Your business may have had small beginnings, but with the right mix of patience and passion, you’ve had the privilege of watching your business expand and grow. Handling your own financial records might have made sense in the beginning, but is it time to consider partnering with an online bookkeeping service.
Virtual bookkeeping services can provide all of the same benefits as an in-house bookkeeper at a fraction of the cost. Relying on these specialised services can help you with running your day-to-day operations, preparing your annual tax returns, and everything in between.
Today, we’ll take a quick look at how bookkeeping services work and show you how to choose the right bookkeeper for your company.
What Does a Bookkeeping Service Do?
Bookkeeping and accounting services are designed to manage and plan your company’s financial processes, helping you stay on top of your financial health.
Typically, services include the following:
- Tracking income and expenses
- Managing cash flows
- Paying bills
- Tax preparation and planning
- Reconciling bank statements
- Financial planning
- Managing payroll
- Generating financial reports
Typically, a bookkeeping service offers a three-tiered approach to handling your company’s books. The first tier is created by the bookkeeping software specialist, who will create a file that’s customised to the unique needs of your business.
Learn More: Visory’s Bookkeeping Services
The second tier is the full-charge bookkeeper, who will be the one performing many of the duties described above. They can also provide assistance in the event of a tax audit, as well as help with long-term planning to optimise your tax returns.
The third tier is known as the controller. The controller’s role is to increase your company’s financial accountability and monitor your financial statements for accuracy. The controller can also generate regular (often monthly) financial reports and bring any critical issues to your attention.
Keeping Your Financial Records in Order
Online bookkeeping services can also provide valuable assistance in maintaining and organising your financial records. This can be particularly important when it comes to tax planning and strategy. Your receipts and financial documents can be leveraged to minimise your tax debts and increase your chances of a return.
Some business owners may be concerned about handing their sensitive financial records over to a third party, worried that doing so may limit their access or expose their business to hackers or cybercriminals. But the opposite is actually true.
The advanced accounting software employed by today’s virtual bookkeeping firms can give small business owners increased access to their financial data, all while keeping it safely organised on a secure server.
Do You Need a Bookkeeper or an Accountant?
Many small business owners try to cut corners by handling their own books. This may seem like a cost-saving strategy, but it comes with a price.
As a business owner, your focus belongs on the revenue-generating activities that will expand your business. You may actually be limiting the growth of your business by focusing on administrative details.
A dedicated bookkeeper can help you manage your cash flow, pay bills, handle payroll, and more. Not only does a bookkeeper take these responsibilities off your plate, but they can also provide you with big-picture data that can help you hone your business strategy, preparing you for growth in the future.
How Much Does a Bookkeeping Service Cost?
Bookkeepers are often one of the first employees that business owners choose to hire. Unfortunately, the cost of an in-house bookkeeper can be prohibitively high.
According to the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, bookkeepers in Australia start at an average of $60 per hour, with rates jumping to $80 per hour for advanced services. Hiring a full-time bookkeeper can become costly, even if you only need them a few hours here and there.
Compare that to the low monthly rate of today’s online bookkeeping and accounting services. You can outsource your bookkeeping to an online bookkeeper for a few hundred dollars per month. This can save you thousands of dollars when compared to hiring a full-time employee.
In most cases, the monthly price will be influenced by such factors as:
- The size and revenue of your business
- The services you need (tax planning usually costs extra)
- The personalised attention of a dedicated bookkeeper
- The communication options between you and your bookkeeper
But even the most expensive bookkeeping services will be significantly more affordable than hiring your own bookkeeper.
How Can a Bookkeeping Service Benefit Your Business?
The low costs of a bookkeeping service are often enough to entice frugal entrepreneurs. But partnering with an online bookkeeper has multiple benefits for your business that can’t be overlooked.
These benefits include:
- Niche experience and specialised skill sets
- Faster reporting
- Access to financial data and monthly reports
- Personalised financial guidance and support
- Access to the latest financial software
- Consistent communication
Think of it this way: If your in-house bookkeeper takes a sick day or goes on holiday, what happens to your books? You’ll likely grind to a halt until he or she returns to the office. In our fast-paced business world, this can create a delay you can live without.
A virtual bookkeeping service can help keep your business running 24/7, 365 days a year.
Additionally, it’s unlikely that your in-house bookkeeper can match the specialised experience or education of an online team. Partnering with an online firm grants you access to a more diverse group of financial professionals, some of whom may have the specialised training or experience to address complex or unique issues.
How to Choose the Right Bookkeeper
How do you choose the right bookkeeping service for small businesses? With so many choices available, it can be hard to think through your options. But there are several key features you’ll want to consider before partnering with an online bookkeeper.
First, you’ll want a company that understands your industry. The financial needs of a restaurant may be very different from an online retailer. You’ll want to choose a bookkeeping service that can take these specialised needs into consideration and provide service and guidance that fits your business.
Potential for Growth
Secondly, you’ll want a company that’s capable of scaling along with your business. As your business grows, so will your needs. You may have an increased need for regular communication with your accounting and bookkeeping professionals, or you may need to have additional input regarding tax strategy.
You’ll want a company that offers services that can evolve with your changing business, one that can help you reach the benchmarks on your road to success.
Third, you’ll want a company that offers clear, direct communication. You never know when you’ll have a question about your financial health or need to access a crucial piece of data. You’ll want a company that gives you access to your data through user-friendly accounting software.
We’ll Handle the Books; You Handle the Business
Have you been struggling with keeping your books up-to-date? Has tax season been a source of stress? It’s time to get your head out of the back office and back in the game. Visory can help you do that.
Our team of financial experts can help you run your business more smoothly and efficiently than ever before. Learn more about Visory’s bookkeeping services and discover how our team can improve the way you do business.