My office admin has free time. Will I save money by having them trained to do my bookkeeping?

By PRETTY BOOKS ON January 2, 2023
DEAR ABACUS is an advice column where local bean counter Abacus the Accountant answers your small business accounting questions.   Hi, I'm Abacus the Accountant, your local bean counter and small business management whiz. In this series, I'll use my accounting know-how to answer real questions you have about running your small business, from how to price new products to hiring employees and more. Got a question? Email me:, subject line "Dear Abacus."

Dear Abacus,

I have an amazing admin who gets stuff done so fast that she has a little bit of free time. I’m thinking of having her trained in bookkeeping so I can save some money on outsourcing my accounting. Is that a good idea?

Thanks a lot,

Envisioning Efficiency



Dear Efficiency,

It is always good to have effective help and to save on costs. But you have to remember that admin and bookkeeping work are very different. Before you start training your admin, you need to understand what exactly you are going to ask her to do.

Accounting can be complex. It is very situational work, and some situations require you to have a foundational understanding of the field. There won’t be a blueprint of exactly what to do in each situation, so if she isn’t a trained accountant she might be left in the dark when an unusual situation arises.

Accounting isn’t something you can master during a three-hour course. It takes years to grasp some of the more complex work. While she may be trained on data entry and simple bookkeeping, there is no guarantee that she will be able to meet all of your company’s bookkeeping needs. Even if you hire the best, most expensive trainer in town to spend months with her, that doesn’t guarantee that your admin will be able to effectively and accurately do the bookkeeping.

Before you make a decision, you need to make sure that the money you’ll save on outsourcing to an accounting team is worth the cost of potentially subpar bookkeeping. Segment out the work you want done and identify your standards. Make sure to build in a budget for review, as it’s likely that your admin won’t be able to recognize her own errors. If the costs look like they will outweigh the benefits, you might want to reach out to your CPA or another accountant for bookkeeping help.

Good luck,

Abacus the Accountant

Share this article

The information provided in this post is for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Consult your financial, business, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Pretty Books assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon this information.
Sign up for our newsletter.