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The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Outsourced Accounting and Bookkeeping Service

Whether you're a seasoned pro, or just starting in a business leadership role, you probably know that you need an exceptional accounting and bookkeeping system And, since there are so many accounting processes that can take your team away from focusing on growing your business, this might be the perfect time to look at outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services. Finding a best-fit service may feel overwhelming. Continue reading for help with this ultimate guide for finding the perfect outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services provider.

The information below makes sure you understand what a professional outsourced accounting and bookkeeping service provider have to offer and how to compare providers for the best outcome. Use this guide to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It covers everything from the questions you need to ask to how to measure the value of outsourced services, and potential pitfalls, too.

Before You Start Comparing Outsourced Accounting and Bookkeeping Services

There is a very important question you should ask yourself before you start researching outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services. What problem or problems do you think this move from in-house to a third-party vendor will solve for your team?

Here is several challenges business decision-makers have that may be overcome by partnering with a best-fit accounting and bookkeeping agency.

  • Data entry, duplication, and other inaccuracies
  • Challenges preparing records for transfer to your accountant for tax filing
  • Non-accounts are doing double duty taking on bookkeeping tasks
  • Small, dedicated internal bookkeeping staff
  • The time and costs of onboarding qualified bookkeeping talent are burdensome
  • Need to reduce payroll costs
  • Looking for an agile, flexible bookkeeping option that can scale rapidly to market changes and business growth
The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Outsourced Accounting and Bookkeeping Services
  1. First, create a list of company bookkeeping and accounting needs. Finding an outsourced accounting and bookkeeping service begins with knowing exactly which services you need. Do you need a provider who can process payroll? What about payable and receivable transactions? Want to keep balancing the checkbook and generating monthly and quarterly reports in-house? Once you have created a full list of the services you need, it's time to contact providers and ask them a few questions.
  2. The second step is making a list of questions you will ask potential accounting and bookkeeping partners. Wondering what kind of questions should you ask? This depends on your company and your working business model. However, here a few commonly asked questions.
    • How do you guarantee privacy for our company and our clients? This question is important because your clients trust you to protect their privacy. And, that protection must extend to third-party relationships.
    • How quickly can you adjust scale should our transaction volume significantly increase or decline rapidly. This is particularly important for companies who offer primarily seasonal products and services, as well as, companies experiencing growth.
    • How do you train front-line and support staff? The ideal outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services provide specialized training for clients. For instance, if you manage or own a business in the medical industry, your third-party processors should be fluent in medical terminology. It is also important that your out-of-house team preparing tax reports is knowledgeable about federal, state, and local tax regulations.
    • How does partnering with your accounting and bookkeeping service maximize my internal human assets and save the company money? Of course, price plays an important role in determining which vendor is best for you. However, the lowest price is not always the best solution. Your organization gains value if the service always you to allocate all resources more efficiently. Can the new service free up non-accounting personnel to focus on their primary roles? Will outsourcing provide better control over the processes and procedures to streamline the organization from top to bottom, reducing costs in other areas?
Measuring True Cost vs Value

Now that you have interviewed a few bookkeeping providers, it's time to consider whether making the move out-of-house will complement your internal business model, or just be an added expense. Today, a well-qualified lead bookkeeper can set you back $50,000 a year or more. That figure does not include the costs of hiring, training, benefits packages, or professional development. By comparison, negotiated fees for an outsourced bookkeeping team may be as low as $500 per month, $6000. And, you shift responsibility and cost for all the extra payroll spend to the vendor.

It is hard to place a monetary value on the benefits gained by moving your accounting duties to the other side. How much would it be worth to you to eliminate the hassle of interviewing, checking references, and training an in-house bookkeeper? Another consideration is how quickly you can replace an employee that quits or takes maternity leave.

True value varies depending on how many pain points your move would relieve. The final step to finding the perfect outsourced accounting and bookkeeping service is comparing the price, services, and value. Create a side-by-side chart highlighting the benefits and costs associated with each vendor option. Measuring true value lies in the details, including whether you need full or part-time bookkeeping, on-demand service, or a blend of accounting and bookkeeping services that maximize your recourses wisely.

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