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Is DIY Bookkeeping a Good Idea?

Can bookkeeping be self taught

Is DIY Bookkeeping a Good Idea?

We’ve all heard it: if you want something done right, do it yourself. And as a small business owner, you are tempted to do as much as you can by yourself. You want to keep everything under control, stay on top of things at all times and prevent anything from flying under the radar and slipping through the cracks, and you are the only person you trust to do the job responsibly and consistently. 

And how could you not want all that when you worked so hard to get to this point, patiently building your business from the ground up, and, while it’s been a bumpy ride, it was your commitment and persistence that ultimately prevailed. Besides, when you launched your business, you made a commitment and you still have a commitment, to yourself, to your clients, to your employees. 

But handling the non-essential functions such as bookkeeping by yourself is not without risks. 

Can bookkeeping be self taught?

Bookkeeping can be self-taught, but there is a catch in that you might have a difficult time keeping up with the piling workload. Untrained bookkeepers have a critical flaw: they lack a basic understanding of how certain bookkeeping and, by extension, accounting processes work or their potential effect. 

This then translates into an incompetence to implement basic internal controls which is not only instrumental in coordinating the bookkeeping process properly and without missing any vital steps, but also in providing accurate information and preventing the risk of defalcation. Full-cycle bookkeeping is a demanding process that requires vigilance and constant active engagement. As such, it can easily turn into a full-time job. 

Is being a bookkeeper stressful?

Like any job, bookkeeping can be stressful. But an experienced bookkeeper will rely on an extensive checklist to ensure nothing is overlooked and unwanted delays can be prevented. When you manage all aspects of the business, you run the risk of premature burnout. And then there is the additional stress of making costly mistakes and the long-term repercussions of failure to comply with the relevant procedures and regulations.

What are the risks of DIY bookkeeping?

In the ideal world, DIY bookkeeping is simple and easy. It saves you time and money and spares you the headaches and hassle of looking for a responsible person for the job. But this is not it, and DIY bookkeeping can be counterproductive. Potential risks include:

  • Errors and risk of fraud
  • Poor or ineffective scheduling
  • Lack of available time
  • Rising costs
  • Lack of expertise and experience
  • Lack of software knowledge

What skills do you need to be a bookkeeper?

One of the most important skills a bookkeeper needs to have is time management. Checklists are one way to coordinate the bookkeeping process. Another way to do it and make sure everything is done right on schedule is to be diligent about follow-up: a competent bookkeeper will be ready to go back at any point in time and perform a detailed review process with error corrections.

What questions do you ask a bookkeeper?

Is being a bookkeeper stressfulBelow is an overview of all the questions you should ask your prospective bookkeeper:

  • What scope of services is included in your work?
  • Are you registered and qualified for the job?
  • What is your expertise level?
  • Are you familiar with my industry?
  • How and how often do you communicate with your clients?
  • Do you have a team and, if not, a back-up plan when you are away?
  • How will you protect me and my business?
  • Do you charge a fixed rate or by the hour?
  • Who will be in possession of my data and files, you or me?

To get meaningful answers, you can further customize the questions by optimizing them to your industry and your business vision.

What you need is a self-reliant bookkeeper with a wide set of competences. The answers will tell you if you’ve found one.

Hire a dependable bookkeeper for your San Diego small business

Not all bookkeepers can do what you need them to do for your business, so do your research and put the job in the hands of a trusted bookkeeping service that can cater to all the needs of your business and develop a strategy to rise above your competition across San Diego.

At David York’s Tax Service, we don’t make promises unless we know with certainty we can deliver. Schedule your initial consultation now!