Tools are useful. Home Depot is full of marvelous instruments that can work wonders in helping you to cut down trees, tend to your garden, or fix that pesky plumbing problem. However, if you put those tools in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the expertise to use them correctly, they can be dangerous. On any given weekend, the ER of any hospital is packed with people bumped and bleeding because they grabbed, say, a chainsaw and got to work with no experience—and odds are the tree and yard sustained some damage, too. Similarly, QuickBooks or whatever small business accounting program you’re using works best when you call upon an experienced person to help you wield it. Sadly, when that pro isn’t plugged into the equation, it can equal disaster for your organization.
Like the headline says, your accounting software isn’t some wizardry. QuickBooks can’t do everything you wish it to just by itself. If a knowledgeable person installs it and sets up the software, it can be used to connect bank accounts directly to a QBO file, invoice customers, keep track of vendor bills, handle payroll and payroll taxes. It also can help create vital financial reports. All of that is useful and necessary for a small business like yours.
However, it requires the intervention of humans—ideally, at least one human with a solid financial background. Without help QuickBooks doesn’t populate itself with any important data. To track and manage your numbers, a small business accounting professional like me has to set up your systems correctly. Proper setup prevents messy problems, often borne from assumptions that when the software tells you it’s ready to go, you can just walk away and everything will work perfectly. One client called MSBP in after their money situation was in absolute chaos. The well-meaning but blissfully ignorant owner informed me that their point of sale system for three restaurants was syncing everything directly into QuickBooks. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t. What took hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to untangle, would have saved a ton of time and money if they’d simply asked me to set it up at the get-go.
Setting up QuickBooks correctly the first time is important. Then, you have to make sure you let an experienced eye peek at your system occasionally. You can do your part by entering your transactions on a regular basis. But can you remember what you had for lunch a week ago today? Then (no big surprise) you won’t be able to remember that $437 check from four months ago.
It’s definitely worth repeating—it’s not an insignificant expense to pay for the software, then sign on with a small business accounting service to help run it for you. However, it saves you from paying much, much more in the long run. And if someone is regularly monitoring your finances, you’ll have all sorts of handy information about what’s happening with your dough. This empowers you to make important decisions while informed, instead of guessing. Big corporations hire experts for tens of thousands of dollars to set up their systems, for very good reason. These experts know all about the products and services involved, and hiring them helps companies focus on building their business. Doing that on a small business scale for your company will help you succeed and grow, too.
To sum up, hiring My Small Business Pro to set up and run your small business accounting software accomplishes a bunch of helpful—and necessary—things. Here’s a partial list:
- Ensures the program is set up correctly, with customizations that fit your organization
- Properly integrates with payroll, POS and other third-party tools
- Assesses the setup to ask the right questions, like “What’s missing?” or “What can we do better?”
- Uncovers opportunities to streamline the process, for better accuracy and efficiency
- Manages transactions for correct accounting
- Reviews financial reports to ensure all data entered is correct and usable
- Checks in regularly to make sure you are informed and that there are no surprises.
Those surprises I mentioned in that last point? They’re rarely good surprises. Instead, they end up being surprises that can hurt your company. What’s more, those surprises can lead to other nastier surprises, like an IRS audit, bigger-than-anticipated tax bill, legal penalties and more. Contact me at Daliah@MySmallBusinessPro.com to get your accounting software in the best shape possible, and leave nothing to chance.