Useful Tips For Outsourcing Your Small Business Bookkeeping

Are you struggling with managing your financial books? Many small businesses like yours are. As your business grows, you cannot just do with a simple worksheet-based system, you need to move to a comprehensive, centralized bookkeeping solution that will make sure that all your accounts are up-to-date and accurate. Hiring a full-time accountant for a job that needs just a few hours per week might not be the right solution for small businesses. Many small entrepreneurs are taking advantage of outsourcing bookkeeping activities to save time, costs, and get the accounts handled professionally. But how do you go about outsourcing your bookkeeping activities?

These simple yet useful tips will go a long way in creating a huge difference to the effectiveness of outsourcing your bookkeeping tasks.

Select a feature rich accounting tool

Picking the right application is the first step. Commonness is ever available; accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, billing and a variety of other standard components are all part of any tool. What we need is feature richness like graphical reports, tool automation, interoperability, tool customization and other related activities like purchase orders, payroll management, etc. New-age accounting software like QuickBooks sets the standards for small business accounting application. It is extremely affordable, easy to use, and comes with all the features that your business can need. Major bookkeeping solution providers would have experience working on the popular accounting tools.

Get the anywhere, anytime advantage

Of course, your accounting tool must have the e-advantage as it will make outsourcing easier. In a world which is fast becoming wireless yet connected, anchoring your business on the internet is surely the way to go. And the benefits of hosting your bookkeeping tool on the internet are something which requires no mention. The greatest advantage of having a hosted solution is that your bookkeeper can work from anywhere and you can see your daily reports anytime. PricewaterhouseCoopers reports that online accounting has skyrocketed by 40% in just over the last two years as more and more SME’s realize the efficiency and cost-savings of online software. A hosted solution also ensures automatic software updates so that your tool meets the industry best practices.

The tool should be flexible to accommodate growth

Scalability is the word here. You might need few features and users right now and don’t want to spend on something that might be good for 100+ users. And on the other hand, as your business grows, your accounting tool should be ready to handle the added burden of processes, features, transactions, users, and so on. Another key aspect here is the customization readiness of your tool which will ensure easy scalability. And hence, while selecting the tool, you should make sure that it takes care of smaller needs that you have right now, and grows along with your business in future, without saddling you with high costs.

Transferring existing data to new application

One very important aspect of the process is transfer of data from your system to the bookkeeping service provider.  Hosted solution makes the process simpler and transparent. It is advisable to use traceable methods of transactions like debit card, credit card, bank bill pay where the merchant information and the amount shows up on monthly statements. Such statements can be used by bookkeeper to reconcile accounts. Usage of cash should be minimized as much as possible.  In places cash is used, proper receipt storage becomes crucial for IRS tracking.  There are a lot of neat technologies available to scan receipts and save the receipts in the electronic format. Neatreceipts and Shoebox are few popular ones.

Experienced CPAs and bookkeepers

We still require qualified bookkeepers to get the final job done. These new-age tools cannot ignore the services of a qualified accountant. It’s their intelligence which goes along with these smart tools to bring more effectiveness and fastness to the whole accounting process. So ensure that you are dealing with not just fancy tools but also smarter and certified professionals when you outsource.

Make sure that your vendor takes security seriously

Earlier financial transactions were a closed affair, so security wasn’t a worrying factor; however with bookkeeping growing into an activity worth outsourcing, security has to be counted for. As most of these accounting tools are hosted on the internet and accessed from multiple locations, you have to make sure that your vendor has defined data security processes.

About the Author

Dave Otfinoski, CEO of My Business Assistant or “MBA”, has more than twenty-five years of executive, hands-on experience with small and mid-sized businesses. As CEO of MBA, Dave manages a team of experienced virtual assistants who have extensive expertise in the realms of small business operations, bookkeeping services, website design, SEO, content creation and call center operations. Outstanding client service and quality performance are the hallmarks of both My Business Assistant and the MBA team. We look forward to providing you with the Virtual Assistance that you may require to enhance your own business strategies. Please feel free to contact us at or call us at 800.993.9622 with any questions or inquiries that you may have.