Bookkeeping is an essential business task, and it’s one that you can easily outsource to help you save time and money. There are several ways you can do this, but most bookkeeping help for small business owners comes from either a specialist bookkeeping consultancy, or from a virtual assistant business. Let’s take a look at how you decide which is best for you.
Choosing bookkeeping support services
You can delegate a wide range of finance tasks to someone working outside your business, and there are several benefits to doing so:
- Makes better use of your time – you don’t need to do the tasks yourself
- Makes better use of your resources – you don’t need to hire permanent staff
- Makes it easy to grow – a good support service learns about your business and grows with you
- Makes you confident – leave everyday tasks in a safe pair of hands
- Saves money – hiring a virtual assistant or bookkeeper could save up to 75% on the cost of asking your accountant to handle these tasks.
Independent virtual assistants and freelance bookkeepers will have the skills you need to handle the tasks you want to outsource and, in the case of a VA, can extend those services in other ways to support your business. But for finance purposes, consider outsourcing any or all of these tasks:
- Account set up/credit checks
- Expense management
- Bank reconciliations
- Company credit card management
- Payroll processing
- Account payables (payments creation)
- Ecommerce payment processing
- Account receivables (debtors follow up)
- Late payment chasing
- Enter transactions
- Help prepare your quarterly or annual taxes
- Run reports on spending patterns
The advantages of a bookkeeper
Bookkeepers have specialist finance skills, along with the attention to detail that you need in order to make sure that your business is financially stable, that your invoices and purchasing processes are in order, that you pay your staff on time and payments are chased when necessary. Bookkeepers will also run a range of reports, so that you can see how your business is operating and plan for the future.
You can outsource bookkeeping and reduce cost to your business, and your bookkeeper can work remotely, with access to whatever software you use in your business, or they can come in and work from your offices. They can also work with your accountant, tax adviser, HR and other professionals to help your business manage all financial aspects smoothly.
The advantages of a virtual assistant
A virtual assistant service allows you to access exactly the skills you need. For your finance department, a VA team will include someone with excellent bookkeeping skills and experience so that you can be confident that everything will be handled competently. More importantly, you get exceptional value for money – for a fixed hourly rate, with no hidden extras, the bookkeeper will work on your business, chasing debtors, handling your payroll, managing your day-to-day finance needs and working on any special projects as they arise. And because a virtual assistant service uses a team of experts, you don’t have to worry about your bookkeeper taking holiday or having sick days – your work will automatically be covered by another team member.
Things to consider
You don’t want to make this decision more than once, so it’s important that you take the time to make the best choice for your bookkeeping and admin services. Here are some important things to consider:
- Which tasks do you want to outsource?
- Can your chosen service handle all of these tasks?
- Do they have the skills and capacity to take on a wider range of business finance support if you need them to?
- Can they adapt as your business grows – with a larger payroll and bigger customers?
- Can they work well alongside other people in your business?
- Do they take the time to understand your goals and are they prepared to work towards them with you?
- Do they offer a flexible approach and real value for money?
- Are they able to work with your existing financial software?
- Do they have systems in place to ensure your financial data is secure?
- Do they have non-disclosure agreements in place to protect your business?
- Can they offer other services alongside finance that help to remove the admin burden from you and actively look for ways to help your business to grow?
Whatever choice you make, outsourcing bookkeeping will free up your time to concentrate on running and growing your business. Working with a dedicated team will save you money, and give you the confidence that everything is being handled efficiently and professionally, giving everyone who comes into contact with your business a great impression. Bookkeeping help for small business owners comes in all shapes and sizes – the most important thing is to find a way of working that fits with your style, offers you great value for money and the knowledge that the job is being done.
If you found this bookkeeping blog useful and you’d like to talk to us about how we can help your business – or if you would like to know more about our other virtual business assistant services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.