After countless conversations in the Shopkeeper’s Lab and Master Shopkeepers, I’m ready to say it: you need a bookkeeper in your independent retail business.
That doesn’t mean that YOU can’t be the bookkeeper—I was my own bookkeeper for eight years of my business. My bookkeeping wasn’t perfect, but it got the job done.
But not every retail business owner knows how to keep their books or even wants to learn how. I might geek out on bookkeeping, but not everyone enjoys it.
Whether you hire a bookkeeper or learn to do it yourself is up to you. If you choose to hire a local bookkeeper, you can expect to pay between $175 and $300 each month.
Or, you can use an online bookkeeping service. I love Bench, which starts at $249 per month on an annual plan. You can get started with a free trial month of Bench and get 30% off your next three months here*.
Here are five reasons why you need a bookkeeper got your independent retail business.
#1. Hiring a Bookkeeper Takes One Thing Off Your Plate
We didn’t open our stores or launch our online shops so we could spend hours bookkeeping.
I’m mainly speaking to you if you do it and hate it. If this isn’t your zone of genius, why not hand it off and get one thing off your plate? And an essential one at that!
#2. Bookkeepers Help You Prepare for Tax Season Better
I can’t tell you how many shopkeepers I’ve talked to who have said that tax season is highly stressful. Their stomach is in knots from February to April!
They are trying to clean up spreadsheets, organize and find receipts, answer questions, and fill gaps of time without any financial information for their business.
When you work with a bookkeeper, particularly one that reconciles your information every month or every quarter, this is done for you. And if you have a great bookkeeper, you get year-end reports that you can simply take to your tax accountant. How incredible would that be?
#3. You Can Apply for Funding to Grow With Properly Managed Books
Many shopkeepers who want to grow haven’t considered their books. If you want to apply for funding to grow your business through expansion or a second location, your financial reports have to be legitimate.
You have to prove that you are handling your business like a boss and are prepared to grow! Your aspirations and goals have to be backed up by your books, especially when dealing with financial institutions.
#4. Having Your Books in Order Lowers Your Stress Level
This might seem obvious, but having a bookkeeper managing your financial records is a massive weight off your shoulders.
With a bookkeeper, you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. You know that your taxes will be smooth sailing, and you can talk to your bank with confidence. Just imagining those feelings should be some instant stress relief.
#5. A Bookkeeper Helps You Understand Your Business
Most shopkeepers want to understand the financials of their businesses, but they’re afraid of it. So they have their husband handle it, or they just ignore it altogether!
It’s YOUR business. You need to be the boss and know your numbers. A bookkeeper can help you do that.
Savvy Shopkeeper Resources that Can Help
Episode 2 is about paying yourself. It gets a ton of engagement, and I hear so much feedback about it, so if you haven’t listened, listen!
The Retail CEO challenge episodes (55-59): that series and that challenge struck a chord with MANY of you. Not only did you sign up for the challenge, but after it closed, I continued to receive requests to bring it back.
The Challenge was designed to help you document and track some of the critical numbers in your business, understand them a bit more, and where you can improve with systems and processes. Many of you found this one helpful.
Then I created the Work Less, Profit More, and GROW Coaching Program.
This program addresses three areas where many of you want more help: time management, understanding your financials, and how to grow more.
So I see you, I hear you. You all want more for your businesses, and I love it! But the feedback I received about the program was the lack of bookkeeping information is what kept you from signing up. Hearing that is what inspired me to share why you need a bookkeeper.
Understanding Your Books is Empowering
I’ll finish this up with some feedback from a member of the Savvy Shopkeeper community. She said the following:
“PSA …..when Kathy Cruz and others say you have to know your numbers… they couldn’t be more right! I have spent all weekend understanding and compiling my first REAL (like with real numbers) quarter P&L and Balance sheet! WOW!
I always thought I knew my numbers… we sold xxx in quarter one, and I have xxx in the bank; we must be doing great. Let’s just say that now that I have all accounting completely up to date, we are rethinking A LOT!”
If you aren’t doing the bookkeeping yourself or haven’t hired a bookkeeper, but you want to be the retail boss I so often talk about? It’s time. Hire a bookkeeper or learn this vital skill ASAP.
*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links or referral codes, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link or using the code. I make recommendations because I genuinely believe they are useful to shopkeepers. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
- Join the Shopkeepers Lab
- Apply for a spot in Master Shopkeepers
- Get a free trial month & 30% off your next three months of bookkeeping with Bench
- Episode 2: How Much Do I Need to Make in Sales in Order to Pay Myself?
- The Retail CEO challenge episodes
- Podcast Sponsor: Honeycomb Credit
- [05:25] #1. Hiring a Bookkeeper Takes One Thing Off Your Plate
- [06:05] #2. Bookkeepers Help You Prepare for Tax Season Better
- [07:31] #3. You Can Apply for Funding to Grow With Properly Managed Books
- [08:32] #4. Having Your Books in Order Lowers Your Stress Level
- [09:05] #5. A Bookkeeper Helps You Understand Your Business
- [10:01] Savvy Shopkeeper Resources that Can Help
- [14:01] Understanding Your Books is Empowering