The Need for Household Accounting
By CANNON SAYERS
Household accounting, or bookkeeping, is a service provided to people who may be in need of getting an understanding (and control of) their household expenses, consumer debt planning, reconciliation of various household accounts or are in general need of financial advice. For people that may have complex household financial situations, or do not have time to get a grasp of where there income is coming from (or going!), household accounting could be very beneficial.
Household accounting can be overwhelming. But neglecting it can cost you financially and cause unnecessary stress. A professional bookkeeper won’t take for granted that a client will invite them into their home and entrust them with personal financial information, and decisions. Ultimately, a bookkeeper’s goal is take the stress out of household accounting and provide peace of mind.
The services that a household accounting professional can provide include, but are not limited to:
- The assurance that all bills are accounted for and paid in a timely manner. This includes a review of the bills for any inconsistency or mistakes. They will make sure all bills have arrived and call to request any expected bills if they do not arrive on time. All supporting documents are organized and filed correctly for accurate record keeping. A review of bank and credit card statements is continually done to monitor for any unusual activity.
- The ability to use software packages to enhance efficiencies. If people are using accounting software such as Quicken or Mint, a household accounting professional will most likely be proficient (indeed, an expert) in these software packages. Inevitably, this means taking care of importing and coding of all transactions. This information can help track budgets and produce helpful reports. With this information your bookkeeper can help you answer such questions as, “How am I spending my money?” and “Could I be saving and investing more?”
- Tax return preparedness. This is a service that most bookkeepers will readily offer. Since they are already in a position to carefully track expenses and provide document organization throughout the year, the process of gathering information for tax returns can be seamless.
- Advisory services. As people grow older, their needs may change and they may need to rely on a seasoned professional for household accounting advice. For instance, they might need to change insurance plans or take an additional plan to meet their current needs and anticipate what they will need in the coming years.
Some people can and will handle their own expenses in a completely satisfactory way. But for others, household accounting is a service that meshes expertly with a person’s other decision makers, namely their accountant, wealth manager, and attorney to form a cohesive team.
Cannon Sayers is the founder of BBW Bookkeeping, a bookkeeping firm in metro Atlanta. Please contact her at (404) 808-1134 or [email protected] if you have further questions!