My least favorite thing is ‘selling’ my services to potential new clients. It makes me uncomfortable. Then a few years ago, Beth my business coach said, “Linda, why not describe the reasons why someone needs good bookkeeping? Talk about that during your initial meeting.” I was skeptical; I didn’t believe it would work. She encouraged me to try the approach at my next meeting with a potential bookkeeping business client.
Well, I did, and much to my surprise her bookkeeping business advice worked! Not only did that client hire me, but also referred me to two colleagues. The approach I used – and still use – is simply to explain why it is so important to have good records.
Here are nine reasons why it’s important for businesses to have good financial recordkeeping systems. Use one, two or all of them with your next potential new client. Whether your potential client is devising or revising their bookkeeping routine, remind them that the purpose of your bookkeeping business is to help them manage their business tasks.
#1 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Monitor the Financial Success or Failure of Your Business
It’s hard to know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been. The same is true with your business – it’s hard to know how your business is doing without a clear financial picture. A good financial system provides answers to the questions: Am I making money? Are sales increasing? How do expenditures compare to sales?
#2 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Provides the Information You Need to Make Decisions
Evaluating financial consequences should be part of every business decision. Without accurate records and financial information, it’s difficult to forecast the impact of any given course of action. For example, financial information gives insight as to whether or not it pays to hire another salesperson. Accurate records reveal the profitability of any line item.
#3 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Obtain Bank Financing
The best time to seek financing is when you don’t need it. The bank will want to see your income statement, balance sheet and tax returns for the most current and prior years, as well as projected statements showing the impact of the requested loan.
#4 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Obtain Other Sources of Capital
If your business has reached the point where you need to take in a partner or investor, any prospective associate will want to become intimately familiar with your financial picture. Suppliers and other creditors may also ask for certain financial records. The source of this information is based on your day-to-day recordkeeping.
#5 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Prepare a Budget
All businesses should use budgets for planning purposes. Budgets keep businesses on track by forecasting cash needs and controlling expenditures. When companies seek financing, bankers or prospective investors look for budgets as evidence of planning and stability.
#6 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Prepare Your Income Tax Return
No matter what your business entity, you must file an income tax return and pay income taxes. With good records, preparing an accurate tax return will be easier and filing will more likely be done on time. Poor recordkeeping may result in underpayment or overpayment of your taxes. If your CPA prepares your tax return, poor records could result in higher accounting costs.
#7 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Comply with Federal and State Payroll Tax Rules
If you have employees, you are aware of the myriad of rules and regulations relating to payroll taxes. Payroll tax must be deposited according to strict deadlines. Late payments of payroll taxes result in severe penalties, including jail time!
Payroll tax returns must be filed quarterly, and must reconcile with payroll deposits made during the quarter. At year end, you’re required to give employees and the government W-2 forms, which must agree with your quarterly payroll returns. Sound bookkeeping practices, even if you use a payroll processor, will make compliance with payroll rules easy. Poor records will make it impossible.
#8 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Submit Sales Taxes
If you collect sales tax, good records make it easy for you to compute the tax due and prepare the required reports. Sales tax must be deposited according to strict deadlines. Late payment of sales taxes can result in severe and unnecessary penalties and interest.
#9 Reason for Retaining Bookkeeping Services: Distribute Profits
If your business is a partnership, you will need good records to determine the correct amount of profits to distribute to each partner. If you’re operating as a corporation, profits that you’ll be paying out as dividends to the shareholders must be determined.
I encourage you to try this approach. It’s one of the best pieces of bookkeeping business advice that I can pass onto you.