Choosing to be an employee or a business owner as a bookkeeper
Choosing to be an employee over a business owner and vice versa can sometimes be a hard decision. However for some, the decision is black and white – and it most often comes down to lifestyle.
For our latest episode of The Bookkeepers Voice, we were very excited to be joined by the Head Senior Bookkeeper and Financial Consultant of Off The Hook Bookkeeping and bookkeeper of The Savvy Bookkeeper, Sharon Smith.
Read ahead as we share all that we learned from Sharon including how she became a bookkeeper and her decision to be an employee, rather than a business owner. We’ll also explore the differences between these two types of ‘employment’ and why someone may choose to pursue one over the other.
Sharon’s Journey – Being an employee
After marriage and having her first child, Sharon began to study accounting and went on to work part time in the accounting field. It was there that she had a great mentor who told her to try out being a professional temp, which would allow her to work in a wide range of industries allowing her to obtain as much experience as possible.
Sharon took his advice and became a temp – gaining experience across a number of industries including hospitality, construction, service and retail. Working across different industries gave Sharon a vast understanding of the different types of accounting reports people use and why businesses need them. She also quickly learnt that many businesses don’t even look at reports and this was simply because they didn't understand what they meant and what they could gain from them.
Sharon’s career led her to working for a financial consultant, where she worked on the accounts of businesses that were failing. It was there that she learned her passion for numbers, analytics, reports and cash flow. This allowed her to educate businesses on what their numbers meant and then help them succeed.
Today, Sharon works for Off The Hook Bookkeeping and The Savvy Bookkeeper which she loves to do from the comfort of her home, working remotely. Deciding to be an employee was an easy choice for Sharon as she enjoys the comfort in knowing how much money is ‘coming into the bank each week’ and exactly when. It’s the guarantee that the ‘bills are always covered’ that gives her peace of mind.
Choosing to be an Employee
An employee is defined as an individual who is hired by an employer to do a specific job.This is in return for wages or salary, especially at non-executive level. When choosing to be an employee, there are a number of benefits that come with this decision.
When you are employed by a business, you are entitled to benefits such as leave entitlements, sick leave and other types of leave which allow you to take time off work when you need to and still be paid – given that you have accrued the leave.
Another clear benefit of being an employee is having consistency of pay. That is, you know exactly what you will earn and when it will hit your bank account. As a part time or full time worker, so long as you are employed and working your usual hours, you will always receive income – no matter what.
A third benefit of being an employee is not having to worry about business related expenses. At the end of the day, your responsibility is to show up to your place of work and do your job. In most cases, if there is something you need to perform your job, the onus is on the business you work for to provide this to you.
Choosing to be a Business Owner
Becoming a business owner isn’t usually a decision that is made lightly. Starting a business is a huge commitment and in many cases, a business owner is someone who has worked as an employee and obtained the experience and knowledge they need to start their own venture.
When it comes to the benefits of being a business owner, there are many. Flexibility of work hours and location is the main benefit that comes to mind for most people. When you own your own business, you get to choose when you work. That being, the days and hours you work. You also get to choose where you work. Depending on the size of the business, you may like to rent a space to run your business out of. For smaller businesses, working from home out of an office is all that is required.
Another obvious benefit is being your own boss – and calling the shots when you want to. When you're employed, work requirements may be thrown at you at the drop of a hat. When you’re your own boss, you know exactly what to expect and when. There are no surprises!
The third and final benefit of being a business owner is the creativity side of things. This is the ability to make the business what you want of it. You set the goals, deadlines and KPI’s. After all, it’s your business, you make it exactly what you want it to be.
The choice is yours
Whether you choose to be an employee or a business owner, it’s safe to say – there are a number of benefits to either option. Not everyone wants to be the busy business owner who needs to be on call seven days a week, however not everyone wants to commute and be working nine to five.
At the end of the day, each and every one of us is different and in most cases, the choice will come down to the lifestyle you want to lead. What is your choice?
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