My mom (2nd from the left) and her co-workers at the Royal Bank of Canada in Port Hawkesbury, NS.
Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, my mother used to work for the Royal Bank of Canada. She was a teller and handled money everyday. Over the years she always did her own taxes and often did taxes for friends. She carefully budgeted our family finances on a modest single income, putting her three boys in ice hockey, baseball, tennis, and swimming lessons while still managing to renovate our home countless times. Once us kids were all grown up, she took a job as night auditor at a nearby resort and worked there for a few years. When my business partner Pierre was looking to offload our business’ book keeping, my mom was an obvious choice.
And now with my latest business, I’ve hired my mom again. This time my finances are intertwined between my personal and business accounts. So I just gave my mom access to everything. Personal and business bank accounts, email accounts, everything she needs to update my books. There’s very rarely anything she needs that she has to ask me for. Which means everything just gets done, freeing me up to do other things. I don’t have to touch QuickBooks unless I want to see a report.
When you’re a one person company you must outsource. You just can’t do everything yourself forever. As the company grows you’re going to need help. But don’t just take my word for it, read my friend John Turner’s recent blog post and listen to the most recent episode of Startups for the Rest of Us.
One of the first things you should outsource is bookkeeping. I can’t think of a single reason you should be doing this yourself. But how do you outsource something as sensitive as financials? You need someone you can trust and is good with finances.
Now, I don’t suggest that everyone goes out and hires a parent to do their books. Maybe your parents aren’t good with money. Maybe they’re not even that trustworthy when it comes to money. Maybe you’re not comfortable letting them see your finances. If that’s the case, then it might be a little harder for you to find someone to keep your books.
Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s a long time friend. As long as they’re good with money, you trust them, you don’t mind them seeing your finances, and they have the time, it’s at least worth a try. If you don’t have a personal connection that fits, it does get harder to find someone you trust. I’d suggest asking people you trust for recommendations as a next step. Regardless of how hard it is, you should definitely find a book keeper. It will save you a lot of time.