When it comes to running a small business, many owners dread the idea of keeping their books. That’s why a lot of them turn to the help of a bookkeeper.
A bookkeeper can perform different tasks depending on a business’s needs. Today, the majority of bookkeepers use business accounting software, rather than keep anything on paper.
Even though bookkeepers play many different roles, they have several core responsibilities.
Keep reading to find out exactly what a bookkeeper can do for your business and how much a bookkeeper costs.
What Does a Bookkeeper Do?
The bookkeeper’s job is to organize and produce financial reports. They also present data for future use, such as budgeting and fundraising.
Bookkeepers are also skilled in forecasting and strategic analysis. They can use analytics to lay the foundation for a more robust financial future.
Bookkeepers will usually handle the first steps involved with the accounting process, such as:
- Keep an up-to-date accounting file, with all transactions property tagged and identified.
- At the end of each month or quarter, verify that the transactions are accurate in both number, and dollar amount.
- Adjusting for inaccuracies and accounting for intangibles, like depreciation, as dedicated by the companies SOP’s.
Typically, the bookkeeper’s responsibilities end there, although some can handle many more tasks.
Are you looking for a bookkeeper for your business? The best place to find a bookkeeper is usually online at freelance marketplaces like we offer here on Guru.com.
Yet, bookkeepers’ roles can stretch far beyond the basics. Their role can look different from business to business.
An expert bookkeeper should be able to help with the following:
Consolidate Your Bank Accounts
Maintaining and Reconciling your financial accounts is an essential task for any bookkeeper, as it will help your company avoid any overdraft fees and potentially fraudulent charges.
Accounting software definitely makes reconciliation easier. But a human eye is still needed to ensure an accurate record of all transactions.
Look After Accounts Receivable
Bookkeepers can assist with creating invoices and sending them to customers. They also provide statements and help with collections should a client be late on paying their invoice.
Handle Accounts Payable
Along with accounts receivable, many bookkeepers also handle accounts payable. As a result, the bookkeeper is responsible for managing the company’s vendor bills.
The bookkeepers will note payment deadlines from all vendors, make a note of early payment discounts if they’re available, and submit payments on time.
It’s essential to manage your accounts payable properly to maintain favorable trade credit terms with suppliers, and having a bookkeeper on staff can make sure that every payment happens right on time.
How Much Do Bookkeepers Cost?
So, how much does a bookkeeper cost? If you employ an in-house bookkeeper, you can expect to pay between $18 to $23 an hour. A monthly bookkeeping package can cost anywhere from $99 to more than $2,000.
A freelance bookkeeper typically charges between $30 and $50 per hour for essential bookkeeping services.
Be prepared to spend more if you need someone who can prepare tax returns or take care of in-depth accounting problems.
Many additional factors can affect the cost of your bookkeeper:
- The types of tasks you’d like your bookkeeper to perform
- The volume and complexity of your business’s financial transactions
- Experience level of the bookkeeper
- The number of working hours each month
- Accounting software that you use, and any fees that come with it
- The location of your business
More Ways that a Bookkeeper Can Help Your Business
Once your business becomes large enough, it makes sense to hire someone to handle your bookkeeping.
Here are a couple more ways that a bookkeeper can help your business.
You Can Concentrate on Business Strategy
Keeping books involves tracking fine details and storing them in accounting software. It can sometimes be challenging to see the big picture when dealing with numbers all day.
For this reason, you should usually have someone else handle these financial details for you, so you can focus your mental energy on more strategic business decisions.
Monitor Your Cash Flow
Keeping track of your cash flow can prevent you from suddenly running out of money. Bookkeepers can stay on top of it by checking your numbers and keeping track of your finances on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, which can help you make better purchasing decisions.
Let a Bookkeeper Do the Work for You
Small business owners often underestimate the amount of work needed for bookkeeping, which involves so much more than consulting accounting books and entering data.
Having your small business’s finances handled by a bookkeeper will free up your time so you can focus on growing your business, rather than spending all day with your nose in the books!