Outsourcing your bookkeeping services has never been so accessible and compelling than it is today. The introduction to new technology, cloud computing has changed the way we do business today. The common reason small businesses neglect their financial accounts is time and cost. They have neither time nor knowledge to carry out necessary bookkeeping tasks themselves. Yet they are reluctant to either outsource bookkeeping services or burden their business with in-house bookkeepers.
Bookkeeping is essential for all sizes of business but it’s also time-consuming. Delegating tasks to a qualified bookkeeper helps focus on the core mission of your business. Outsourcing bookkeeping services can help you save time, money alleviates the hassle of managing books.
The undervalued benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping are:
The value of service-based bookkeeping:
Using an outsourced bookkeeping service doesn’t mean buying software and working the system yourself. The human factor and customer service provided is what creates a dynamic working relationship between your business and your bookkeeper. Bridging the gap between people and software is a great business model and something you should consider when selecting an outsourced service.
Saving time and money is just the beginning:
Outsourcing services helps you to offload your financial accounts burden to a professional bookkeeping company that can save you both time and money. You will generally pay less to an outsourcing firm than you would to your in-house bookkeeper or part time employee on the company payroll. This will lower your administrative work and you can focus more on growing and sustaining your business. You will also save on lost productivity cost that comes along with hiring employees onto the payroll. When you outsource you only pay for what you need- nothing more, nothing less.
When you outsource bookkeeping services, you are at an advantage of expertise and better knowledge at your disposal. They are experts who stay updated on all the pertinent financial details so you don’t have to worry about anything. You will learn more about your business and have access to expertise advice. They are proactive and may offer you advice that can affect your overall business operations thus saving you time and money both. It will give you peace of mind that’s often associated with business obligations as government remittances, annual tax returns, ever-looming possibility of an audit.
When you outsource bookkeeping services, you get benefit from the combined diligence and experience of a team of professionals. Some things that may be neglected or go unnoticed by your in-house professionals are far more likely to be spotted and dealt by the group effort that is consistently applied by outsourcing firms.
Your business might not be able to afford the latest accounting tools and softwares, but your professional outsourced bookkeeping firm can. Regardless of the cost, professional firms tend to invest in the latest technology to provide the best possible services to their clients. When you outsource bookkeeping services you tend to reap all the benefits provided by top level accounting systems without having you invest and maintain them yourself. This top level system creates nightly backups and keeps records organized for years, ensuring that if the IRS does come knocking for an audit, you’ll be more prepared than ever.
Wearing and assigning multiple hats in small business can be a hard reality to grow business successfully. Trying to perform bookkeeping services amidst other responsibilities may result in incorrect data entry, reporting or any other missed data altogether. But with outsourcing bookkeeping services, the keeper is focused exclusively on financial accounts, ensuring timely and accurate results.
Full scalability is the biggest advantage when outsourcing your bookkeeping services meaning the flexibility it provides in scaling your business. When you make wise decisions to outsource, it means you can expand and cut back on growth and expenses when and where you see it. Outsourced firms help you to make the best decision for your small business by providing real-time access to facts and figures at any time possible. Saving time = gaining new clients and growing your firm.
When outsourcing bookkeeping there is no threat regarding employee access to critical data and the information can be stored electronically. You should also ask your prospective virtual bookkeeper if they log into secured servers and if there is proper monitoring of the dissemination of data. You can ask outsourced firms about security features to protect against third parties and to limit access to your self or key members of your business.
Companies that use virtual bookkeepers are more successful in growing their business, generating higher margins and increasing revenue. Outsourcing dramatically increases the scalability of options of our business. Whether your business is in growth mode or cost reduction state, the outsourced team can provide you with different plans and best options to achieve your goals.
Audit and tax preparation:
Compliance and audit preparedness will give you peace of mind that will help you sleep better at night. Bookkeeping firms are always working on your books so that you are prepared fully for the tax cycle or ready for any kind of audit that may come your way. In terms of accounting, this means that someone is making sure a company’s financial matters are handled following federal laws, state laws or local tax laws and regulations.
The bottom line:
Outsourcing bookkeeping services allows you to leverage modern technology and increase scalability of your business. It is a sure way to increase firms profitability and sleep better at night. We provide Bookkeeping Services for Small Business and would be happy to provide you too. Get our team of experts to do your bookkeeping and spend all your extra time more productively.
Everything was running smooth until December 2019. But the unannounced arrival of COVID-19 was a shock for everyone. Businesses as well as individuals didn’t even have the time to prepare themselves for the crisis. Before businesses could prepare themselves to respond against the pandemic, lockdown was forced in all the major economies in the world, sending businesses at the backfoot. The most affected are the small businesses that didn’t have efficient mitigation plans and exit strategies in place.
