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How to Choose the Right Bookkeeping Services

Posted by Bill Gerber on November 14, 2014

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Whether you're just starting your business or you're fine-tuning your financial strategies, a professional bookkeeper can be a tremendous help when it comes to balancing your daily expenses, earnings and managing your invoices. By handing these jobs over to a specialist, you can lower your risk of error and instead use those extra hours for other pursuits. But where do you find a bookkeeper, and what do you need to know in order to choose? Read on to discover how successful businesses locate the best bookkeeping services.

Hiring Internally

While hiring an employee to take over bookkeeping may seem like a good way to keep control of your finances and the people managing them, this method often falls short in execution. For businesses without an expertise in managing bookkeeping procedures, accounting software or financial analysis, managing bookkeeping internally can be a recipe for disaster.

Additionally, in many situations, internal bookkeeping staff can be subject to a myriad of information security, fraud or even simple errors or mistakes in financial entries. From repurposing office admins to mismanaging employees, having an internal bookkeeper requires a lot of oversight.

Hiring Freelancer or Part-Time Bookkeepers for Bookkeeping Tasks

What kind of education and experience does a freelancer have? The answer varies greatly from one worker to the next. You want to ensure your bookkeeper has professional education in the field, along with relevant experience and a good track record. Certification, licensing and insurance should all be investigated. If a freelancer makes a mistake while working for your business and doesn't have liability protection, you'll likely be left holding the bag. In addition, if your freelancer is working off-site, say from a home office, you'll have to find a way to provide adequate oversight in order to prevent account mismanagement and serious mistakes.

Competent freelancers exist, but you'll have to be diligent to find the right one for your business. Your bookkeeper needs to be able to balance your books and provide insight both on problems you're experiencing now, and those you may come across in the future. To be effective, they'll also need to use resources that are compatible with the software and payment tools you already have in place.

Hiring CPAs

Hiring a CPA to do a bookkeeper's job is usually a serious waste of resources. Not only that, but accountants rarely enjoy the work. Instead, consider hiring a CPA to advise you on financial matters requiring more expertise, like filing taxes or managing investment funds. CPAs regularly work with bookkeeping services, and may be able to recommend professionals who can fill a daily accounting role for your business at a much lower price.

Hiring Professional Bookkeeping Services

Finally, there are bookkeeping service companies that manage daily accounts for multiple businesses. They often employ CPAs for management roles to provide adequate oversight and counsel for a bookkeeper who runs into a problem. Because they work with a variety of clients, these services often have access to a wider range of tools, and because they employ so many people, they have a better chance of having the experience needed by your business. Additionally, leveraging connections to industry experts and accounting technology companies can provide extra benefits to businesses.

Hiring a bookkeeping service to manage your accounting needs can help you identify potential risks and opportunities, in addition to simply ensuring the integrity of your financial data. Even the smallest business owner can often benefit from their help and advice. Unfortunately, not every solution is profitable once put into practice. Protect your business by taking time to find and hire the right bookkeeping partners.

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Tags: small business bookkeeping, bookkeeping services

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