Whether you’re a dairy farmer in the Fraser Valley, are into plastics manufacturing in South Surrey, sheet metal fabrication in Langley or commercial cleaning in the Vancouver lower mainland, once your business starts to gain momentum your company must find an effective way to manage its books. For some businesses, this means an in-house accountant or accounting department, depending if the company size and turnover warrants it. For others, usually new businesses or small to medium sized businesses, it means finding a qualified & reliable local bookkeeping service who it can trust to outsource its financial record management and accounting obligations to.
Are you considering outsourcing your accounting needs? It’s good to have a solid understanding of what outsourcing means first and the following information outlines some of the things to consider before hiring an outside company to manage your small business’s day to day and year end accounting obligations…
For companies who outsource their accounting, the decision usually means saving time and money, getting access to high-quality bookkeeping services and proactive advice for important financial decisions carrying tax implications and in many ways, minimizing the risks typically involved with relying on in-house staff or on “muddling through” yourself when you have the companies core business to take care of as a priority. Does outsourcing your bookkeeping make sense for you? Here’s a closer look at the specific advantages it may offer:
It’s surely no surprise that outsourcing work to a specialized bookkeeping services provider, versus hiring a full-time employee, saves you money. When you outsource, not only can you match the work hours/hours/number of projects to your needs, but also you can avoid typical employee expenses like benefits, insurance, payroll taxes, maternity leave, unemployment taxes, paid time-off, Friday Timbits etc. You don’t have to provide work space, office furniture, computers or software, either. Even with the initial costs involved in contracting out the work of keeping your books in order, the overall financial savings are still significant.
Are you currently doing the bookkeeping yourself? If you are, consider that this time would probably be better spent concentrating on your core business, increasing sales, getting jobs out the door, overseeing job quality, keeping your customers happy… Did you start a business because you are passionate about administration and paperwork? No??
Then it’s time to consider outsourcing your bookkeeping to a professional bookkeeper!
Worse still, are you relying on a relative or friend to help you out? What happens if they are busy at work or have other family commitments? Is your accurate bookkeeping their main priority? No, probably not, as much as it might seem like a good idea (and usually because it means you don’t have to do it), sooner or later in our experience this type of arrangement leads to additional headaches and arguments when things get behind or missed… Bookkeeping is important, and it must be accurate and on time, that’s where professional bookkeeping services make sense. Thinking of hiring someone to cover your bookkeeping? (As well as filing, helping you with quotes, keeping the office tidy, appointments organized, the fridge stocked with milk, the telephone answered…?) trust us, the bookkeeping will come last, and will generally end up being rushed because it’s a slumbering monster who snores gently on the back corner of most small business’s darkest desk. You know he’s there, but 8 out of 10 small business owners and staff (who expressed a preference) would rather leave him sleep than get stuck in! Think also then of the weekly hours it will take to manage in-house bookkeeping staff—taking away from the time you can spend on business- and relationship-building activities more directly aligned with your company’s mission. (Or fishing, a couple of days at the cabin is legitimate, we all need some down-time too – even if that’s in Costa Rica!) We digress, outsourcing alleviates this need and gains you time. You don’t have to deal with the typical headaches involved with recruiting, hiring, retaining and overseeing staff either because that’s what the service provider will handle, and at the same time the better ones provide continuity by always having someone to cover your needs, no matter what. That means you’re free to focus your time on what matters most to your business and to you!
By eliminating the distractions of a general office from their jobs, places that provide bookkeeping services generally provide clients with more focused work. It’s hard for a bookkeeper to do their jobs around the hustle and bustle of a business—removing them from the site by outsourcing not only helps you focus on your business, it helps them focus on your business as well.
Third-party bookkeeping service providers specialize in the work they do, so they’re the perfect resource for getting projects done. What’s more, accounting service providers should constantly hone their skills to keep up with regulations and the competition, ever increasing the quality of their work. This means when you go to an established and experienced bookkeeping service, you can trust that your accounting will be handled well. The better ones will even be able to give you balanced facts and information so you can plan ahead from a balanced viewpoint – they see a lot of what’s going on, what “hot topics” other small businesses are being audited for, and they can help your business to become and stay compliant with your accounting procedures.
Service providers face higher liability than in-house staff, which makes them less of a risk for your business—they’re more likely to fulfill their obligations because they have more to lose if they don’t. Furthermore, dealing with the contracts or agreements of outside providers can be much easier than dealing with the hiring negotiations, employee management and other human resources issues involved with employees.
