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Bookkeeping: Can anyone do it?

November 27, 2017


Bookkeeping: Can anyone do it?

Bookkeeping is not magic, but it is a skill and hiring a good bookkeeper can actually get the work done right – maybe even while you sleep.

As we have been looking back over the last half century for Davis Martindale’s 50th anniversary, it has become obvious that the world and business has changed dramatically over that time. Large industry and corporations began to make way for the innovation of entrepreneurs. With the advances in technology, communication and transportation, any company, large or small, can now be an international powerhouse. These same changes in technology allow fewer people to generate the same results. Before computers, it could take a room full of accounting clerks, each specializing in one part of the accounting process, to record the transactions of a large corporation. As entrepreneurial ventures increased, they still needed people to take care of their books, but did not require separate people for each process. Consequently, the bookkeeper was born – one person to keep track of all the financial transactions of the small business.

However, business and technology have continued to develop rapidly, transforming the way people track their financial information. True double entry manual ledgers are a thing of the past – today, almost all transactions can be downloaded from banking sites into various online or desktop programs, making bookkeepers no longer necessary. Now anyone with a computer or smart phone can track the finances of their business, even if they have no accounting or bookkeeping training. Or so the creators of these programs would like us to think:

QuickBooks Online – “Connect your accounts, and your transactions are categorized for you.”

Wave – “Eliminate manual data entry, stop worrying about missing transactions, and be ready for tax time without stress.”

Xero – “Xero takes laborious tasks and turns them into beautiful experiences, done at the click of a button or even while users sleep (it really is magic).

Unfortunately, this belief has caused countless people a lot of time, money and stress. When you rely on a tool to do the work for you, how can you be sure of the result? You could rent a backhoe to dig a hole next to your house because you want to put in a new sunroom, even if you have no experience or training with operating a backhoe. The backhoe will dig the hole for you! It will take no time at all! You could probably figure it out and get a hole dug, but what would be the outcome be? The job done but leaving a mess in the yard? Hitting the original foundation of the house, causing thousands of dollars in damage? Having to pay someone to come out and not only dig the hole, but fix the problems you caused? Maybe, even though it would cost more initially, it would be wise to hire a backhoe operator, who knows how to operate the machine and has the experience to work precisely and quickly. Overall, the cost would probably be less than fixing the mistakes you made while trying to do it yourself.

Bookkeeping is not magic, but it is a skill and hiring a good bookkeeper can actually get the work done right – maybe even while you sleep. If you need a skilled operator to clean up the mess in your backyard, would like training on how to operate your own financial tools or have any questions at all about bookkeeping, please contact the team at Davis Martindale. We’d love to help you build your financial foundation.