However, it has been more than 6 months since the first Corona positive case surfaced and since then, the global society as a whole has both learned a lot as well as adapting to what seem to be signs of a new normal. Same goes with small businesses that are slowly and steadily picking up
Suggested Read – Ways to Maximize your Tax Benefits During Covid-19
Educate your staff
The first step that small business owners need to take in preparation of the COVID-19 is keep themselves as well as their staff well-educated, afterall each individual needs to contribute in this fight against the pandemic. Stay away from rumours and look for trusted news sources. Here are a few sources you and your staff can rely upon:
Strengthen remote working culture
During these tough times, remote working culture has come up as a saviour for businesses. While social distancing and lockdown were in full force, it was remote working culture that has saved businesses from perishing. Working remotely has already shown its true potential and its time business owners fully incorporate a remote working model into their existing business model. From offering funds to set up a home office to reforming your current work policies, this should be definitely on every business owner’s priority list.
Technology can do wonders especially when leveraged wisely. The ongoing pandemic has showed us the wonders of the techade. From working remotely to marking your presence via cloud-based systems, it is technology that has been backing businesses during the times of crisis. From Accounting to managing client relationships, small businesses need to understand the urgency of rapidly infusing technology in every sector of their business process.
Encourage healthy workplace hygiene
Charity begins at home and so does the fight against the COVID-19. Try to adapt to the remote work culture as far as possible but in case you have a few employees coming over for work on a regular or shift basis, make sure the workplace is properly sanitized. Consider conducting in-person check up whenever an employee or a client enters the premises. Practice social distancing norms and don’t call all your employees regularly.
Suggested Reads – How to Get a Small Business Disaster Loan During COVID-19
Develop Mitigation Strategies
If you are reading this it means your business has survived the first-wave of the pandemic and its time to move ahead with a plan. Hire a certified accountant if possible to study your current financial position and plan future growth strategies accordingly.
Build a strong communication channel
While most of your employees are working from home, make sure there is an efficient and centralised communication channel in place so that both employees and clients can coordinate amongst themselves as and when needed.
Preparing your small business for the COVID-19 is simple and all that is required is ‘Adaptability’!!
Business and tax are two inseparable entities that can’t stay away from one another for long enough. Every year the tax season arrives and with it comes the tax filing complexities. Even though the tax season arrives yearly it is advisable to work on it all throughout the year else you’ll end up creating a mess with excessive workload to handle. In this post, we will take a deeper look into How to do tax preparation for small business for tax season efficiently.
Small Business preparation for Tax Season
Keep organized and updated throughout the year
Preparing for tax season isn’t a task that needs to be done only when the filing season is near. It is a process that should be well organized throughout the year. Keeping your financial position up-to date will not only make it easy for you to be well-prepared in advance but also ensure that you have your financial state at your disposal at all times so that you can make business decisions accordingly.
A professional bookkeeper can help small business owners in keeping the financial work organized all throughout the year, making it easy when the tax season arrives.
According to the financeonline.com, “21% of SMB owners feel that they are not knowledgeable enough about accounting and finance”. However, many small business owners avoid seeking professional help when preparing and filing taxes. While small businesses can save a handsome a few bucks if they don’t hire a professional, it can also backfire in many ways. As said above, preparing for tax season is a continuous process that requires tracking and recording of financial transactions throughout the year, SMB owners who prefer taking care of their Accounting and Bookkeeping by themselves can end up making mistakes as well as spend their valuable time doing something that they shouldn’t be doing.
Also, if you hire a professional Accountant who is more qualified to advise you on tax matters, you can save more money than you can lose if you do it by yourself.
Looking for Top Financial Preparation Services?
Separate business from personal expenses
While many business owners do spend from their own pockets, they should keep the expenses separate as it not only simplifies the process of managing finances but also helps in claiming tax relief when the tax season arrives.
Know which business tax return you need to file
Small Businesses can fall under many different categories like Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Single Member LLC or Sole Proprietor. And each category has it’s different set of rules and tax rates. Therefore, business owners need to classify their business before they go for filing their tax return. Businesses can lose a significant amount of capital as they could end up overpaying taxes, failing to classify their business.
Technology has made our lives easier and the Accounting profession isn’t new to it. Using Accounting software like QuickBooks can help small business owners automate their day to day tasks and keep the financial records organized while they are safe and secure under multi-layer data encryption that accounting software uses.
Tax preparation for Small Business – Preparing for tax season isn’t as difficult as it sounds. All that needs to be done is keep the financial processes well-organized all throughout the year. While business owners have other core responsibilities to handle, they can hire a professional bookkeeper to maintain their books.
We are living in a smart age where technology drives us to become better at our work each day. Technology has completely transformed how we used to work. Tasks that required hours of manual and mental work a decade ago, can now be completed with just a click. Each and every industry is benefiting from this technological advancement and Accounting & Bookkeeping industry is one of them that is of concern to us.
