You went into the interior design business to create beautiful spaces. And now that your business is growing, you’re likely finding that your time is getting harder and harder to find. It’s difficult to want to take time away from clients to spend on tedious bookkeeping, so you put it off.
But that’s a dangerous game you don’t want to play. If you don’t give your finances the proper time and effort, you risk overdrawing your bank account, missing important deadlines, failing to invoice your clients or accidentally making huge mistakes on your taxes.
In addition, when you don’t keep up with your regular bookkeeping, you don’t have the information you need to make important financial decisions. This leaves you no choice but to fly by the seat of your pants.
If you’re running into any of these issues, it might be time to find a bookkeeper.
What’s the role of a bookkeeper?
A bookkeeper is a person who helps with your day-to-day accounting needs.
Their responsibilities can include paying bills, sending invoices, collecting payments, and managing the multitude of transactions in your QuickBooks or other accounting software, plus reconciling every month. They can help you prepare the necessary paperwork for your taxes, but a bookkeeper is not an accountant and typically can’t provide a broader tax strategy or investment strategy.
How is a bookkeeper different from an accountant?
A bookkeeper helps you manage the small, daily tasks that, well, keep your books up-to-date. An accountant is there for the higher-level strategy for your taxes, investments, and financial decision-making. The accountant has the information they need to provide this higher-level strategy because the bookkeeper is maintaining an up-to-date picture of the financials on a regular basis. Read more on the distinctions between bookkeeping and accounting.
How do you find an interior design bookkeeper?
A bookkeeper could come in as an outsourced solution to help fill in gaps, or they could join your team as an employee. Talking with a bookkeeper directly about your unique needs and vision for the role will help you and the bookkeeper discern which path is best for you and your business.
As an interior designer, you know that the financial aspect of your business is complex. Your clients pay you in large sums which includes payment for furnishings and accessories. Not all of the money is for you, and you’re expected to be a steward of that money on behalf of your client. But you also want to make sure that you get paid appropriately for the work you’re doing, not spending everything on their furniture budget, for example.
This nuance is unique to the interior design industry, so when you’re in the process of selecting a bookkeeper for your interior design business, you’ll want to make sure the person is familiar and aware of the distinctions your unique situation brings.
A bookkeeper can also advise you on how to best use credit cards for your interior design business. Since you’ll likely be purchasing most of the furniture on your client’s behalf using a credit card, a bookkeeper can guide you on what small business credit card option would be best for you and help reconcile your statements.
A bookkeeper can also advise you on the benefits and downsides of accepting credit card payments from clients.
When we work with interior design clients, we have found that incorporating the Profit First method is extremely valuable in helping an interior designer succeed financially. By utilizing multiple bank accounts, the interior designer is able to keep all of the money organized and allocated correctly. She will know what money is hers and what money she’s reserving to pay vendors for the client’s project. There’s no confusion.
If you’re pulling your hair out with the complexities of bookkeeping for your interior design business, we invite you to schedule a call today. We’d love to help you untangle the complexity of your business.