If you’re ready to spend less time running your business and more time growing your business, then it’s probably time to outsource your bookkeeping needs. Keep reading to learn the Top 7 Tips for getting started with outsourced bookkeeping for your small business.
Understand the Difference between Bookkeeping and Accounting
Learning the key differences between the services offered by your outsourced bookkeeper and your accountant is important in setting realistic expectations going forward. Let’s review them quickly.
Small Business Bookkeeper
A bookkeeper takes care of recording business transactions surrounding:
On the other hand, an accountant does not typically get involved with these day-to-day tasks. Instead, they look at the big picture when it comes to financial decision making. The responsibilities of an accountant include:
- Verifying financial data recorded by the bookkeeper
- Generating reports about cash flow
- Analyzing accounts
- Performing audits
- Preparing tax returns, income statements and balance sheets
As an outsourced bookkeeping firm, RQB does not prepare taxes, but we ensure that your records are up-to-date so that you’ll always be ready for tax season.
Connect With Your CPA
Piggybacking off the last point, your bookkeeper should work with your CPA or tax preparer to complete your accounting team. Once you have found an outsourced bookkeeper that meets your needs, an important next step will be to introduce them to your CPA so that both parties will feel comfortable asking questions as needed.
Customize the Scope of Work
The great thing about working with an outsourced bookkeeper is that you can choose from existing bookkeeping plans or customize one to fit your needs. Don’t worry, customized plans aren’t always expensive. At RQB, we create a very transparent pricing matrix for the services needed to meet your business needs. To learn more about our full line of services please visit our Outsourced Bookkeeping Services page.
Give Your Bookkeeper Access to Your Books
There’s no way around this one: in order to work with an online bookkeeper, you have to give them access to your financial information. This might sound scary at first, but it actually isn’t since your bookkeeper usually only has limited access that you pre-authorize.
When we onboard new clients, we only need access to these areas:
- Accounting platform access. If you’ve already started using accounting software such as QuickBooks, simply navigate to “Manager Users” and update the settings.
- Bank and financial information. Ask your financial institution to create “read-only” login credentials to properly secure access to your accounts.
- Vendor management. Set up and communicate to vendors how to send bills with respect to Bill.com.
- Payroll. If you use a third-party payroll service, then be sure to supply RQB with the necessary documentation or electronic file to migrate into QuickBooks payroll.
- Sales Tax. Set up an account with login credentials.
- Job Costing. Let us know which bills belong to each job category as necessary.
- Subcontractors. Send us appropriate tax information / W9s for on any individual you pay more than $600 in a given year.
Select the Best System to Deliver Info on a Regular Basis
One of the main benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping needs is that you will be relieved of day-to-day data entry, leaving you with more time to focus on growing your business. At RQB, we offer a number of options for you to share information and manage your documents in an automated way:
Direct upload to the secure server – This is usually the easiest methodology. Anything stored on your computer can be uploaded to the server with a simple copy and paste method. Anything you upload to the server is backed up nightly in multiple locations.
Related: Cloud bookkeeping is secure
LaserFiche – For an additional fee, you can take advantage of our document management system. It allows you to upload and store all your documents in a user-friendly electronic file cabinet. Check out our LaserFiche page for more information on this service offering.
LeapFile – This is our encrypted transfer service which you can access in the right-hand column (Secure Upload) on any page of our website. Your documents are encrypted from the moment they are uploaded until they are downloaded, meaning that you never have to worry about emailing sensitive information again.
Fax – We use an online system that will receive your faxes and store them electronically. On the homepage of our website, there is an orange button that says “fax me” you can click the button and upload electronic copies of what you want to fax, saving trees on both ends!
If you’re not quite ready to use any of the above methods, we can provide pre-paid Fed-Ex envelopes so that you can mail all your documents once or twice a month. In addition, for clients who are in Massachusetts or Maine , we can arrange to have a courier pick up and drop off your accounting data.
Have an In-House Point-of-Contact
At the onset of the relationship, introduce your new online bookkeeper to all the key players in your organization that they might need to work with going forward. It might also be beneficial to appoint a primary point-of-contact who will be responsible for communicating with your bookkeeper.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Overall, the goal is that you should be comfortable reaching out to your bookkeeper when you need an answer to a question about your books. Determine the available methods for communicating with your bookkeeper ahead of time so you can know what to expect.
Here’s an example of what our communication process looks like: If a client in California has a specific question about an item they see in QuickBooks, in a matter of seconds, an RQB staff member can remotely access their connection and walk the client through any questions that may arise. This gives the feel of an in-house bookkeeper, but at a fraction of the cost.
Bonus: Get Started Today
Now that you have a good understanding of the steps involved in outsourcing your bookkeeping needs, why wait any longer to start saving time and money? Reach out to our team today for a free demo of our outsourced bookkeeping services.