The pros and cons of DIYing your small business accounts

The pros and cons of DIYing your small business accounts

Every small business person has this dilemma. Do the books yourself? Or contract a professional Bookkeeper? Not a part-time employee – a professional contractor. Lisa Martin from multi award-winning bookkeeping practice, GoFi8ure, examines the pros and cons of the DIY approach versus the professional contractor approach.




Pro: It’s cheaper. You don’t have to pay anyone. You do it yourself – often at night or on the weekends, but hey … at least it’s cheaper.

Pro: You can lodge and file the numbers and the paperwork any which way you want ‘em. Where they make sense to you and where (hopefully) you can find ‘em again (and – hopefully – understand ‘em).

Pro: You’re the boss. You need to know what’s going on. You need to be in control of every facet of the business (despite the fact you’re not quite sure what those complex new tax rules mean and how they affect you, but you’ll wing it. How bad can it be?!).

Con: If you’re like most small business people, doing the books is probably not your best skillset. Otherwise you’d be an accountant, right? So it’s likely you will probably a) put off doing the books, b) make a mistake in the books c) fail to file all the necessary paperwork with the proper authorities and d) mess up the management of your business finances.

Con: You risk a call from the IRD. Because you are not an expert and because managing your business’s financial affairs requires an expert, you could well end up falling foul of Inland Revenue because you got things wrong, or didn’t do what you were supposed to do, when you were supposed to do it. All of which gets the Inland Revenue interested in you and that can cost you plenty, both in terms of hard cash and your stress levels. Have you heard those radio ads where a tax debt broker offers their services to help companies just like yours extricate themselves from under a mountain of debt they owe to the IRD? Those companies probably got into that unenviable position because they didn’t contract in a professional Bookkeeper. Don’t make the same mistake.

Con: It takes time you’d probably rather spend fishing or golfing or doing anything other than entering and filing receipts and calculating GST. How much is your time worth? What’s your mental health worth?

Con: You are not growing your business. Because you’re head down over the books, you are not out there doing the business, marketing the business and making money. You’re in here with your calculator and a complicated excel spreadsheet that’s probably driving you mad! Your call.

Con: You are not managing your money and using it as wisely as you could do. Again, you’re not an expert at that – otherwise you’d be a banker, right? But professional, contract Bookkeepers are experts at it and they can both save you money and make you money by advising you how to manage your company’s money.

Con: You’re probably causing yourself stress and sleepless nights. Yes, you’re saving money by DIYing it (but you’re not making money because you’re doing the books when you should be doing the business), but you’re probably giving yourself a headache you don’t need. And if you’re under business stress how does that affect your family?

So, bottom line, as we Bookkeepers like to say, is – yes, you could DIY your company’s financial management, but why would you if you are serious about growing your business and making money?

Smart business people know when and where to invest to grow their business. The question is: Are you a smart business person, or do you believe you can DIY every job (and end up doing none of them well?). Your call. GoFi8ure provides peace of mind with premium bookkeeping and accountancy solutions. It’s efficient, economical and mobile service is perfect for small and medium sized businesses in the Wellington, Hutt Valley, Auckland and Christchurch regions. GoFi8ure can help with everything from a bank or GST reconciliation to management accounting, payroll and reporting for a business as big as 30 staff.