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Bookkeeping Outsourcing Benefits

Unlock the Benefits of Bookkeeping Outsourcing in 2024

Discover the benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping and how to find and work with a bookkeeping service provider.

Unlock the Benefits of Bookkeeping Outsourcing in 2024


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Managing financial records and processes is critical to running a successful business. However, the complexities of bookkeeping can be overwhelming, especially for small businesses with limited resources. Thankfully, outsourced bookkeeping can be a game-changer, offering an affordable and comprehensive solution to handle financial tasks efficiently.

In this article, we will explore the concept of outsourced bookkeeping and its benefits for businesses. We will define what outsourced bookkeeping entails and discuss the key services outsourcing providers offer.

By understanding the power of outsourced bookkeeping and making informed decisions when selecting a provider, you can streamline your financial management processes, reduce costs, and gain valuable insights for driving growth and success in your business.

Understanding Bookkeeping Outsourcing

bookkeeping, accounting, taxes

Outsourced bookkeeping refers to partnering with a third party to manage your company’s financial records and processes. It is an alternative to hiring an in-house bookkeeper or doing the bookkeeping yourself.

Outsourced bookkeeping is a game-changer for businesses. It provides an affordable yet comprehensive solution to managing financial records and processes, from basic bookkeeping tasks to complex tax preparation.

By outsourcing, you can focus on other areas while ensuring your financial records are accurate, up-to-date, and in line with regulatory requirements. You no longer have to worry about hiring and training in-house bookkeepers or struggle with do-it-yourself accounting software. Instead, you can trust the experts to handle your finances while you focus on what you do best—running your business.

Types of businesses that benefit from outsourcing their bookkeeping 

Outsourced bookkeeping is particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses or startups that lack the resources to hire a full-time or part-time bookkeeper. With outsourced bookkeeping services, these businesses can access professional services at a fraction of the cost of hiring an employee.

Whether you choose to engage a local bookkeeper or a virtual bookkeeper, the cost savings and increased efficiency offered by outsourcing can significantly impact the growth and success of your business.

Key bookkeeping services offered 

A wide range of services can be effectively delegated to external providers. Some of them will fall into what you would traditionally consider bookkeeping, and some will stray more into what may be considered other specialized or accounting services.

What services your bookkeeping service provider offers depends on their experience and whether you are dealing with an individual or a firm that has allocated several professionals to your business needs. The bookkeeping functions you can pay for include:

  • Accounts receivable and payable: Bookkeeping providers can handle invoicing, tracking customer payments, managing accounts payable and receivable, and processing vendor payments.
  • Bank reconciliation: Bookkeepers can reconcile your bank statements with your financial records, ensuring accuracy and identifying any discrepancies or errors that need to be resolved.
  • Expense tracking: Outsourced bookkeepers can efficiently track and categorize business expenses, simplifying the process of monitoring costs, budgeting, and preparing financial reports.
  • Payroll management: Outsourcing payroll services can simplify the process of managing employee wages, deductions, and tax withholdings, including issuing paychecks, preparing payroll reports, and filing payroll taxes.
  • Tax filing: Bookkeeping experts can assist with tax-related tasks, including calculating and filing taxes accurately and on time. They stay updated on the latest tax laws and regulations, ensuring compliance while maximizing potential deductions.
  • Financial statement preparation: Outsourced bookkeeping providers can prepare essential financial statements such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and cash flow statements. These statements offer a clear overview of your business’s financial health and enable informed decision-making.
  • Financial analysis: Experienced bookkeeping professionals can provide insightful financial analysis by generating reports, identifying trends, and offering recommendations to improve your business’s financial performance.
  •  Budgeting and forecasting: Bookkeeping providers can assist in developing budgets, creating financial forecasts, and analyzing variances between projected and actual financial performance.

These are just a few examples of bookkeeping services you can outsource. Depending on your needs, you can tailor the services to align with your financial management requirements.

By entrusting these tasks to experienced professionals, you can ensure that your financial records are taken care of. This not only helps you avoid costly penalties and fines but also provides you with valuable financial insights for growing your business.

Of course, the price you pay (and savings to be made) will depend on the number of services you need—but we will cover that further below. 

Evaluating the Benefits of Outsourcing

chart, graph, finance data

By outsourcing your bookkeeping needs, you can unlock a wealth of benefits. The following advantages can help you streamline your business operations, reduce costs, and gain valuable financial insight for driving growth and success.

Cost efficiency

One of the primary benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping needs is the potential for cost savings.

Hiring a full-time in-house bookkeeper can cost between $33k and $54k annually. And that’s just the base salary; it doesn’t include benefits, payroll taxes, and other overheads of employing in-house staff.