Accounting and Bookkeeping is an ever-evolving landscape that has adapted pretty well to the technological boom. From the manual paperwork to using Excel to using Accounting software, the Accounting industry has come a long way.
Accounting software is application software that can perform various accounting and bookkeeping tasks like a record: financial data of a business, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and many more. It can also reduce bookkeeping discrepancies that can prove to be costly. Accounting software varies widely with the functionalities they offer and are designed in accordance with the business requirements(small business and large business requirements can vary widely).
However, when it comes to the best Accounting software for small businesses, the one name that pops up instantly is ‘QuickBooks. According to acecloudhosting, QuickBooks has around 800M global small businesses and self-employed customers, and 56M prospects visiting QuickBooks every year. But what makes QuickBooks best for small Business. Here are a few key features that make QuickBooks the stand-out Accounting Software for small businesses:
Features of QuickBooks for Small Business:
Mainly QuickBooks offers two products that are:
QuickBooks Desktop which is a one time purchase software that is installed on your computer and offers robust inventory management, job costing, and industry-specific features and reporting.
QuickBooks Online offers quite similar features to the Desktop version with the major difference being that it is a cloud-hosted platform.
However, our concern is QuickBooks Online which currently serves 4.5 million global customers with a net add of 1.1 million new customers in FY’19.
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Key Features of QuickBooks:
One of the features that make QuickBooks Online the best Accounting software is that it automates daily tasks like handling recurring invoices, bill payments, payment reminders, sync bank, and credit card transactions data; bank reconciliation, and many more such tasks, thereby saving time as well as avoiding human error.
QuickBooks further offers excellent reporting with predefined templates available like general ledger, trial balance, 1009 transaction reports, P/L templates, etc. Moreover, it offers graph features that can be used to analyze data easily and make business decisions based on the same. It also allows you to schedule business emails and ease off the manual workload.
QuickBooks Online offers email invoicing features along with other features like accepting online transactions, e-signatures and saves time. You can optimize emails for mobile devices as well as syncs easily with Gmail accounts making it easy to send invoices via your Gmail account.
QuickBooks Online can be integrated with many third-party apps and software that you may be already using. Some of the popular integration include CRMs, email, e-commerce platforms, payment processing, time tracking, payroll services and many more
QuickBooks Online also comes with a mobile application that makes it easy to be accessed from anywhere in the world, using your mobile device. You can do the following using the QuickBooks Online mobile app:
- Create, customize, send and track invoices
- Click photos of receipts and attach them to your expenses
- Reconcile transactions
- View customer information, add new customers and message customers directly from the app
- View data such as your account balance, accounts payable, accounts receivable, profit and loss report, and open current and past due invoices
- Accept online payments
QuickBooks Online Pricing:
- Simple Start Plan that costs $25/month and supports one user.
- Essentials Plan costs $40/month.
- Plus Plan costs $70/month.
- QuickBooks Advanced costs $150/month.
While there are many Accounting software out there, QuickBooks for Small Business has always stayed a step ahead from its competitors, mainly due to easy accessibility and affordable pricing. So if you still don’t use Accounting software and figuring out which will be the best, just go for QuickBooks Online, it has it all!
The unanticipated Corona outbreak has left the global economy and businesses in a state of anarchy. While businesses are still trying to figure out the best way to survive during these tough times, a Business Continuity plan can be their best bet to pull them out of this crisis.
So let’s discuss in details what is a BCP and how it can be of help:
What Is Business Continuity Planning (BCP)?
A Business Continuity Plan(BCP) is designed to pull out companies from potential threats and risks. It ensures that assets and personnel are kept protected so that they are able to function efficiently during tough times and make sure business operations aren’t hampered.
BCP assesses each and every risk that can cause a failure to the businesses operations process and plans out risk management accordingly. Risks can be either natural disasters like fire, flood etc or can be man made like cyber attacks. While every company and industry has a different set of driving factors and therefore BCP differ accordingly, a general business continuity plan includes the following:
- Determine how exactly these risks will affect the normal functioning(or operations) of the company
- Mitigate the risks by enforcing safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks
- Testing procedures to ensure they work
- Reviewing the process to avoid any delays
- Policy, purpose, and scope
- Goals and objectives
- Key roles and responsibilities
- Risk mitigation plans
- List of tasks required to keep operations flowing
- Explanation of where to go during an emergency
- Information on data backups and site backup
- Plan maintenance protocols
- Coordination with local emergency personnel
- Contact information of management personnel
You May Also Read – 5 Common Property Accounting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
5 Steps for Developing a Business Continuity Plan
As businesses have been suffering the mayhem caused by the COVID-19, they are striving hard to get back on track. However, one can use a Business Continuity Plan to come out of this trouble. Here’s how you can develop a solid BCP.
