It’s a fact: a good bookkeeper can bring value to any small business. Many times this value is literal: he or she can save you money by catching payroll errors, by maximizing tax deductions through good record-keeping, and by tracking your credit card expenditures. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs are skeptical; they think they can do it all themselves—marketing, design, sales, and finance. Luckily, many soon discover that outsourcing responsibilities to trained professionals is the better—and less stressful—option. However, before you go and build a book-keeper into your budget, you probably want to know how he or she can help your bottom line.

First, a bookkeeper will measure your company’s health. If you don’t know anything about your company’s numbers—your income, profits, and expenses, for instance—there is no way for you to gauge success or failure. By organizing these figures for you, a bookkeeper can act like a sort of “financial cardiologist,” informing you of your business’s pulse. Is the business pumping out higher profits than its competitors, or is its heartbeat a dull flutter, barely keeping things in the black? Careful income and expense records can help clarify this. Once you determine your company’s vitals, it’s easier to devise appropriate solutions should they be necessary.

Believe it or not, a book-keeper can also help you secure a loan. Think about it. A potential loaner, like a bank, will want some data on which to base a funding decision. How else can they ensure that you will be able to repay the debt? You’ll face similar requirement if you’re looking for an investor or pitching a nascent business plan. Because a book-keeper keeps tabs on your transactions, he or she will be able to provide the necessary data in an organized fashion if—or when—you decide you need to scout for capital.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a bookkeeper gives you freedom—freedom to do what you’re good at. Think of how much time you’d spend trying to teach yourself the ins-and-outs of QuickBooks or how many Saturdays you’d lose to organizing the filing cabinet! Whether your expertise is in cake decorating, party planning, or plumbing, a good book-keeper will keep an eye on the books, while you keep an eye on the business.