In comparison, outsourcing bookkeeping services can range from a few hundred dollars a month for smaller businesses with few transactions to about $2k, which is considerably more cost-effective than hiring a full-time bookkeeper. And from our experience, hiring a freelance virtual bookkeeper from Latin America can further cut those costs down to a starting point of $9k annually.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping may also mean that you can eliminate the cost of having to have bookkeeping software, such as Quickbooks. Your bookkeeper will likely have their preferred cloud-based accounting software that they use, pay for, and give you access to. 

Access to expertise

As you will only be paying for the services you need, by outsourcing, you may be able to engage the services of a much more experienced bookkeeper than you would if you had to pay their full-time salary. This expertise can help you avoid costly mistakes, streamline your bookkeeping processes, and enhance the overall efficiency of your financial management.

By working with experienced professionals, you can trust that your financial records are handled carefully, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Improved accuracy and compliance

Accuracy and compliance are critical when managing your business’s finances. If you are attempting DIY bookkeeping, the other demands of your business may mean you drop the ball too often when it comes to keeping on top of your accounts. Outsourcing your bookkeeping needs can help ensure that your financial records are accurate and up-to-date, which is essential for making informed business decisions and remaining compliant with regulations.

Also, by partnering with an experienced professional bookkeeper knowledgeable about the latest tax laws and best practices, you can avoid costly penalties and fines while ensuring that your financial records are in good hands.

Evaluating the Challenges of Outsourcing

While outsourcing bookkeeping can offer numerous benefits, we wouldn’t be presenting all the facts if we don’t make clear some of the potential drawbacks you should consider. Here are some issues to be aware of when it comes to outsourcing your bookkeeping:

Loss of direct control

When you outsource bookkeeping, you are entrusting a third-party provider with access to your sensitive financial information. This can result in a perceived loss of direct control over your data and processes. It’s crucial to choose a reputable provider and establish clear communication channels to address any concerns and maintain oversight.

Dependency on an external service provider

Relying on an outsourced bookkeeping service means you depend on their availability and responsiveness. If the provider experiences staffing or operational issues, there is a possibility of delays or interruptions in accessing your financial records or receiving timely assistance. It’s important to select a provider that has a proven track record of reliability and has contingency plans in place.

Limited customization

Outsourced bookkeeping providers often offer standardized packages and services that may not fully align with your unique business requirements. While they provide a range of services, there might be limitations on customization or flexibility. It’s essential to thoroughly evaluate the provider’s offerings and ensure they can accommodate your specific needs.

Data security risks

Sharing financial information with an external entity introduces potential security risks when outsourcing bookkeeping. Choosing a provider with robust data security measures, including encryption protocols, secure data storage, and compliance with industry regulations, is vital. Additionally, implementing appropriate confidentiality agreements and regularly reviewing security practices can help mitigate risks.

By being aware of these challenges and proactively addressing them through careful selection, open communication, and diligent monitoring, you can minimize the potential drawbacks of outsourcing bookkeeping. 

Choosing the Right Outsourced Bookkeeping Provider

A business owner looking at a laptop with cloud based accounting software on the screen

Selecting the right outsourced bookkeeping provider is crucial for reaping the benefits of outsourcing. You can find a provider that best suits your business’s needs and budget by doing the following:

Decide on partnering with a freelance bookkeeper or a bookkeeping or accounting agency

The decision between hiring a freelance bookkeeper or a bookkeeping agency depends on the specific needs of your business. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed choice:

  • Expertise and specialization: Bookkeeping agencies often have a team of professionals with diverse skills and expertise. They may offer specialized knowledge in various industries or have experience handling complex financial operations. Freelance bookkeepers may excel in specific areas but might have limitations regarding breadth of expertise.
  • Availability and reliability: Bookkeeping agencies typically have multiple professionals on staff, providing backup and continuity. If one bookkeeper is unavailable, there are others who can step in to ensure uninterrupted service. Freelancers, however, may have limited availability and could face challenges managing workload during peak periods or when unexpected circumstances arise.
  • Scalability and flexibility: If your business experiences fluctuating workloads or has evolving needs, a bookkeeping firm may offer greater scalability and flexibility. They can adjust their resources to accommodate your changing requirements, scaling up or down as needed. On the other hand, freelancers may have limited capacity or availability to meet your changing needs. Still, it is possible to find one that can.
  •  Quality control and oversight: Bookkeeping agencies often have established processes, quality control measures, and supervision to ensure their work’s accuracy and integrity. They may have internal checks and balances to review and verify the work of their bookkeepers. Freelancers, while they may provide excellent service, might have less oversight or structured quality control processes.
  • Cost considerations: Freelance bookkeepers often have lower hourly rates than bookkeeping agencies, as they have fewer overhead expenses. A freelance bookkeeper may be more cost-effective if you have a smaller budget or require basic bookkeeping services. For businesses with complex financial operations, investing in a bookkeeping agency (or bringing on several freelancers) could provide long-term value and cost savings by avoiding potential errors or compliance issues.
  • Personalized service and direct communication: Working with a freelance bookkeeper often means direct communication and a one-on-one working relationship. This can lead to a more personalized experience, as the bookkeeper gets to know your business intimately and tailors their services accordingly. The direct line of communication also facilitates quick responses, efficient collaboration, and a deeper understanding of your financial goals.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on your business’s specific needs, budget, and priorities. Evaluating and comparing multiple options can be beneficial; request proposals or consultations from freelance bookkeepers and bookkeeping agencies to determine the best fit for your business.

