Authors Robert Rodgers and Peter Lucas of “Bookkeeping and Accounting Essentials” (2011), report that outsourcing bookkeeping services—including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, sales tax payable, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting—may be a cost-effective choice for start-up and small businesses.
When selecting a small business resource partner for your company’s finance and accounting needs, ask questions:
- What services does the bookkeeping and financial organization partner offer?
- What qualifications, experience, and references from current clients does the bookkeeping resource supply?
- What system(s) and software are used by the bookkeeper, and are these compatible with the company’s tax accountant or CPA firm?
- What are the rates charged by the bookkeeper or small business resource provider?
- How will hiring the bookkeeper/small business resource provider help the company to reduce overhead costs? What are the reduced operating costs?
- How does the resource stay abreast of technology, taxation, and accounting practices?
- Where is the small business services resource located?
Knowing the strengths of a small business resource provider is one of the ways to evaluate the success of a future partnership with them. If the provider doesn’t provide bank reconciliation or general ledger services, the business owner probably isn’t receiving the depth of bookkeeping and accounting services necessary to support financial decision-making.
A small business finance and accounting resource to whom the business can outsource the full scope of accounts payable and accounts receivable, sales tax payable, and financial reporting requirements is exceptionally valuable. Such a resource saves the company out of pocket salary and benefits costs. Proper financial organization also prevents unnecessary, costly errors to the business.
Small business resource partner
Successfully outsourcing bookkeeping and financially-focused tasks requires an experienced and competent small business resource partner. Entrusting financial information and documents requires the resource’s ability to process and safeguard such materials.
The business owner must develop a working relationship with the off-site provider. In most cases, business owners appreciate the ability to meet with their small business resource provider on a regular basis.
Selecting a provider with whom the business owner can meet face-to-face, at least several times per year, helps to develop a strong working relationship. Because the small business resource partner isn’t an employee, the business owner should have a good understanding of how much time will be devoted to accomplishing the necessary tasks.
Financial planning and organization
The small business finance and bookkeeping resource can help the startup or young business to develop financial process and systems. Deciding to outsource certain essential bookkeeping and financial management functions from the company’s inception saves the cost of hiring a part-time or full-time financial employee.
Financial planning and organization ensures compliance expected of the company, including but not limited to: state and federal taxes; and financial reporting requirements by industry.
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