Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping
Outsourcing is an increasingly popular option for businesses. A wide variety of business processes may be outsourced. It’s often better for a company to outsource routine business processes, while keeping specialist business functions in house. One of the most popular processes for outsourcing are the company’s finance and HR operations. Bookkeeping is a function that is easily outsourced. Bookkeeping is easy to outsource because:
- Bookkeeping is normally a pretty standardised business process, with few company specific details.
- Bookkeepers normally use a handful of different computer applications, so it’s easy to find outsourcing companies with experience of popular packages such as Quickbooks or Sage.
- There are a wide variety of outsourcing solutions for bookkeeping.
Outsourcing to Home Based Businesses
For smaller businesses the easiest option for outsourcing is to simply employ a bookkeeper. Many bookkeepers are self employed and work from home. Home based bookkeepers are often flexible in the number of hours they can provide bookkeeping support for. They may be willing to put in more hours as your business grows, or provide additional support at month end or the end of the financial reporting year.
Most bookkeepers only know one or two financial software packages. Needless to say, if your office finance systems use Sage software then look for a bookkeeper who is familiar with Sage. Obviously if you want to outsource your entire business finance operations then what package the bookkeeper uses may not be important to you.
Some bookkeepers will be able to provide you with additional services such as outsourcing the payroll. Check that a bookkeeper has other services, as these may be of value to you should your company grow over time.
For SME’s requiring more help with the finances then many bookkeepers may be interested in part time working on-site on your premises.
Outsourcing to Other Countries
Outsourcing business processes to other countries has been an attractive option for larger multinational businesses for many years. Thanks largely to the Internet, it’s now becoming increasingly possible for smaller businesses to gain the same advantages of outsourcing routine business processes to other countries.
Countries such as India and the Philippines have large and highly educated English speaking workforces. There are an increasing number of Asian companies that offer business services to SME’s.
When hiring a bookkeeper from a country such as India, it’s best to hire them via an accounting specialist company. These companies will often allow you to hire bookkeepers on a full or part time basis. You could even have your own dedicated bookkeeper. Bookkeepers are also often available on demand, with extra staffing being made available for critical periods such as year ends.
There are many companies providing outsourced bookkeepers. Books2Taxes.com is one such example. This is an Indian based company that specialises in providing outsourced financial services for US based companies. The company supports a wide range of financial software packages including QuickBooks, Sage, MyOB and Quicken.
Finally, remember that while it is convenient to outsource bookkeeping, remember that your business finances are a critical part of your business. It’s a good idea to use an accredited bookkeeper, and take time to build up trust in your bookkeeping service. If at all possible try the service out by outsourcing the smaller, less critical parts of your company finances.