Where Did Your Bookkeeper Go? Here’s Why They’re MIA
As a small business owner, you’ve done the smart thing and hired a bookkeeper to keep on top of your financial records. But one day, he just… disappears. What happened? (It wasn’t us. We have alibis.)
You want to focus on growing your small business, not waste your time on taxes. So you hire Bob the bookkeeper. At first, he’s great: he helps you with your quarterlies and even shows you how to organize your paperwork.
Then, one day, Bob falls off the face of the earth.
You email, you call, you text. Nothing. You email again, send a letter, release your carrier pigeon. Still—no answer. Those taxes are staring at you like some kind of wild animal, and you’re stuck playing “Where’s Waldo” with your bookkeeper.
Where’s Bob? Truthfully, he’s either dead (not likely) or ignoring you (bingo).
Why would your bookkeeper ignore you? Don’t they want your business? Well, not always. Sometimes your bookkeeper goes MIA on purpose, and here are five reasons why.
Your bookkeeper is ill or has some serious stuff happening.
Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt: your bookkeeper is ill, or they’re taking care of someone who’s sick. They may have caught the flu or had a life-threatening emergency that set them back at work. If your bookkeeper has social media, check their statuses to see if they mention any hospitalization or illnesses. Otherwise, just be patient.
They’re crazy busy.
Probably the most common explanation is your bookkeeper bit off more than they could chew. This happens a lot with inexperienced bookkeepers: without understanding their limitations, they build an enormous book of business, then go missing under crunch time. If it’s tax season, or if you partner with an amateur, it’s likely they’re way over their head with other client’s work.
They don’t like you.
That’s crazy… who doesn’t like you? But amazingly, sometimes your bookkeeper just doesn’t want to do business with you. It’s unprofessional, of course, but if you don’t hear back from them, they may be ignoring you until you “get the point.”
They’ve moved on.
Your bookkeeper may have quit the business. Maybe they went backpacking in Southeast Asia. Or maybe they went back to school to become a marine biologist. They’re no longer a bookkeeper, and you’re stuck wondering where they are. Be sure to search online for your bookkeeper’s firm or name, just to see if they’re still open.
They’ve … well … escaped.
Uh-oh, worst case scenario. Remember Marion Crane taking $40,000 at the beginning of Hitchcock’s Psycho? Your bookkeeper may have stolen money from clients and, well, booked it. While not the most common reason (and certainly not the one you want to assume right away), it’s not off the table. Do a quick internet search of your bookkeeper’s name just to be sure they’re not in the news.
How can you avoid unresponsive and fickle bookkeepers?
No—you can’t put a tracking device on them. That would probably be illegal (although, good try). The best thing to do is hire someone reputable from the start, someone who has seen it all before, someone whose word you can trust. Hmm… where could you possibly find such a service?
If your bookkeeper is MIA right now, or you want one that doesn’t disappear when you need them, we can help. Our bookkeeping experts have years of experience working with business, and they won’t vanish on the fly. Contact us, and we’ll see how we can solve your accounting and bookkeeping problems.