Ongoing bookkeeping vs clean-up/catch-up once per year

ongoing bookkeeping

You had a nagging suspicion for a while that something was wrong with your books. You were losing sleep and wasting hours trying to fix a problem that you didn’t even understand. Finally, you turned to a bookkeeper for help. They identified where you had gone wrong, cleaned up the mess, and presented you with a sparkling set of books. 

Now, you’re wondering if you really need ongoing bookkeeping from them. You’re thinking, “I can handle things by myself from here.” Worst case scenario, your books get messed up and you come back to get them cleaned up again. 

But this decision could have costly consequences for your business. 

At Beyond, we don’t provide  accounting services on demand

Most of our clients come to us with messy books. We conduct a check-up of over 60 items in their accounting file to identify exactly if and where things have gone wrong and then proceed to the clean up stage to get everything fixed. 

The next step is to  work with us with ongoing services. If you decide that’s not the path you want to take, we completely understand, but we won’t clean your books up again the following year. This is not only for our benefit, but for yours.

Here are three reasons why cleaning up your books occasionally or just once a year doesn’t work: 

You’ll spend more money cleaning up a mess than keeping things clean year round 

You might think that paying for a one-time cleanup  each year will be cheaper for you than ongoing maintenance. In fact, a cleanup could end up costing you more money. 

Cleaning up a year of messy and inaccurate bookkeeping is a big undertaking, and our pricing varies depending on a number of factors, like: 

  • How many months or years need to be cleaned up
  • If your bank and credit card account balances agree with your statements
  • If you have transactions that are missing
  • If your payroll expenses agree with your filed payroll tax returns
  • If your records agree with your last filed tax return

Depending on just how much data is missing or inaccurate, the price for a single clean up could actually be more than the cost of ongoing bookkeeping. And, if you’re not able to keep your books in check for the next 12 months, you’ll go through the same exact thing next year. That’s a no win situation for everyone.

You won’t have the information you need 

Having good bookkeeping isn’t just about staying compliant with the IRS or keeping on top of your bills. At Beyond, we schedule regular meetings with all our clients to discuss their reports  and their business. This not only helps us keep everything on track, but allows us to work through problem areas and identify opportunities. 

To take advantage of government aid you need up-to-date books. A recent example, if you were relying on an annual cleanup, you wouldn’t have been able to provide the required information to apply for a PPP loan or ERC tax credits. 

With accurate data year round, you have the full picture of how your business is doing. You can make key decisions to maintain stability and stimulate growth. But, if you only have your books cleaned or caught up once a year, you may not be aware of an issue in your business until it’s too late. 

You’ll lose valuable time that could be spent building your business 

There is nothing more time-consuming or stressful than that year end scramble to get all your records in order for taxes. It’s especially frustrating if you spent hour after hour the past year trying to keep your books in order yourself, or if you find yourself working evenings or weekends at every month-end to work through a long to-do list with your bookkeeping. 

You’re not an accountant. You started your business so you could do the things your best at and build something you’re proud of. Every hour spent trying to untangle data in your accounting system is an hour that could’ve gone towards the parts of your business you’re most passionate about. 

Ongoing bookkeeping is an investment that will pay for itself time and time again in all the benefits it brings to your business. Ready to get started? Get in touch with us today.