Business Impact Analysis:
Start with analyzing the impacts of the risk on your business and use the information to figure out the processes that are having the most impact on the business’ financial and operational functions. Once you have identified the pain points, move onto the next step which is recovery.
Now since you know about the pain points, in this step, you must identify and explore what steps need to be taken in order to recover critical business operations and make them functional.
While you have devised a recovery plan, it is the continuity of the process that will define how well you recover from the losses done and for how long your operations will continue to be functional. Therefore, it is necessary to form(organize) a continuity team to monitor the recovery process.
Till the time you aren’t testing, you won’t know what’s working best for your business. It’s wise to test various business continuity plans in order to make sure which is the most effective.
To ensure that the continuity team formed above to monitor that the recovery plan is performing its task with efficiency, training of the team is very vital. Training is what is very essential for skill development as well as to keep up with the ongoing trends which is the need of the hour
Tough times require both courage and extraordinary measures. While the economy is suffering a downturn and businesses are taking tough steps like downsizing to cope up with the corona outbreak, a Business Continuity Plan can significantly help businesses find better ways to get back on track.
The ‘Bottom Line’, ‘Numbers’, ‘Sales’ are some entities that are self-explanatory in any business. Especially when it comes to real estate, the number of properties sold successfully and an impressive sales record are enough to reflect the business. But, all of this is true if their is uncompromising accuracy, vigilance and standardisation in the numbers presented and their credibility. Which is where experienced accounting comes in the picture. Showing a promising real estate practice on the basis of inaccurate books can be a bane for your business and can tarnish your image in the industry as well as with your clients.
In this blog, we will talk about the common real estate accounting mistakes that your business needs to avoid in order to get through the tax season seamlessly. If you are cautious to dodge these commonly encountered errors, then not only will your books be accurate, they will also be dependable and actionable.
Mistake No 1: Realigning Funds Before the Transaction is Complete
This is a very common business error, if we may say with property and real estate accounting. The entrepreneurs are seen to be disbursing the funds before the deal is closed. This not only is a malpractice, but at the time of doing the books, is an additional wastage of time for your bookkeeper, as they need to go back and check the completion and the authentication of each transaction that you have made. In accounting terms, a transaction is considered revenue and can thus be acted upon only when the chain is complete, in real estate terms, it is when the keys are finally exchanged.
It is important for real estate entrepreneurs to keep this in mind at all times while confirming a transaction to be a revenue or before its disbursement. So that, your Accounts Payable are accurately aligned with your Accounts Receivable.
Other Blog – IRS Tax Relaxation Deadlines for Covid-19 (With State Regulations)
Mistake No. 2: Tracking Commissions Additionally From an Accounting Software
When your brokerage is tracking commission additionally and alternatively from the main accounting software that you are using, then you are backing up on age-old data entry to pay those commissions. Honestly speaking, this redundant data entry puts you at a greater risk, with your books being rampaged with human error and threats.
Ideally, using accounting software or any accounting technology is a matter to make things simpler and more convenient. Therefore, you need to have a commission management system in place that can seamlessly integrate with your accounting system and help make things more convenient for you.
Mistake No. 3: Insufficient Training of the Accounting Software
If you have an in-house or a local accountant, who you are presuming will be on track with the technological developments and has a proficiency in the accounting software of your choice, then you might be going far-fetched. The idea is that you need to have someone who is an expert and a thorough professional when it comes with dealing with your accounting tools so that bookkeeping is an easier and more convenient feat. If you take it into consideration, having someone who is not-well versed and trained in these tools, will not be able to optimize the efficiency of the same and might make errors. Therefore, it is essential to have someone who is trained and has a smooth knowledge of state-of-the-art accounting tools and technology, especially the ones preferred for use by your business.
Mistake No. 4: Not Taking Backups
This is a mistake that cannot be stressed-on enough. If you are an entrepreneur, then you need to know gone are the days, when people had stacks of paperwork in physical form, that they could go back to and tally whenever needed. This was not only time consuming, but took a lot of space and was adept with errors on all levels. With the coming in of the right accounting technology, you need to save time, effort and error. Taking backups of your data is ever-important so that you have securely kept all your essential financials readily available whenever needed. Real estate businesses are generally seen to lack in this imperative feat.
Real Estate is an exhaustive and a challenging field. You need to constantly be at your alert-best and on your toes. But the accounting part of it, need not be that dreadful if done the right way. Being on the right road of accuracy, having a dependable team that backs your efforts and avoiding these common accounting mistakes can help you keep up with your books and also get through the year-end stress-free. We hope this blog will help you highlight some common errors, and avoid them in your future accounting journey.