calls these type of business people “technicians” – I agree most of them are and very few have an entrepreneurial outlook in live.
So remember – no planning or no online accounting/bookkeeping for your small business – leave NOW! You owe it to your business.