Bookkeeping is a part of almost every business, as “keeping the books” is most easily defined as keeping track of daily expenses. It involves data entry, sticking to a budget, and math. It also involves money, which makes it a vital part of any business, regardless of size.
One question that many small to medium sized business owners must ask is whether to handle the books themselves, hire someone to do their books in-house, or to outsource their books to a professional bookkeeper or bookkeeping service. While there may be pros and cons to each option, outsourcing is usually a cost and time-effective option. How so?
- Saves Money. It will almost always be cheaper for an employer to hire a bookkeeping service rather than a full-time (or even part-time) bookkeeper, as you won’t be responsible for paying a salary; only a minimal monthly fee.
- Saves Time. Many beginning business owners try to do everything themselves in an attempt to save as much money as they can. While this is commendable, it can also be exhausting and stressful. It also may not be wise for a business owner to try to do everything on their own, particularly if they don’t have an extensive knowledge in every area of running a business. (No one can do it all themselves – it’s okay!) Hiring a bookkeeping service frees up the time (and mind!) of the business owner, as it’s one less thing they have to worry about and allows them to focus instead on growing their business.
- Knowledgeable Help. By hiring a bookkeeping service, a business owner now has a professional and knowledgeable individual or team of people that can assist them whenever they need it regarding their expenses. The professional bookkeeper can answer questions and help decipher concerns, and this aspect also aides in giving peace of mind to the business owner.
- Planning & Prevention. Having a professional bookkeeping service on your side helps when tax season rolls around. It does this by helping to prevent potential tax liabilities and regular reporting back to you, the business owner. These reports can also include profit and loss information, that can aide businesses in planning for their future and readjusting practices and budgets if necessary.
If you decide to go the route of outsourcing your books to a service, what types of things should you look for in said company?
- Experience and education. These are obviously important factors, and you should shop around a bit before settling on your service. Ask for referrals from trusted friends or relatives, and obtain client reviews if possible. At each company, inquire about their credentials, areas of expertise, and overall experience so that you can find the right service that fits you and your company’s specific needs.
- Up-to-date technology and software. Growing a business depends on many factors, and one of those factors is staying up to date on technology. It’s important that your bookkeeping service is privy to any updates or changes in bookkeeping software, technology, or methods. You want the best for your business and your buck!
- Ethics. This is something that can sometimes be hard to tell on a first impression, but it’s vital. Make sure the bookkeeping service you go with is made up of a person or people you trust and feel comfortable sharing financial information with – because that’s their job!
Running your own business can be difficult, but you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. There are several services out there whose business it is to help you run yours! Outsourcing to a bookkeeping service is just one way to get the help you may need and the peace of mind that you want.