The ultimate guide to finding the perfect outsourced accounting and bookkeeping service

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out running your business, you probably know that you need exceptional accounting and bookkeeping services. And since there are so many accounting processes that can keep your team from focusing on growing your business, this might be the perfect time to look for an outsourced bookkeeping and accounting service. Finding the right service can feel overwhelming. Read on and let this ultimate guide help you find the perfect outsourced accounting and bookkeeping provider.

The following information will ensure you understand what a professional outsourced accounting and bookkeeping service provider have to offer and how to compare providers to get the best results. Use this guide to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It covers everything from what questions to ask to how to measure the value of outsourced services, as well as potential pitfalls.

Before you start comparing outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services.

There is one very important question you should ask yourself before you start researching outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services. What problem(s) do you think switching from an in-house provider to a third-party provider will solve for your team?

Here are some challenges that business decision-makers have that can be overcome by working with an appropriate accounting and bookkeeping agency.

– Data entry, duplication, and other inaccuracies.

– Challenges in preparing records to be turned over to your accountant for tax filing

– Non-accountants doing duplicate work when taking on accounting tasks

– Small, dedicated in-house accounting staff

– The time and cost of onboarding qualified accounting staff is burdensome

– You need to reduce payroll costs

– Looking for an agile, flexible accounting option that can quickly adapt to market changes and business growth

The ultimate guide to finding the perfect outsourced accounting and bookkeeping service

  1. First, create a list of your company’s accounting and bookkeeping needs. Finding an outsourced accounting and bookkeeping service starts with knowing exactly what services you need. Do you need a provider that can process payroll? What about accounts payable and accounts receivable? Do you want to continue to clear your own checkbook and prepare monthly and quarterly reports? Once you have a complete list of the services you need, it’s time to contact vendors and ask them a few questions.
  2. The second step is to create a list of questions you will ask potential accounting and bookkeeping partners. Wondering what kind of questions, you should ask? It depends on your business and your work model. However, here are a few frequently asked questions.

o How do you guarantee data protection 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 as well.

o How quickly can you adjust scaling if our transaction volume increases significantly or decreases rapidly? This is especially important for businesses that offer primarily seasonal products and services, and for businesses that are growing.

o How do you train front-line and support staff? The ideal outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services offer specialized training for clients. For example, if you run or own a business in the medical industry, your outsourced processors should be fluent in medical terminology. It’s also important that your outside team preparing tax reports is familiar with federal, state, and local tax regulations.

o How does partnering with your accounting and bookkeeping service maximize my internal human resources and save the company money? Of course, price plays an important role in deciding which provider is best for you. Your company gains value when the service allows you to use all resources more efficiently. Can the new service free up non-accounting staff so they can focus on their core responsibilities? Does outsourcing provide better control over processes and procedures to streamline the organization from top to bottom, reducing costs in other areas?

Measuring true cost versus value

Now that you’ve interviewed a few accounting vendors, it’s time to consider whether outsourcing will complement your internal business model or just add cost. And you’re shifting the responsibility and cost of any additional payroll expenses to the vendor.

It’s hard to put a monetary value on the benefit you get from shifting your accounting tasks to the other side. How much would it be worth to you if you could save the expense of interviewing, checking references, and training an in-house accountant? Another consideration is how quickly you can replace an employee who quits or goes on maternity leave.

The true value depends on how many pain points you would eliminate by making the move. The final step in finding the perfect outsourced accounting and bookkeeping service is to compare prices, services, and value. Create a spreadsheet that puts the benefits and costs of each vendor option side by side. Measuring true value is in the details, including whether you need a full- or part-time accounting service, an on-demand service, or a mix of accounting and bookkeeping services that maximize your resources in a meaningful way.

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