Just Saying

The Dangers of DIY Bookkeeping


Have you ever done a Do it Yourself project?

You want to save a little money so you change a light fixture, build a mailbox, try to replace the dishwasher, etc., etc.

How’d you do?

Did you nail it?

Maybe it wasn't perfect but it will work.

Or did you have to call a professional to come and fix the problem you made worse?

As a bookkeeper for the past 20 something years I’ve seen a lot of DIY bookkeeping. Not all of it pretty. Just about all of it could be blamed on the awesome tool called “Intuit QuickBooks”.

The bright shiny boxes beckoning you with words like, get organized, easy, save time, it’s simple.
Oh, and the technology of QuickBooks Online is fascinating. Sync to this. Download that. Easy peasy. What they don't tell you is that all those great connections have to be mapped to the proper account. Tools are just that, "tools". Unless you know how to use them correctly, they can really mess up your project.

Just last week I was speaking with a brand-new business owner. She had just signed up for On Line QuickBooks and was so excited that it was only $10 a month. Great, I said, "Have you gotten started with it? Her answer was “No, I haven’t a clue and no time.” The very next thing she said was that she had no experience with bookkeeping or running a business.

Unfortunately those things you can’t get from that shiny box or the $10 a month subscription to QuickBooks®. You get that from a professional bookkeeper, coach, mentor or maybe taking a class. You could just start with the bare minimum like reading instructions or watching a tutorial. But I've seen very few new business owners that will take the time to take a class. They are too busy working on the business.

Nope, they just load up the QuickBooks® and figure it out as they go. They've got to get the invoices out. Nothing else matters. The top 5 mistakes made will be my next blog post but for now let’s just say they normally make a mess of things. What's worse is they don’t even know that they are making a mess. They continue doing what looks right. Creating and e-mailing invoices. Entering the payment direct into the bank or syncing their QuickBooks with the bank to download transactions.

Wondering all the while what that word reconcile means. Until tax time or when someone wants to see a financial report (by tomorrow).

Then those simple, easy reports that are supposed to happen when you "click here", just don’t look quite right. That’s the time they start to look for a professional to assist and guess what? That professional is not $10 a month. They are not even $10 an hour. If they are, please run the other direction. Pretty please.

What if that business owner could spend less than $100 a month for the QuickBooks software, remote access, a connection to a bookkeeper for questions, and advice from a CPA and CFO?

What if they could just pick up the phone or send a quick e-mail to get answers to all those questions that keep popping into their head? Questions about creating, growing and running their business. At no extra charge.

How much is your time worth? How much is your business worth? What if you could do it faster, better and smarter than your competition?

What if your DIY had a little help before the mistakes happen instead of after? Pay the small price to do it right first or pay the bigger price to hire a professional to fix it.

Just saying.