As companies are increasingly mobile, speed is essential and security is key, having secure access to your accounting records wherever you are is more important than ever. Establishing a cloud-based accounting portal for your books offers considerable benefits over traditional workstation-based accounting infrastructures and delivers greater value by providing real-time information, real insight and real guidance so you can make decisions based on accurate information 24/7. Cloud based accounting supports this objective by ensuring that both the outsourced bookkeepers and yourself are working with the most up-to-date information, without the hassle of transferring files back and forth, and without having to keep software up to date. The best systems create nightly backups “In the Cloud” and keep organized records and books for years too, ensuring that if the CRA ever does come knocking for an audit, you’ll be more than prepared for them. Teaming Cloud Accounting Services with Outsourced Bookkeeping Services makes for the perfect accounting solution for most small to medium sized businesses.
Finally, bear in mind that outsourcing your bookkeeping allows you to expand or cutback seamlessly. Whether you’re looking to grow your business, or you have to cut down on spending during a slowdown in the economy, having a reliable and flexible team available providing you with different plans and options, will ensure you achieve your accounting obligation. Outsourcing your Bookkeeping services provides the flexibility that in-house bookkeepers simply can’t provide.
Ok, I’ve decided to Outsource my Bookkeeping! What are the Potential Pitfalls to Avoid, and How to Choose a Great Accountants?
Even with all the benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping as outlined above, some companies still prefer to keep things in-house, and they’d say with good reasons. Here are some of the reasons why some companies opt out of outsourcing, and some pointers for choosing a great bookkeeping service when you decide its right for you:
No matter how good a service provider is, there’s no substitute for being physically present in your office although this can also have its downsides such as your bookkeeper having difficulty concentrating when you have a busy day or week. With outsourcing, you will need to communicate your needs and challenges across distance, maybe even across time zones. There may be times when your questions don’t get answered right away because of the distances involved. It’s important then when choosing a bookkeeper to consider setting up a Cloud based system at the same time, so that the need to travel with boxloads of papers can be minimized. We would also suggest that you should be realistic if considering a bookkeeping service abroad, in China or India for example. They may seem to be cheap, but is their bookkeeping going to be right for your company, country and province? That’s debatable… Which also brings us to:
Everyone’s aware of the language barriers associated with call centers, where you call a customer service line and talk to someone across the globe. But language barriers don’t end there—even when you work with an accounting firm, different languages can make it hard to explain your company processes or structure, especially if you aren’t all used to working with the same software. To choose a great accounting firm for your bookkeeping needs, make sure you have some questions for them upfront, and check they are speaking your language before signing on the dotted line.
When you manage employees in-house, you have more control over how things are run, from training to day-to-day processes. While ideally an outsourced service provider would train its staff thoroughly and according to your preferences, there’s always the possibility that something gets lost. For some companies, feeling at the mercy of a bookkeeping service provider is not an enticing substitute for managing its own staff, but for the smaller company – the reality is that they’re probably going to have to farm out their bookkeeping. If you’re decided on contracting out your bookkeeping, and looking for a great accounting service, be sure to ask for and check references, and check how long they’ve been established. A reputable company will appreciate you taking the time to do your due diligence on them, as rest assured, reputable companies should also be checking up on you before accepting your instructions.
Your business accounting Is, by nature, a potentially sensitive subject. When you send all your financial information and records to an outside provider, you liberate insider knowledge, potentially one of the most valuable or dangerous parts of your company. Would you want your accounts to be public knowledge? No? Then consider keeping your accountants local, as they will be certain to be looking after their reputation by looking after yours too. It’s also a great idea to contact a few bookkeeping services whilst you are making up your mind on contracting out, and go with your gut feeling. This is almost as important as asking for and checking up on references as mentioned above, this is an important step in your companies’ evolution, the fit should be good, and you must feel you can trust them for the relationship with your new bookkeepers to work.
So, Have You Decided to Contract Out Your Bookkeeping to a Local, Experienced and Reputable Accounting Firm?
Great! Because that’s what we do… Here at Green Quarter Consulting we provide Bookkeeping and Accounting services in White Rock and Surrey BC that turn your Bookkeeping headaches into Accounting Solutions!
Our niche is to deliver accounting solutions with a focus on two key core competencies; Quality and Trust. It is our goal to provide quality consulting services which fit into your business seamlessly. Just like days of old where quality and personalized customer service were always counted on and delivered.