Do I still need a bookkeeper if I use cloud accounting?

If cloud accounting helps automate records and file management, why do I still need a bookkeeper or accountant?


This is a common question I’ve heard from people, so I thought I would answer it for everyone. You could compare it to home ownership. Lots of people own a home!


You know how to cut the lawn, trim your hedges maybe or even do some painting around the house. But, without special training, you wouldn’t try to change your HVAC system or your electrical breakers! If you do, it may work once or twice, but you’re going to end up electrocuting yourself (I know my overconfidence has shocked me a few times). You know that there are some things you can do yourself, and for others it really makes sense to bring in a pro.


Sure, in the DIY quest to save money, you could read “{Insert Topic Here} for dummies”, ask your friends, or maybe take a course at your local college but deep down you’ll still feel like you’re out of your comfort zone.


Being a busy business owner and challenging fate with your accounting software is very similar. You can lookup YouTube videos, spend hours on customer support and go through the school of hard knocks. But how far will you go? Do you want to get a 4 year degree, years of experience and get your CPA designation?


What if?! – What if you mess something up? And worse, if you don’t realize you messed something up? You run the risk of incurring serious and hefty penalties (non-deductible penalties!) with CRA. By trying to do things yourself, you run the risk of very costly mistakes that end up being more expensive than it would have been to get the proper help and support.


Time Investment – “Opportunity cost” that’s a mindset and business concept taught in Business Schools everywhere. An hour spent on bookkeeping is an hour less on building and growing your business. What takes you an hour, may take a well-trained bookkeeper only 15 minutes. You’re time is worth more working ON your business, rather than FOR your business!


Unnecessary Stress – OK. So you decided to run the risk of making errors and doing it yourself. You decided to spend those hours learning the software and hours on YouTube video to save a few bucks. But when it comes to it, it still stresses you out, because you know you’re not qualified to do it. You make a small prayer, call your mom and press the button. Later on, you can’t sleep that night and regret your decision. Why would you put yourself through that such stress? Business should be fun! You should feel at Zen with your books.


Complexity – Everyone says that these new cloud accounting software are easy-to-use and beautiful. But on the back-end, these are still very complex software, complex programming architecture and can really create an outstanding turmoil to fix! Trust me, I’ve seen it! Make no mistake, just because a system is beautiful and easy-to-use, doesn’t mean it’s not complicated!


We recommend that business owners take a realistic perspective at their abilities and only do what you have the skills and time to do. Hire a bookkeeper for your regular maintenance and reconciliations, and seek out a good accountant for your year-end taxes. Surrounding yourself with qualified advisers and the proper support team dramatically increases the odds that your business will succeed.


Zenbooks has packages for all levels of business owners, and we don’t see ourselves as typical accountants and bookkeepers! We don’t even do your year-end tax returns, because guess what – we leave those to pros! We focus on your month-to-month bookkeeping and reporting on a on-going basis in order to help your business grow, keep your business on the right track, and let you focus on the finer things in life.


To find out if Zenbooks is the right choice for you, please book a free appointment in my calendar here.

Eric Saumure, CPA, CA, Principal

Eric Saumure, CPA, CA, Principal

Eric is a recognized Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in the province of Ontario.
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