Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Outsourcing accounting: 6 things you need to know for your small business

The many advantages of outsourcing accounting are attracting a lot of attention of small business owners. Outsourcing accounting functions has the potential of saving small businesses thousands of dollars per year, which they spend on hiring, training and retention of in-house accounting professionals. Due to its recent popularity, many accounting firms have started offering customized accounting solutions especially for small businesses. However, before deciding to go for outsourcing accounting for your small business, there are some pointers you should keep in mind. The following are some of them:

  1. One of the first things you need to be aware of while outsourcing accounting is to have a clear idea of what you want from your accounting firm. To make a success of your small business accounting, you need to have clear expectations and make your accounting firm understand them. Many outsourced accounting projects fail due to misconceptions and lack of communications between the small business owner and the accounting firm.

  2. Don't trust an accounting firm blindly when you are outsourcing accounting functions for your business. No matter how much their services are recommended, you need to take things in your hands and check things out. In case you decide to use online accounting services, you need to ensure that the firm which you are using for outsourcing accounting uses adequate security measures to protect your accounting data. If your accounting firm is an offshore one, ensure that the staff working there is qualified enough to take care of your accounting requirements.

  3. While outsourcing accounting functions, be sure to ask for references of past clients from the accounting firm concerned. You will get an idea about the quality of work as well as the experience and skills of accounting staff by looking at past work of the firm.

  4. Enter into a clear contract with your outsourced accounting firm so that the terms and conditions are specified right from the beginning. A written contract goes a long way in ensuring transparency in your dealings with your accounting firm.

  5. You can start the outsourcing accounting project by giving the accounting firm limited responsibilities. This will allow you to set the workflow and judge the caliber of the outsourced accounting firm. Allow the firm to prove its potential and take things forward from there.

  6. While outsourcing accounting's main benefit is cost savings, it is should not be the only factor in selecting the accounting firm. Cheap is not always the best option for your accounting services; if the quality of work is not up to the mark, it may cost you much more later on to correct the mistakes of a cheap accounting firm. Outsourcing accounting should not only save you costs, it should also be high in the qualitative factor.

Outsourcing accounting will probably become the most useful business decision you will take for your small business. While it has benefits as well as risks associated with it, if you make informed decisions, the benefits will far exceed the risks for your small business. Find an experienced accounting firm which can become your partner in expanding your business and making it more profitable.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Accounting Services: A Means For Focusing More On Your Small Business

Using accounting services has become a common practice with small and mid-sized businesses, which have fewer resources to manage their business with. A professional accounting service provider has the potential of saving small businesses up to 40% in costs, which can be used to develop the business further. However, using an accounting firm to maintain books of accounts is not just a way to reduce costs; it has many other benefits also.

Focus on your main business activity

The most important reason you should use accounting services from a professional is that you can then focus on your main business activity. Maintaining your books of accounts is not your specialty, and you should hence not spend time doing that. If you have an accounting firm taking care of all your accounting and bookkeeping, you can stop worrying about it and spend more time on core activities which can increase business for you. Handing over all your accounting tasks to an experienced accounting service provider will free valuable time for you which can be a crucial factor for making your small business successful.

Reduce employee-related issues

Many businesses face a lot of issues related to hiring, training and retaining in-house employees. Sometimes, in case of bigger problems, businesses face employee-related lawsuits, which are time consuming. When you use accounting services from a service provider, you don’t have to worry about any issue related to employees, as you are using services and not employing people directly. An accounting firm hence ensures that you save on time and resources of hiring in-house employees.

Experts at your service

Using accounting services from a professional ensures that your books of accounts are being taken care of by experts in the field of accounting and bookkeeping. Accounting firms hire experts who are efficient and experienced at what they do and will work better than an in-house accountant. With such experts working on your accounting, there will also be less likelihood of mistakes in the work that is completed. You hence not only save cost of hiring an accountant, but also get a much more experienced staff to complete your accounting.

Save on office space and resources

The space that your in-house accountant would utilize for maintaining your books of accounts can be saved if you use outsourced accounting services. Accounting firms generally provide online accounting, which eliminates the requirement of any office space. You hence save on rent of an office or the space occupied by your accountant, which you can utilize elsewhere in your business.

No last minute problems

An accounting service provider updates transactions in your books of accounts on daily basis. You can hence stop worrying about pending tasks or last minute glitches at the time of tax filing and annual audits. Your books will be up to date at any given point of time, which eliminates the hassles of last-minute problems which are typically faced at the time of filing of tax.

An experienced accounting firm can reduce your burden of everyday activities, so that you can develop your business according to the vision you have. You may benefit even more if your accounting service provider has some experience in dealing with businesses similar to yours.