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Spouse Doing the Books?: Why You May Want to Reconsider

Okay, so this may be a bit polarizing, but I am not usually a fan of the spouse doing the books.

It is incredibly common for a business owner to become successful and then soon their spouse starts working in the business on a part-time or full-time basis. This is always such an amazing moment in a business where both spouses decide to march toward the same goal and work in the business...


Without the proper training and background, bookkeeping is still best left to a professional. I often come across scenarios where the spouse is doing their best to make the books work but ultimately they need a lot of cleanup because accounts are not properly reconciled or transactions are not logged properly. This adds up to thousands in cleanup fees on top of the fees to pick up the work at tax time.

What should they do instead? Consider bringing them on as a Chief Operations Officer and have them manage or interact with the bookkeeper.

Why is this a good idea:

  1. It does not put one spouse "below" the other or make one feel like an employee. Sometimes, the spouse feels resentment for being given tasks "beneath" that of the owner. This can lead to tension and stress.

  2. Each spouse can find their own zone of genius and thrive. Administrative duties are a good start, but see if they can be put in charge of managing a team of contractors responsible for executing those tasks and be an integrator for you.

  3. The closer they are to being part of the vision and not in the details, the more meaningful business conversations you can have and decisions you can make together.

Our clients love this approach. We empower them to focus on those higher level decisions instead of spending time troubleshooting QuickBooks. It is like a weight lifted that they did not know they were even carrying.

Are you ready to get out of the weeds and focus on more? Reach out.


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