Any successful small business will tell you that effective bookkeeping is a key component of their practice. You may be a business owner with prior bookkeeping experience, but it will still require you to take time out of your already busy day to perform the bookkeeping tasks. This is why you should look for help in keeping your records accurate and complete.
Computer software might be a good option if you are business owner who has undertaken bookkeeping duties in the past. Computer software requires only a one time purchase price and any fees that cover a yearly renewal. These fees include updates that contain the newest version of your program. Even with fees, it is still a cheaper option than hiring a bookkeeping service on a permanent or even temporary basis. You can also save quite a bit of time with online programs that automatically update internet transactions.
It is apparent that bookkeeping software saves your valuable time, but keep in mind that prior experience is a huge help because new programs will take some getting used to. If taking the time to become acquainted with unfamiliar software is not your thing, then it might be the time to hire a bookkeeping service. The people working for these services already have the experience and training necessary for the job at hand, so they can get to work as soon as you hire them.
It is also more comforting for some to be able to talk to another person about the numbers being crunched. Computer programs will of course detect errors, but you will have to figure them out and fix them on your own. This can eat up a huge amount of time, and it might be quicker to speak to someone and discuss a solution.
Whether you decide on bookkeeping software or on a bookkeeping service, they both provide a good amount of flexibility. Computer programs allow you to take a hands-on approach and decide how the books should be handled according to what you wish. You do not need to be present while a bookkeeping service is at work, but you will still be apprised of the situation via reports and talking to someone. Plus, they can be contracted on a regular basis or as you need them. The type of business you perform and how much business you do will determine your course of action.
It really comes down to personal preference when deciding between bookkeeping software and bookkeeping services. You will need to decide how much experience you have, how much control you want to maintain, and how much you want someone else to look at the books. Which of the two saves you the most time and makes you the happiest is the one to choose.