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4 Times It’s OK to Fire Your Bookkeeper

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Are you struggling with your bookkeeper? Are you unsure if they can keep up with the evolving needs of your growing company? Do you not get the insights on financial reports that you deem necessary to manage your business? Have you possibly even considered firing them? While it’s never easy to let someone go, sometimes it’s necessary for your business to thrive.

However, before you make a hasty decision, we recommend you think through the following signs to evaluate whether or not it’s time to part ways with your bookkeeper. If they’re guilty of these four things, they may not be the right person for the job — and it might be wise to start considering other options.

1. They’re Behind

Is your bookkeeper already a step behind? When your bookkeeper is constantly entering bills late, failing to keep your accounts balanced, or failing to provide profit and loss reports on time, it’s a strong sign that you need to move on.

When your bookkeeper is behind, it can be hard for them to catch up. That’s why you need to have a bookkeeper (whether internal or outsourced) that is proactive, efficient, and reliable. This is the best way to stay ahead of potential problems and have an accurate understanding of the state of your finances.

2. They Don’t Bring New Ideas to the Table

Is your bookkeeper contributing to you business’ successful operations, or are they just going through the motions? If your bookkeeper fails to add anything of value to your business, like insights and tips for growth, then you might want to explore other options.

Your bookkeeper should not only have the full picture of what’s happening in your business, but they should also be able to identify areas where you can improve and grow. The role any bookkeeper should play for your business goes beyond just delivering reports and crunching the numbers. They should actively work with you to meet your business goals, as a partner and a trusted advisor.

3. They Don’t Know What They’re Doing

Do you find yourself regularly questioning your bookkeeper’s expertise or noticing mistakes they’ve been making? When you get the feeling that they’re figuring out bookkeeping as they go or putting out fires rather than following a plan, it’s a clear sign you might need to fire your bookkeeper.

Your bookkeeper should not only understand how to actually do their job in the simplest of forms (keeping the books), but they should also understand terms like reconciliation or cash versus accrual. Perhaps your current bookkeeper could manage when things were simple, but now your financial needs have progressed and become more complex as your business has grown.

Beyond just understanding basic bookkeeping, they should also understand your industry, since every industry has its own specific needs. For example, if you’re running a law firm, you need a bookkeeper with experience in trust accounting. Your bookkeeping partner should be able to understand and address the unique needs of your business and industry with ease… whether you’re a start-up, a long-established company, or one looking to sell in the near future.

4. YOU are Your Own Bookkeeper

Sometimes, the worst bookkeeper for your business is yourself! If you’re trying to manage your own books while juggling your other business responsibilities at the same time, it’s a sign you need to turn your finances over to someone else.

Bookkeeping likely isn’t your area of expertise, and while you may know enough to get by or at least get your business up and running, you probably don’t have the time or experience to act as bookkeeper when complications arise and needs evolve.

Don’t take away from what you actually do best. You’re the expert in running your business; now, turn your books over to someone who is an expert in managing them.

Do you recognize any of these signs in your own business? If so, it might be time to fire your bookkeeper and find a partner better qualified to manage your books. Our first recommendation is that you explore the benefits of remote bookkeeping and fully understand your options, including the pros and cons of hiring someone internally or outsourcing this role.

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