Friday, January 8, 2010

Outsourcing bookkeeping: 5 things to check

Are you a small business owner looking for ways to save costs? Outsourcing bookkeeping is a great way to reduce costs while getting the work done efficiently. Outsourcing bookkeeping tasks ensures that you hand over all the bookkeeping activities to an expert and focus all your attention to the main business activities. But here's the catch: you need to hire the right bookkeeping firm to do the job for you. You need to make an informed decision regarding hiring an experienced bookkeeping firm, which suits your business requirements perfectly and has the potential to add to your business' growth. While outsourcing bookkeeping to a professional firm, keep the following pointers in mind:

How experienced is the bookkeeping firm?

The most important factor in outsourcing bookkeeping functions is the experience of the firm you select. While checking out various firms, ensure that you ask relevant questions about its experience. If possible, get references of past clients, so that you can speak to them yourself and know the quality of work of the bookkeeping firm in question. There are some firms which specialize in providing bookkeeping services to specific industries. If you can find one which specializes in your industry, it would be ideal for your business.

What are the qualifications of the professionals?

You should be outsourcing bookkeeping to a firm which has qualified and experienced bookkeepers. Check with the bookkeeping firm regarding the qualifications of the bookkeepers who will be working on your books of accounts. Qualified people working on your bookkeeping ensures that your finances will be maintained efficiently, without any mistakes.

Is the bookkeeping firm technologically advanced?

If your bookkeeping service is going to include online bookkeeping, the bookkeeping firm will need to be updated with the latest technology. To provide the right bookkeeping services, the firm will need the right kind of softwares and programming. Experienced bookkeeping firms are experts at handling various bookkeeping softwares like QuickBooks, Peachtree, MYOB, Great Plains etc. They also have strict measures in place for ensuring data security. Before outsourcing bookkeeping, ask questions about the kind of technology the bookkeeping firm uses.

Which services will be included? Is there enough flexibility?

While outsourcing bookkeeping, check which services are included in your package. Professional bookkeeping firms generally provide bookkeeping services including accounts payable management, accounts receivable management, bank reconciliations, inventory management, recording and reconciling payroll transactions, revenue reconciliation with bank deposits etc. Moreover, their services are flexible, so you can scale your requirements up or down at any time. This flexibility saves a lot of costs at the time when your bookkeeping requirements are minimal.

Does the bookkeeping package match your budget?

Outsourcing bookkeeping
functions has the potential to save you up to 40% cost of in-house resources. However, you still have to make the most of the deal the bookkeeping firm offers you. Fix a budget that is affordable for you and stick to it when you are outsourcing bookkeeping for your business. You can also compare bookkeeping packages other firms are offering, so that you get the best bookkeeping package available.

Outsourcing bookkeeping
to an expert bookkeeping firm ensures that you save costs as well as manage books of accounts efficiently. Invest some time in researching for a good firm, which can become your partner in making your business more profitable.

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