When Should You Hire a Bookkeeper

Most entrepreneurs go in to business to do what they love. When starting out, money is often tight, and most business owners try to do it all. Hiring a bookkeeper, even for a few hours a week, can provide a number of important benefits.

1. More time to do what you do. Rather than focusing on paying bills, tracking expenses, and reconciling bank accounts, you can continue to grow and run your business.

2. Up to date info for decision-making. If you record your business’ revenues, but never seem to get all of your expenses posted, you never have the whole picture. Think about it this way. A friend sends you a photograph, but it’s torn in half. Until your friend provides the other piece of the photo, you never really know for sure what he was trying to show you. Not posting all of your business activity on a regular basis only gives you half the picture – and that’s not good for anyone.

3. Error and fraud detection right away. We all know about hackers stealing credit card information, but if you don’t spot it, you may have a serious problem with cash flow if your account is misappropriated by criminals. It happens. And the theft can be closer to home, if a trusted employee is suddenly hurting for cash and decides to “borrow” from you just to get over their troubled time. Banks make errors, too. Your bookkeeper is an impartial third-party checking your bank and credit card accounts and spotting errors and fraud promptly.

Your business needs you. Your business needs a bookkeeper who helps you run your business and succeed. The cost is probably far less than you think, and can provide peace of mind for you, the entrepreneur. Check into a bookkeeper – you won’t be disappointed!



Hiring a Bookkeeper – Part 2

If you are using QuickBooks, hire a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Intuit has developed testing to verify that users of each of its products – QuickBooks desktop, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Point of Sale, and QuickBooks Enterprise Edition – are qualified and knowledgeable about the software. You can search for a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor by visiting Intuit’s website http://proadvisor.intuit.com/find-a-proadvisor/search-results.jsp# and searching in your area by zip code. If you are interested in a virtual bookkeeper and Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, then call or message Tammy Collins at 401-952-9919 to get started today. With more than 15 years of remote bookkeeping experience, Paragon Small Business Solutions can handle all of your bookkeeping needs on your schedule and within your budget.

Hiring a bookkeeper – Part 1

The one question I get asked above all others is “How do I choose a bookkeeper?”. Plenty of people list bookkeeping and QuickBooks as a skill on their resume, but how do you know they can really keep your books?

Obviously, confirming their work history with reference checks is a good starting point. Ask questions about their bookkeeping skills, not just the usual “Was she a good employee?” or “Would you rehire him?”. Ask as to the condition of the books at year end. Was the CPA able to prepare the tax return with a minimum of work to the books, or did the CPA have to spend hours just figuring things out before he could even begin preparing the return? Is the company able to get useful reports from the books? Was the bookkeeper able to accurately reconcile the bank and credit card accounts each month?

In Part 2, we’ll discuss testing and certifications you should require when hiring a bookkeeper.

QuickBooks Support – Shop Local

Most QuickBooks users know that the software often comes with support at Intuit via 800 number, available 6 am to 6 pm PST Monday through Friday. What do you do when you have a problem after hours, on the weekend, or a holiday? If you have a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor as a consultant for your company, you’ve got the best support – local, knowledgeable and reachable after-hours if needed.

Paragon Small Business Solutions clients enjoy the convenience of support when they need it. You can too. Call or message today to get started!

Why You Need to Reconcile Your Bank & Credit Card Accounts

Let’s face it. No one REALLY likes to reconcile their checkbook, but here’s why you have to hunker down and get it done.

1. Spot mistakes. The bank makes ’em. You make ’em. Transpositional errors are the most common when recording deposits and writing checks, and can cause problems with your balance. Checking your transactions against the bank statement can help keep your bank account in the black.

2. Spot fraud. Fraud can start with a stranger stealing your credit/debit card and charging small amounts to “test” your account. Reconciling can help spot inaccurate and fraudulent charges to your account before a thief wipes you out completely.

3. Spot employee theft/misuse of company funds. We’ve all read the stories about a trusted employee who fell on hard times and then “borrows” the company checkbook or credit card to get themselves out of a hole. As the owner, reviewing the accuracy of your company’s expenditures can help catch internal theft before it gets out of control.

You can reconcile yourself, of course, or you can engage an outside, impartial bookkeeper to do it for you. A remote bookkeeper will reconcile monthly (or more often if you so choose) and report back to you. Having monthly reconciliations can help point out spending patterns that are out of the ordinary for your business as well.

For more information on monthly reconciliations, call or message Tammy Collins at 401-952-9919 or tcollins@paragonsbs.com.