Outsourced Bookkeeping for Small Businesses

Having good accounting is one of the most important details to consider for any small or medium-sized business that is looking to be successful. However, the legwork of bookkeeping is more often than not a full-time job. Many small businesses and start-ups simply do not have the manpower or the expertise to perform proper bookkeeping and keep up with the day-to-day operations of a business.
Outsourcing bookkeeping is one of the most effective ways for this type of business to increase its productivity as well as save money. Because proper outsourcing is such an important part of the success of any small business, outsourcing the accounting functions of a business takes on a special significance at the beginning of the life of the business.

Nowadays there are many accounting companies that offer outsourced services including bookkeeping, payroll and management accounts. Many of these will send a staff member to work on site for a day or two each week so you can really get the best of both worlds in this respect.
Below are just a few of the reasons that outsourcing bookkeeping can save a great deal of money for a small or medium-sized business.


1. The man-hours of employees will be directed towards their specialty rather than towards accounting.

Regardless of the industry that a company is in, each and every sale can require more paperwork as actual salesmanship. If you are a business on a budget, you must ask yourself this question: Would you rather have the limited hours of your employees focused on making more sales or on dealing with the bureaucracy of past sales?

Most business owners would answer that they would rather their employees’ focus on making sales and providing customer service to their current customer base. For this reason, leaving the paperwork of bookkeeping to a reputable outside professional will save the expense of man-hours.
 

2. A reputable bookkeeping professional or company will be able to accomplish the same amount of work in a shorter amount of time.

Outsourcing is as essential as delegation because of the idea of specialization in a small business. In order for small business to function at its most effective, each and every person should be doing what they are best at. When everyone is focusing on their specialty rather than trying to wear 15 different hats, all processes flow more smoothly.
Because a small business usually will not have an in-house bookkeeping professional, the outsourcing of bookkeeping is a form of delegation. By delegating this responsibility to an entity with a much more effective procedure, you save yourself the expense of wasted time having to learn new systems, software programs and regulations.

3. Outsourcing your bookkeeping is a much more effective way to organize finances for Customs and Revenue.

The Canadian Revenue Agency (or the IRS for that matter) is much more likely to accept the opinion of a reputable bookkeeping service than an in-house company accounting assessment. A reputable professional bookkeeping company will be able to organize records in a way that they will be able to understand. In short, bookkeeping professionals speak the language of the CRA. Most business owners do not, nor do they have the time to learn it.
Saving money on taxes and saving time on potential audits one of the biggest ways to save money as a small business owner. A great majority of small businesses that fail do so under the weight of a tax burden along with other expenses.

4. Outsourcing your bookkeeping gives you someone to bounce accounting ideas off.

There are many ways to save money that professionals are aware of which simply do not occur to business owners. Saving money by knowing the rules and regulations of accounting procedures that are generally accepted is a full-time job in and of itself. However, outsourcing the bookkeeping of a company can open up the world of tax shields and deductions that would otherwise be unavailable to a small business.

 

Dave Dunne is a freelance writer who writes on a wide variety of topics including business, online marketing and technology. This article was written on behalf of Guardian Management Accounting.

How To Get More Out of Each Day

Today's post is by Cristina Garza

Cristina Garza, owner of www.accountingprose.com, empowers small business owners by providing accounting software and bookkeeping solutions at a fair price, enabling them to focus their attention on income generating activities. When she is not busy hammering on her ten key; she can be found in the garden, on her bike or traveling with her partner in crime, Salvador.


As a business owner, you are expected to squeeze 15 hours of work into an 8 hour day. There is a steady stream of emails, phone calls, marketing, networking and paying client work to keep you busy. How can you possibly get everything done without completely going mad? A lot of people will tell you to make a space that is conducive to work or to break your tasks into bite sizes pieces. All this does is make you more comfortable working until midnight and checking things off of pretty lists. No one wants to be more efficient at being overloaded. So what should you do?

Outsource.

While the idea of bringing on more employees sounds like a good one, many freelancers or solo-preneurs can’t afford the cost. From payroll tax to benefit programs to training; it is just too expensive to bring on more people when you are just starting out. It’s a no brainer to bring on a competent legal team when getting your entity set up or a CPA to do your taxes at the end of the year. However, there is so much more which can be taken off of your plate and handed to professionals in your area. Things like blog writing, social media tracking, administrative tasks and bookkeeping can all be given to people who not only love to do this but excel at it. Consider how much time you spend each month reconciling your bank accounts. If you are a total novice, which many people are, it can take hours. These precious hours take away from family, friends or growing your business.

Do you have proprietary information that you don’t want to share or have a limited budget? Work with your outsourced professionals and lay it all on the line. Things like non-disclosure agreements protect you and your clients and engagement letters can spell out the terms of the engagement. It might be a little frightening to let go of some of these tasks at first, but once you realize the benefit, it will make life so much easier. So stop fretting about work until midnight. Start outsourcing small pieces of your business today and sleep better tonight.

Cristina Garza
Owner, Accountingprose
www.accountingprose.com

It's Summer...Now Where's My Vacation?

It's now officially summer, and after this week, the kids will all be done school.

For a lot of families, this means the start to vacation season. You've worked through all of your company's busy seasons, put in late hours and early mornings, and now it's time to take those well deserved 2 weeks off.

Unfortunately, when you run a solo operation, summer just means you can wear shorts when you stumble out to check the mail, before going right back to your desk. We "solopreneurs" don't have sanctioned days off. Heck, a lot of times we don't even get a proper weekend.

Now, sure, this gives us some serious martyr cred with our friends.

What? You're just sitting around in your back yard reading a book? Oh, how nice for you. Me? Oh, just pulling a 12 hour day trying to finish off these reports. Yes, I AM aware that you're getting paid to sit and read. No I can't come out to the lake with your family this weekend. Why? Because you're the one who asked me to finish off the reports.

Does this sound familiar, or is my life uniquely pathetic?

To make matters worse, it's not just a matter of money. It would be possible for any business owner to set aside 4% of their wages each month too. The problem is the work. We don't exactly have Steve or Jessica to cover for us while we're away.

Some of you work in businesses that are more seasonal than others. If you sell air conditioners in Canada, you aren't very busy in the winter (or the spring, or fall, or most of summer...not that I'm bitter). In those cases, it's easier to plan around those lulls.

Although I have a busy season (March/April), I don't really have a slow season per se. So how does one plan holidays in those situations?

I'm actually writing this more as a question to you, rather than as a way to setup some answers for you. I have always struggled with taking time off. However, as I'm tying this, I have a few ideas that I'd like to share. In return I'd love to hear some advice from you.

  1. Plan ahead
    If you know you want to take 2 weeks off in July, let your clients know well in advance. In addition, make sure you get all of your work caught up, and completed projects sent back before you leave. Also, don't plan your holidays during busy seasons or important deadlines. It would be really dumb of me to go away the last week in April.
  2. Setup passive sources of income
    Time isn't the only problem. Unlike employees, we aren't getting paid when we're on vacation. So, try to find passive sources of income that can support you even when you're not working. This could be from products you sell on your site (like an eBook), or from revenue generated from ads or affiliate commissions.
  3. Outsource
    This is one is tricky. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, so I'd love your opinions. However, one way to solve your absense would be to hand off your work to someone else while you're away. I've never done this, but in some cases it would be a way for the work to get done while you're on a beach.

Do you have any tips for taking vacation as a sole proprietor? I, and anyone else reading this would love to hear them. Seriously, your tips may result in yours truly taking some time off this summer, which would be greatly appreciated.