Is Outsourced Bookkeeping Right for Your Small Business?

cartoon depicting chef“Can I trust you?”

“What will you do for my business?”

“Do you do taxes?”

“What will your services cost?”

These are four of the most frequent questions we hear when entrepreneurs and small business owners are thinking about outsourced bookkeeping for their businesses. Here are some quick BookWerksTM answers:

  1. Trust is earned.

When searching for outsourced bookkeeping services, ask colleagues for references in your industry. If peers you know well say they do not fully trust their bookkeeper, call another firm.

  1. Our Services

Bookkeepers are not all alike. They run the gamut from minimalists to “do-everything” firms. It’s totally your call what you ask your external bookkeeping firms to do. Larger firms sometimes just clean up data the client has entered through the month, and one-person shops often do everything from logging bills to sending out invoices. So you can’t choose on size.

We suggest you look for a middle ground firm for reasons of control and privacy. You should not have contracted bookkeepers paying bills, invoicing customers, collecting cash or depositing receipts. While you certainly need a trusting relationship with your bookkeeper, controls are just good business.

  1. We Don’t Do Taxes

When I hear about professional bookkeeping services handling clients’ taxes, I wonder, “Are these bookkeepers CPAs?” If so, you are paying too much for their bookkeeping work. If they are not CPAs, then they are not qualified to manage your taxes.

That said, we are specialists at what we do, not jacks of all trades. We provide higher-quality, more cost-effective bookkeeping. If you need bookkeeping, look for services that specialize in BOOKKEEPING and we will help you find a good CPA for your taxes, a  payroll firm for payroll, and/or a credit-card processing firm for that service.

  1. About Costs

If your accountants / bookkeepers are still billing by the hour, they are behind the times. Value-based pricing (a fixed monthly fee), is what you want in outsourced bookkeeping services. While $150 an hour sounds better than $600 a month, you don’t know how much time the service will spend on your account. Value- based pricing takes the guesswork out of cash flow, and puts all the cost risk on the bookkeeper.

Outsourcing bookkeeping will save you time, money, hassles and headaches. Let experts handle the books, while you work on growing your business!