Frequently Asked Accounting Questions
Answered By The Experts
- Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping
- Data Access & Security
- Software Required
- CPA/Tax Preparer
- Outsourced Accounting Cost
- Audit & Tax Services
Q. What are outsourced online bookkeeping services?
A. AccountingDepartment.com uses the power of the internet to provide you with online bookkeeping services. The technical term for this service is an ASP or Application Service Provider. AccountingDepartment.com uses an ASP to host all client data and QuickBooks financial accounting software, which is updated and maintained by the service provider. By using the services of an ASP, your company experiences the convenience of 24/7 access to information on a secure network server, anywhere there is an internet connection.
Q. Why outsource my accounting department?
A. Let a professional do a professional's job. If you are like most business owners and CEOs, you take full pride in the services or products your company provides. You want to focus your time and energy on business strategy and goals. Outsourcing the accounting department to a dedicated, highly skilled professional services firm allows you to do exactly that. By outsourcing your accounting to AccountingDepartment.com, you'll save valuable time in your day, reduce operating costs and gain peace of mind.
Q. How can having an outsourced accounting department help me manage my business?
A. By outsourcing your accounting position(s), your company doesn't have to endure the hiring process and lose valuable time and money training bookkeepers, accountants or financial controllers. If you have been doing the bookkeeping yourself, you finally free up your time to focus on other aspects of growing your business. You'll be able to make informed decisions based on more than just your cash balance at the bank.
An outsourced accounting department gives your company accurate financial data so you can determine what customers and/or products are the most profitable. You can concentrate more time on the most successful aspects of your company. This capability allows a business owner to become truly savvy in investing energy and resources in the right places. The door is left open for you to do the tasks that are most important to your company's financial success. Using AccountingDepartment.com, you maintain full, round-the-clock control of and access to your information, while we perform all of your bookkeeping tasks and update your accounting records. Truly the best of both worlds.
Q. Won't I lose control if the books are done by an outside service?
A. The short answer: No. You actually have more control since you'll have accurate, up-to-date financial statements at your fingertips. You'll have more time and money to plan instead of simply reacting to business events.
Q. I like having an extra employee around here to help with other things. Why should I use a virtual accounting service?
A. If you need someone to make coffee and fill his or her day with other small tasks, that's great. But think about this: How easy is it to find a good bookkeeper that knows QuickBooks inside and out? (AccountingDepartment.com Hiring Process) Someone whose number one job it is to maintain the books for you so you don't have to worry about bookkeeping? Aren't you tired of the never-ending cycle of problems caused by the entire process of finding, hiring and training employees who claim to have bookkeeping knowledge but always fall short of providing the full accounting services your growing business needs?
Q. How do I access to my accounting material?
A. AccountingDepartment.com is its own application service provider (ASP) which hosts your bookkeeping software and data files. At any time, from any internet-accessible computer, you may use your password to access your accounting records. This is the same procedure and technology your bank, medical record keepers and the IRS use to access and process information. Your files are always up-to-date and always accurate. Your data is secure, and our servers are dependable, with 100% backup running in real time.
Q. Who owns my data?
A. With a hosted ASP like that used at AccountingDepartment.com, you own your data files and you are able to download them back to your local computer if you decide to discontinue the service.
Q. Who controls the money and makes the decisions?
A. You have 100% control of all money and the decision on how it is used or invested. You decide what individuals and which vendors get paid. We provide the data, but you approve all invoices for payment and sign all checks.
Q. Can other people access my data?
A. No one can have access to your data without your company's express permission. Our ASP goes to extraordinary lengths when it comes to security measures. AccountingDepartment.com can offer greater security than many companies would have if the software and hardware were located in-house. Your data is backed up on a real time basis to a secure offsite backup facility. Also, the facility's power supply is hooked up to backup generators to protect against power failures. How many of us with computers in our offices have this type of system and security?
Security measures are taken to make sure that your information is protected. Each company's data is password-protected. You create your own passwords, so no one (not even the ASP employees) can see or have access to your password. As your data travels over the Internet, it is protected by a technology called Secure Sockets Layer or SSL encryption. SSL ensures that your data makes it to your location before it can be decoded. For added security, your company needs to make sure your browser supports 128-bit encryption. This level of encryption is the highest currently supported by consumer Web browsers. Be sure you are also using the latest version of your Web browser, as enhancements have probably been made since you last upgraded.
Q. What about security?
A. This is one of our favorite questions. Right now if you are like most of us, your accounting records are in an unlocked file cabinet or worse, sitting on someone's desk. This is what we call bad security. AccountingDepartment.com uses the same level of encryption that major banks use. You can be assured that you and only you are privy to your most important data.
Q. What software can I use?
A. AccountingDepartment.com works with QuickBooks. At AccountingDepartment.com, we host your accounting files ourselves. With any ASP you must still purchase the license for the software you use. The link to the ASP is set up on your system. You are then able to access the software and your data from any computer with an Internet connection.
Q. Do I have to leave my current tax accountant?
A. Of course not. We are offering to take away your bookkeeping headaches. Your current accountant will be grateful for accurate data that he or she can use to help you build more wealth and grow your business. But if you'd like, we would be glad to talk to you about providing business and individual tax preparation services. AccountingDepartment.com is prepared to be a one-stop solution for all your financial needs.
Q. Does my accountant have access to my books?
A. Only with your express permission! By allowing your accountant to access your data, your accountant can review or change your data files while you are also using the accounting software. This can be accomplished without you having to make a backup or having to stop using the system while your accountant is working on your data. You can continue with your work without any interruptions. No more running backup flash drives to your accountant. This alone adds up to a huge savings in time and money.
Q. What will it cost?
A. Virtual accounting services through AccountingDepartment.com are cost competitive, and you'll find the value you're receiving will be much greater than you would get with an in-house bookkeeper. You will also be able to save hiring and training costs, and will no longer have to pay for office space, phone lines, PTO or other employee benefits associated with in-house bookkeeping staff. Best of all, you won't have to manage the bookkeeper. Contact us for a risk-free, no fee estimate.
Q. How can outsourced accounting offer so much more value for my money?
A. We are experts. Accounting and bookkeeping is our only business. We assign duties to our staff members who are best skilled to accomplish the task. We don't ask our staff to do work that they are under- or over-qualified to do. Finally, we have developed systems and procedures for our staff, and have trained our staff in these processes and methods. If for any reason your usual AccountingDepartment.com bookkeeper is unavailable, another one can step in and be immediately up-to-speed with your needs. This makes us far less vulnerable to employee turnover than you would be with an in-house bookkeeper.
Q. Does AccountingDepartment.com provide audit and tax services?
A. Our services are comprehensive and can include all required federal and state tax filings through our affiliate firm. However, AccountingDepartment.com does not perform audits, reviews and compilations or provide opinions on your financial statements. We consider ourselves to be an extension of your company and work on your behalf to provide assistance to you and your outside auditors, should an audit be required.
Q. How do I find out more?
A. Contact us. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you, answer all your questions, and work out all the details of how AccountingDepartment.com can help you. If it looks like we have the right solution, then try our service and experience the peace-of-mind so many of our clients now enjoy.