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Would You Let Your Partner do the Bookkeeping?

November 10, 2022

Who Is Currently Performing The Task Of Your Business's Bookkeeping? If ‘The Mrs’ Or ‘My Partner’ Is Your Answer, You Should Keep Reading.

Tradespeople, one-person bands or those operating small businesses tend to have a bad habit of handing over the responsibility of their bookkeeping to their wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend or even their Mum. This is generally not the best idea. Let us tell you why.

THEY LACK THE PROPER SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

Nine times out of ten, your partner is not a fully qualified bookkeeper. If they are AND are willing and eager to take on your business finances, then, by all means, feel free to get them to do the bookkeeping! But if not - get a professional in.

Hiring a professional is not meant to disrespect your partner's work; however, bookkeeping is not an unskilled task that some of us have been led to believe is. Software like Xero makes some tasks much more straightforward, allowing your partner to undertake the fundamentals of bookkeeping such as reconciliation and bill payments. Yet, they may not be aware of the finer details.

The role of a professional bookkeeper is a technical job. One that requires experience to have your numbers dealt with appropriately - so while your partner might be doing the best they can - they are bound to make mistakes. Outsourcing a bookkeeper will allow you to go beyond just keeping your books in check, ensuring potentially costly mistakes are reduced.

THEY ARE MISSING VITAL INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE

Precise financial details can be industry-specific, and if your partner doesn't know the ins and outs of the industry, then they may struggle. Constructing accurate balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, cash flow, and other financial statements and reports can be intricate and complicated.

Outsourcing a professional bookkeeper will allow your business to be taken care of with the ability for them to point you in the right direction to take your business to the next level. While paying the bills on time is excellent, a bookkeeper can advise on the latest developments in the industry and changes to tax laws and ensure your business is compliant and functioning at its best.

IT PAYS NOT TO MIX FAMILY AND BUSINESS

“She’ll be right!” - It’s fine until she’s not. You want to trust your partner to do the right thing and not make mistakes that could cost you, and you probably don’t want to upset them by double-checking their work.

You communicate differently with your partner than you would with an employee, and there are different boundary levels, with decisions being made differently, too. So rather than allowing your partner to do your bookkeeping, outsource a professional and keep your loving relationship intact.

YOU CAN’T FIRE YOUR PARTNER, OR CAN YOU?

As your business grows, your partner’s bookkeeping may become inefficient and problematic. You’re worried they may feel threatened or unwanted if you suggest you want to pay a professional to do the job. Will they be able to relinquish control?

Firing your partner adds emotion to an already tough decision, but communication is vital. You need to explain your business goals - what you want your business to achieve and how outsourcing a bookkeeper will improve your success. This is in your family's best interest. Separating your business and personal life means you have more opportunities to treasure your relationship at home, with less ‘business talk’ taking up conversation topics.

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