What concepts come to mind when you think of the word “outsourcing?” Is it cost-effectiveness, work-life balance, or discomfort? Many businesses are trying their hand at outsourcing, and while some are still wary, many are enjoying the benefits. They are understanding the perks associated with learning how to outsource bookkeeping services.
According to a survey conducted by Deloitte about outsourcing, 78 percent of respondents said they felt positive about their outsourcing relationship with other companies. Also, 59 percent of companies use outsourcing to reduce their expenses.
Today’s world of technology and the gig economy make it easy to find a capable professional who can handle one of the most tedious tasks business owners face: bookkeeping. Outsourcing allows you to delegate this task to an experienced professional at a much lower cost.
Now, you may be asking yourself how you can outsource bookkeeping services. What steps can you and your small business take to make this process straightforward, and take advantage of the time and cost benefits of outsourcing?
We are here to help you make bookkeeping a little bit easier. We invite you to take a look at our steps on how to outsource bookkeeping services.
Understand What Bookkeeping Is and What It Isn’t
It is tempting to put bookkeeping, financial management, and accounting under one umbrella. However, while these services are related, they have different functions for your small business. Bookkeeping is the process of preparing financial information for assessment by an accountant.
Bookkeeping is also the tracking of daily transactions, which include sales, purchases, revenue, and expenses. They may also handle financial transactions and reconcile books. More advanced financial reporting, balance sheet activities, and tax preparation should be left to accountants. Understanding this difference will help you outsource your bookkeeping services to the right professional.
Know Your Short and Long-Term Bookkeeping Needs
Yes, you will have daily tasks for this professional to do. However, it is also helpful to identify at least three to four overarching needs. Take a look at where your current accounting or bookkeeping team is excelling, and then see where you could use more help. For example, your bookkeeper may be in charge of tracking daily expenses and issuing reimbursements. However, you may want them to ensure that all invoices are paid within seven days.
On the other hand, you may want daily or weekly information about cash flows or company purchases. Whatever it is, sit down with your accounting team, and decide on a mix of daily tasks and longer-term priorities. Understanding your needs is one of the most critical aspects of knowing how to outsource bookkeeping services.
Have the Right Tools
Before you outsource and formally hire someone, you need to make sure they can hit the ground running. An excellent way to do this is to invest in the right tools. Do you have a task delegation system? What about a project management tool? What is your preferred accounting software? Make sure you have each of these tools ready to go and make it a requirement for the bookkeeping professional to know these tools or have experience with alternatives. Also, make sure all the financial information they need is in one place.
Find the Right Bookkeeper
Today, there are a variety of platforms you can use to find the best bookkeeper for the job. However, before you start looking, make sure you have done these things:
- Create a practical and concise job or project description. Include preferred experience, necessary skills, information about your company, required technical knowledge, and any other pertinent information.
- Develop solid interview questions that allow them to elaborate on what they can bring to your company.
- Ask for referrals from colleagues. You may be able to find a capable bookkeeper by asking around.
After you have done these things (and if you didn’t find anyone through referrals), try out a platform that allows you to outsource. There is a variety of them out there, but we would suggest checking out Bench.co. The company makes it easy to find an experienced bookkeeper who can bring accuracy and a focused eye on your financial activities. They can make the process of outsourcing your bookkeeping services straightforward and stress-free.
Develop an Effective Training and Onboarding Experience
Again, you want your bookkeeper to hit the ground running. The more you prepare them for what they need to do, the faster they can start producing results. So, one of the most pivotal steps in understanding how to outsource bookkeeping services is providing exceptional training.
While the bookkeeping professional may not need a refresher on bookkeeping, you need to orient them to your company and your processes. Address questions like:
- How have you currently handled bookkeeping?
- What passwords do they need?
- What are your expectations regarding reporting?
Ultimately, your goal is to create a comprehensive training process that teaches them all they need to know to help your company thrive.
Make Standup Meetings Routine for Your Online Bookkeeping Professional
Your bookkeeping professional will have questions. Also, the professionals around them will have inquiries of how they fit into the new system. As a result, it is imperative that you make stand-up meetings a priority, especially toward the beginning of the person’s hiring. Decide on times that will work best for your bookkeeper and the team.
It may be every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30 AM, or Fridays at 3 PM, whatever it is, set it and stick to it. Give the bookkeeper time to ask you questions, discuss what they are working on, and provide updates on progress.
These meetings will also allow you to clear up any miscommunications and provide guidance and feedback when necessary. These are especially essential if your bookkeeper is located offsite. Stand up sessions have to be a primary part of the processes associated with successfully managing to outsource bookkeeping services.
Get Your CPA Up to Speed
If you are working with an accountant, you will want to connect this person with your bookkeeper. As mentioned above, the bookkeeper will make sure the financial information they have access to is prepared for the CPA. As a result, be sure to get them up-to-date on what the bookkeeper will be handling and how their work will impact what the CPA is currently doing. Again, as in the previous entry, it is crucial to ensure these two have regular meetings (most of which you also want to be involved with). Make sure they have access to the information they need and can collaborate if necessary.
Understanding How to Outsource Bookkeeping Services is Critical
Outsourcing can free up your in-house team to do the work they are trained to do while helping you save money on costs associated with a full-time salaried worker. You stand to benefit from outsourcing your bookkeeping services. This process doesn’t have to be overwhelming or confusing. The steps above can give you what you need not only to understand how to outsource bookkeeping services but also to help whomever you hire, manage your company’s books successfully.
Additional Reading – Seven Online Bookkeeping Tools to Help You Prepare Taxes the Easy Way