Outsourced Bookkeeping Options
The bookkeeping or accounting element of a business can be both time-consuming and very challenging for business owners. However, there are plenty of options when it comes to outsourced bookkeeping and accounting partners to make the best use of your time and resources for this complex part of your business.
Outsourced bookkeeping and outsourced accounting is becoming increasingly popular, even for businesses with a finance department. According to Fortunly, 71% of financial service executives outsource or offshore some of their services.
Which one a business chooses is largely dependent on the scope of the work to be carried out and the qualifications required to carry out that work.
There are some business owners who are qualified accountants, but they are the exception. For everybody else, they have to either spend (precious) time figuring it out themselves – that takes them away from some other part of the business – or they get help.
There is no clear-cut answer as to whether particular tasks will be completed at a lower cost in-house or through outsourcing. There are plenty of options and reasons why more and more businesses are turning to outsourced bookkeeping and accounting partners for help.
For example, the qualifications of the in-house staff is one of the major factors in the equation. The availability of in-house staff members to do accounting and bookkeeping work is another serious consideration here.
If there are members of in-house staff members capable of completing the task and available to do so, it may be an option keep the work in-house. However, outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting does reduce labour costs and staffing headaches for the business owner.
While there are many different scenarios in which part or all of your accounting work could be outsourced, below we discuss the amain choices when it comes to choosing your bookkeeping and accounting outsourced partners.
Using and External Outsourced Bookkeeper
In the first scenario we look at hiring a outsourced bookkeeper working specifically for your business.
The main benefits of this type of situation is that you can calculate your costs in advance because you will know the bookkeeper’s rate per hour.
What you get for your money here is a bookkeeper with a professional qualification that says they are competent to carry out your bookkeeping tasks.
The rate per hour can also be seen as a disadvantage as the more hours they spend on your books, the more you are going to be charged.
The qualifications they hold may only give them a limited understanding of detailed accounting concepts which may not be enough if your business is complex.
Generally, an external bookkeeper will have no ability to provide either business advice and that above all should be remembered. Seek professional advice from somebody who is suitably qualified.
All books and records will be updated on a timely basis by the person but they don’t provide any financial performance information.
Your business will have to incur further costs to hire an accountant to manage compliance issues.
Using An Accounting Firm (quarterly / annually)
This was the most popular form of dealing with a businesses’ accounts until recent years and it had some merit and some benefits to doing the accounts either annually or quarterly (depending on the size of the business).
The main benefit for a business owner from using this type of service compared to using an External Bookkeeper is that you have access to professional accounting expertise.
An accountant will also provide financial performance information on a regular basis again that will be dependent on your business requirements.
And like the External Bookkeeper, you will have a pre-agreed rate per hour or an agreed annual fee.
However, financial information is not real time, it is always historic information so finding out how you did last year rather than last week is not suitable for some businesses.
Cloud accounting tends to be “add on” service for accounting firms like these rather than their core focus.
Because the information has a time lag, accounting firms often focused on tax and compliance while lacking the skills to support growing businesses with real-time information.
Full-Service Outsourced Cloud-Based Accounting
The service that a lot of the growing firms are choosing now is the full service, cloud-based accounting. With the changes in the business world since the start of COVID, this option is proving more and more popular.
There are numerous reasons for picking this option, not least is that there is a fixed fee per month for the service. You know what you do get and don’t get for that price each month.
One of the biggest benefits and possibly also its biggest attraction is that the information that is on a cloud-based accounting software package is right up to date and current.
That allows for clearer and quicker decisions to be made by business owners if they can see right away that cash flow requires attention, then they can do it immediately. This differs from the traditional way where the business could have suffered hugely because the information was readily available.
This cloud-based accounting service is designed from the ground up to become part of the businesses’ team so there are no ‘unexpected’ surprises.
This type of outsourcing gives many small businesses access to a level of expertise that they might not otherwise be able to afford.
Another point that is not lost on businesses is that the outsourced partners are responsible for providing high-quality, trained staff who are up to date on the latest tax practices.
There is no waiting around afterward for accounts to be complete as the cloud system has all the information a business requires at the touch of a button.
This process has a drawback in that a business owner will have to spend plenty of time making sure that they are picking the right outsource partner for their business.
There also has to be a huge element of trust built into any early consultations. You have to be made feel like the outsource company are trustworthy.
As a business owner it is important to make sure that the outsource company have a feel for your company’s need and understand your company ethics.
Remember it’s ok for an outsource company not to say ‘yes’ to all of your requests. In fact it is a very healthy sign because it sets boundaries early in the relationship. This relationship has to work for both sets of people.
For any business considering outsourced bookkeeping, don’t be afraid to ask for references from existing customers.
Outsourced Bookkeeping Options At aperio
aperio is a Cork-based outsourced accounting and consulting company that can take care of all your bookkeeping, management accounting, financial compliance, and financial project work such as grant applications.
Our proffesional and experiened team offer Managed Accounting & Bookkeeping Support services to businesses all throughout Ireland.
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