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Why Your Business (Probably) Does Not Value Bookkeeping

I see this all the time. Whether it’s on Craigslist, CareerBuilder, or Monster, businesses are seeking experienced bookkeepers.

The ads often ask that the applicant have 5 to 10 years work experience, with industry specific bookkeeping knowledge, and a willingness to take on non-bookkeeping projects. Experience using QuickBooks is also a must, with an unspoken preference for a ProAdvisor.

Compensation: $15 per hour. …maybe $20 per hour for the super-human candidate.

Using the image above, at $15 per hour, 6 hours per day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks in a year, the potential employee is expected to earn $23,400 annually.

The federal poverty level, for a family of four is $22,350 (based on US 2015 statistics).

Now, I am not here to discuss the fairness of wages in terms of one being able to put food on the table. However, I am puzzled as to why bookkeeping, which is a business necessity, is under-valued.

At least to me it is, based on the numbers above.

It doesn’t help that QuickBooks, Xero, and the rest offer user-friendly, low cost cloud-based accounting software. For as low as $9.99 per month, apparently anyone can do the bookkeeping,

Respond to the few questions asked by the software and voila, there’s your chart of accounts. Click a few things and your items are reconciled. Well, that’s easy!

Not so fast.

When you started your business, you didn’t just answer a few questions within a program and call it a day. You didn’t just click the mouse a few times, dust your hands off, and walk away from your Mac or PC.

You did research. You brainstormed. You sought the advice of your business partner, friends, family, mentors, lawyer, and more. You made several phone calls to prospects and spent hours on platforms such as LinkedIn. You went to endless networking events, attended conferences, and probably gave public talks to educate others about your business.

Starting your business took a lot of work! Your business’ financial picture is a reflection of that hard work. Therefore, do not devalue it by paying someone poverty level wages to accurately account for your hard work.

I truly believe that you pay for what you get. I’m not telling you, as the business owner, to pay your bookkeeper or accountant several million dollars or your first-born child. However, I will tell you that I have been contacted numerous times to clean up the work done by the $15 per hour bookkeeper.

This post is just the beginning of a few on the subject of the $15 per hour bookkeeper. I intend to get very clear with all of you about this.

Oh, and QuickBooks and Xero, I still love you all! No hard feelings, right?

Stay tuned!

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