I hear so many self-employed business owners like truckers and logistics teams say they wish they hired a bookkeeper sooner than they actually did. I’m curious to know what exactly a bookkeeper does and whether I should hire one or continue to manage my books myself. Basically, my DIY system for the past few years is this: every 1st of the month, I tally up all of my revenue and expenses, record them in a spreadsheet. I use this to figure out my profit and amount to pay in quarterly estimated taxes. I have my accountant handle filing my (my family’s) annual tax return. As my business is beginning to grow and become more complicated.

I’m starting to think its time to hire a bookkeeper. The questions I have are:




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1. What are the tasks that a bookkeeper performs, and how often?

They can take care of payroll, gov’t remittances, year-end payroll forms, all your monthly transactions, budgets, pay bills and really anything relating to ongoing financial or even some admin type tasks. How often depends on how many transactions you have, but the norm is at least monthly, if not weekly. They can come in for an hour or two each week to record transactions, discuss any items with you, etc.

2. What are the benefits of having a bookkeeper vs managing it yourself?

The main benefit to hiring a bookkeeper is that it frees you up to concentrate on your business. It shouldn’t cost too much to hire a bookkeeper, and they are very efficient, often completing the tasks in half the time. This is their job and they do it day in and day out, so become very good at it. Also, they have multiple clients so can provide assistance with the best pricing on items that may be common to their clients; banking, insurance, etc.

3. How does one get started working with a bookkeeper?

There are many other great bookkeepers in El Paso. You can try asking other business owners whom they use, or ask your yearly accountant to recommend someone. Some jurisdictions also have bookkeeper certifications, so you can contact the local association for a list.

You can usually start with a contractor, and as you grow eventually bring someone in the house. Meet with at least 3 and ask how they would manage your books and have a relationship with you. It is important for you to still be on top of key items such as cash balances and expenditures vs budget, which they can provide to you regularly. Just find a system that works.

4. Is a bookkeeper and CPA the same thing? Should I have one bookkeeper for my business (LLC) and separately an accountant who handles my family’s annual tax return? What’s a typical approach here?

Bookkeepers and CPA are not the same. Bookkeepers focus on daily/weekly/monthly tasks, providing information but not any opinions. A CPA has a higher level of expertise, having completed additional certifications. They provide advice and other analysis, including certified year-end financial statement preparation, tax returns and dealing with the IRS or CRA.



When Conspire! of El Paso opened their doors as a franchisee of a larger national drug testing laboratory chain services, they were mandated to select a bookkeeper who knew and understood payroll, business cycles, and national regulations. A bookkeeper for your business needs to be as professional as an accountant would be or more because they handle your day to day right by your side.



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 5. What are the going rates for a US-based bookkeeper for a small LLC?

It varies by jurisdiction, take a look at us for example, because we live in a border city with many backgrounds and perceptions I particularly understand the sentiment towards a seemingly higher price. So what we do at Blue Pearl Bookkeeping is actually try to offer the lowest rate possible to us and compared to others in the city. We are working really hard to be to go to bookkeeping service for all small and new businesses here in El Paso. So our prices reflect that goal of mine. I want to help those who take the leap, walk the plank, and even graduate from UTEP or the HUB with a business started and risk is taken – by helping them with a very affordable bookkeeping service.

With that said, I do want to say that if you aren’t ready to outsource your bookkeeping to someone like me or my team, you definitely should at least outsource your payroll. This has a lot more moving pieces and consequences than more realize and thus should be threaded carefully. I recommend outsourcing that at a very minimum.


If you would like a free consultation, where I can better explain to you what you can be doing, what software tools you could be using, or give you any tips on your current practice – just send me an email directly to tax@bluepearltax.com.