No More Feeling Out of Control (Part 1): When to Seek Accounting Help

The life of a small business owner can be a lonely one, and gaining traction can feel like an uphill battle. You are passionate about your area of expertise – but did you realize that so much of your time would be spent doing things you’re NOT passionate about? This is particularly true with the accounting tasks that every small business owner deals with.

We at Joy Accounting work primarily with construction and trade-based Industries, and we’ve yet to see a contractor who is anxious to get home and process payroll, reconcile bank accounts, and verify data that goes into accounting software.

Additionally, it’s difficult sometimes to know what you, as a small business owner, should take on yourself versus what you should outsource to experts. How can you make that decision and feel good about it?

Let’s review three questions to ask yourself to determine when you should seek help in the accounting sphere.

Are your goalposts visible?

Do you have specific financial goals for your business and a regular cadence to track how you are doing against these goals? If you have goals, are your processes and tactics aligned to those goals? Are there any small tweaks you could make up front that would save you significant money or time down the road?

When we first start working with clients, they often do not have a solid vision in place outlining what success looks like, and they certainly do not have time to track how they are doing or examine how they could put better processes in place. Often it only takes a few small tweaks to completely turn around a small business. Billing is a prime example. Are you having difficulty collecting or even keeping track of the money that is due to you?

Joy Accounting can help you develop a vision for what success looks like, review what’s working and not working with the current processes and technology you are using, develop and implement a plan moving forward, and consistently ensure that you are adhering to your goals. Doesn’t that sound better than trying to do all of this alone?

Do you feel out of control?

Do you feel like you are running around from job to job with very little to show for it? Do you find yourself running out of time for basic things like lunch? Do you worry about your business 24/7? If yes, these are all signs that you could benefit from some outside help. The frenetic nature of the construction industry lends itself to a lot of running around as quickly as possible to meet deadlines and ensure that your projects stay on track – how can you slow down and ensure you are doing the right things?

Joy Accounting can take a lot of the burden off your shoulders by focusing on those things that you don’t have time for. As a small business owner, you then can focus on what you’d like to spend your time doing – ensuring your team is delivering quality work and expanding your business – all without giving up your lunch break.

Does the value you would receive justify the expense of the service?

This question is where the rubber meets the road, and where many small business owners decide not to opt for outside help. As a small business owner, every dollar that comes in is important, and it is critical that you use it wisely. Any investment in outside help needs to yield better results than if you just did everything by yourself.

Additionally, many small business owners have difficulty ‘letting go’ of any area of their business. “Will someone else really understand what I’m trying to accomplish and do it as well as me?” “If I trust someone else how can I be sure they won’t just move on to another job once I’ve trained them?” These questions and more make it difficult to bring an outside resource onboard.

When you think about value, it’s important not just to think about how many dollars are going out to pay for outside help. For instance, Joy Accounting has had clients make tweaks that have resulted in an almost immediate 20% or more increase in profit. Seen in that light, the monthly fee for bringing in help is well worth it.

In Conclusion

Deciding you need accounting help is one thing, but understanding what kind of help you need is another. The second part of this blog series will focus on that tricky question – what kind of accounting help do you need? In that post we’ll also define what kind of help we can offer, and you might be surprised that an accounting firm can help with so many different aspects of the business!

About Nate Joy

Nate is the Co-founder and Owner along with his wife Terra. Nate joined the team full-time in Spring 2017 with 10+ years of Project Management/Business Analysis experience. He works with clients on process improvement and software implementation.

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