Q: I manage a small firm of four attorneys and am under constant pressure to grow our clientele. Our tax accountant strongly suggested that my firm get help with our books throughout the year by hiring a good bookkeeper. I’m at a loss as to where to start. What do you suggest?
A: Like other small business, small and solo law firms contend with the challenges of having responsibility for all aspects of their organization. They must manage their cases and clients while continually finding ways to bring in new business through marketing and networking. One crucial task that is often overlooked by so many firms is their bookkeeping. If you don’t know how you financials are, you don’t have a complete picture of your business.
As a law firm, it’s important for you to keep track of every financial transaction. You want a system that correctly and methodically logs your activity so that you have a clear picture of your finances at all times. The simple tracking and awareness of where your organization will allow informed decisions to be made in all aspects of your firms functioning, including how many dollars to allocate for promotional efforts.
Solopreneurs and small firm owners can’t do it all. Savvy business owners understand when they need to outsource their work in order to add time and expertise to their team. Hiring a bookkeeper is more involved than hiring someone who is organized, though that is important. Be thorough in your interviews and review the credentials of anyone you’re considering adding to your team.
A mistake I see from business owners is considering bookkeeping to be little more than an administrative task. That means investing little in what may arguably be the most essential part of your business.
So how do you go about hiring a bookkeeper?
It is true in all things in life: You get what you pay for. It’s a bold move to have someone track every financial move of your firm without having any of the credentials. I’m being really nice when I say “bold,” by the way.
My strong suggestion to you is to find someone with some financial education who will have a conversation with you about the systems they may put in place for your business. A great way to start is to ask colleagues for referrals. You can also take advantage of free consultations available through companies like Closing Your Books to get an understanding of your needs and next steps.
Best of luck to you!
Image via Samuel Zeller via Unsplash