In my 15+ years of experience as a bookkeeper, I’ve seen it all. From boxes of receipts with no rhyme or reason to a collection of spreadsheets that are missing entries and aren’t categorized – small business owners and solopreneurs have major challenges when it comes to managing their accounts and staying organized.
If you’re avoiding bookkeeping, you’re not alone! This is a very common problem in the small business world. You’re spread thin to begin with. When you add up all the time that you spend doing the work that you love, and then add in the marketing, administrative, and communication tasks that need to be done each day and week, it’s no wonder that bookkeeping often gets left by the wayside.
Your books are out of order for one of several reasons – and none of them are anything to be ashamed about!
You’re trying to do it all by yourself – When you avoid bookkeeping, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad business owner or that you aren’t meant to be in business for yourself. It’s actually a sign that you’re doing really well. If your business wasn’t thriving or if your services weren’t in demand, you would have plenty of time to sit down and crunch the numbers. It’s natural that bookkeeping gets left by the wayside when you’re running a successful and thriving business. So pat yourself on the back if you’ve been too busy to deal with your books!
You don’t have bookkeeping experience – Your clients are hiring you because you have specific and proven experience that makes you great at what you do. If you’re reading this newsletter, chances are bookkeeping isn’t in your skill set. And that’s okay! It doesn’t have to be for you to be an excellent business owner.
You’ve been disappointed in the past – Maybe you have taken the steps to hire an outside bookkeeper only to end up disappointed. You feel stuck and frustrated because you tried getting something off of your plate, only to have it boomerang back to you again. If this is the case, it’s important to realize that not all bookkeepers are created equally. Don’t let one bad experience prevent you from getting the help that you need.
You don’t understand the big picture of your finances – Getting the books in order for your business isn’t just a matter of organizing transactions and categorizing expenses. Your bookkeeping system should tell you a story about your business. The reports are meaningless unless there’s an understanding of what they mean. You may be avoiding bookkeeping because you’ve sensed that there was something missing from the process. You don’t know the story that the reports tell, so you feel disappointed at the end of the process. Without the payoff (the clear understanding of the financial health of your business), you’re going to feel frustrated and avoid bookkeeping in the future.
Avoiding your bookkeeping is nothing to be ashamed about! If you’re avoiding for any (or all!) of these reasons, it’s important to let go of the guilt you may be feeling. It’s just a sign that it’s time to get the help that you need.
By Jessica Reagan Salzman