Should you do your own accounting or not?

Kalkulator, som illustrasjon til bloggpost om å føre regnskapet selv.

I tried to do my own accounting in my first business at the end of the 1990s.

This wasn’t a smart move. The accounting software came on a floppy disc, and after installing it to my PC, I spent almost all of my time for the next few weeks trying to learn the system.

It didn’t go very well. I don’t quite remember what made me go back to using an accountant, but I did.

Easier today

Today it is considerably easier to do the accounting yourself, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody can or should do it.

I do the accounting for all of the four businesses that I am involved with. That being said, I am above average interested in numbers and calculations.

What’s quite clear is that you are responsible for following up accounting and book-keeping, no matter how small your business is. Here is something to think about:

Pros of doing your own accounting:

  • A great extent of overview and control.
  • It’s a learning experience.
  • For some, it’s directly interesting.

Cons of doing the book-keeping yourself:

  • You need to stay updated, even though more and more are getting automatised and easier.
  • If the business grows, and you have mixed turnover (with and without VAT), the accounting becomes more complicated and difficult.
  • You spend a lot of time that you could spend on the core business.
  • You can be looked at with scepticism from the equation government.

Three alternatives

One of them doesn’t necessarily exclude the other. You can combine doing some of it yourself, and leaving the most difficult parts to an authorized accountant that knows the system that you use.

You can choose between these three alternatives:

  1. Do the accounting yourself, which you have full rights to do.
  2. Engage an authorized accountant to do the whole job,
  3. Do the main part yourself, and buy help from an accountant for parts of the job.

If you choose to do the accounting yourself, it almost a given today that you use an online accounting service. There are eventually many alternatives to choose from, and a bigger degree of automatisation make them easier to use, even for non-economists.

I myself use Fiken for my accounting, which works well for me.

Introduction to Fiken

There are many different accounting services and programmes. Us in Miniforetak are partnered with Fiken, because they are targeted at the same target group as ours: The smallest businesses.

Here is more about Fiken. (Affiliated.)

Using an accountant

Even if you choose to use an accountant, you still can’t rid yourself of all of the responsibility. Make sure you get an agreement with the accountant on which tasks are to be done by whom.

The main point is that you have control over your responsibilities, which normally, at the minimum, is to receive and collect the appendixes. Have routines to do this immediately, and collect the appendixes in a good digital folder system (or in a physical folder if you haven’t gone paper free yet).

Also check out the recording of our live stream on Facebook, on whether or not to do your own accounting (in Norwegian).

Opprett konto her – og få en kortfattet sammenligning av enkeltpersonforetak og aksjeselskap.

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