Assess the agency’s or freelancer’s reputation

When evaluating an outsourced bookkeeping provider, assessing their reputation is crucial.

For agencies, you can do this by reviewing online reviews and ratings, which can provide insight into the experiences of other clients. Be sure to consider positive and negative feedback for a well-rounded assessment. Additionally, customer testimonials, industry awards and certifications can all contribute to your evaluation.

Likewise, evaluate the qualifications, experience, and reputation of any freelance bookkeeper you consider hiring to ensure they meet your specific needs and standards. (You may find some of our interview questions for remote accounting and finance professionals helpful when you get to the interview stage.)

By choosing a provider with a proven track record of success, you can trust that your books are in capable hands.

Compare service offerings

As we covered above, outsourced bookkeeping providers offer various services, so it’s essential to compare offerings to ensure you’re getting the best value for money. Research each provider’s services and consider whether they align with your needs.

Don’t be tempted to pay for more services than your business needs at the moment. If you expect to grow, finding a service provider that can offer more services as your needs change may be beneficial.

Or if you just need standard bookkeeping services, you can hire a remote bookkeeper for now and then bring in other remote accounting and finance specialists as you scale. Eventually, scaling to a fully outsourced, remote accounting team.

By comparing different providers, you can find a partner that offers the right mix of services to help your business run smoothly and efficiently.

Analyze pricing models

Pricing models for outsourced bookkeeping services vary. Some providers charge a flat fee, while others offer a monthly subscription fee. Freelancers may also charge by the hour.

Analyzing these pricing models is crucial to ensure you get the most competitive deal for your business that fits your budget without sacrificing quality or expertise.

A business owner looking at a laptop with financial reporting on the screen

Implementing Outsourced Bookkeeping in Your Business

Successfully outsourcing your bookkeeping requires careful planning and execution. By establishing clear expectations, transitioning to a new system, and monitoring progress and performance, you can reap the benefits of this strategy.

Establish clear expectations

Setting clear expectations with your outsourced bookkeeping provider is essential for a successful partnership. This includes discussing your business’s specific needs, required services, and preferred communication methods.

By establishing clear responsibilities and expectations upfront, you can ensure that you and your provider are on the same page, leading to a more efficient and effective working relationship.

Transition to a new system

It’s likely that you may have to transition to a new bookkeeping system once you bring in a third party. This can seem daunting, but it can be a smooth and efficient process with the right planning and support. Work with your bookkeeping partner to formulate a plan for the transition, setting clear objectives and a timeline for implementation. By taking the time to properly establish the new system, you can ensure a seamless transition and a successful partnership.

Monitor progress and performance

Monitoring the progress and performance of your outsourced bookkeeping provider is crucial to ensuring the partnership’s success. Establish quantifiable goals and objectives, and track progress against these goals to evaluate performance.

Regularly review the results and provide feedback to help the provider understand and apply any necessary improvements. By actively monitoring progress and performance, you can ensure that your outsourced bookkeeping provider meets your expectations and contributes to your business’s success.

Outsourced Bookkeeping for CPAs and Accounting Firms

CPAs and accounting firms can also benefit from outsourcing their bookkeeping needs. By partnering with outsourced bookkeepers, these professionals can expand their service offerings and enhance profitability while focusing on their core competencies.

Expand service offerings

Outsourcing bookkeeping services can enable CPAs and accounting firms to expand their range of services, offering more comprehensive financial management solutions to their clients. This means accounting firms can provide a one-stop shop for businesses instead of businesses having to source their bookkeeping and accounting services from different providers.

This helps differentiate their accounting firm in the marketplace and strengthens client relationships by offering a more comprehensive suite of services.

Enhance profitability

CPAs and accounting firms can enhance their profitability by focusing on high-profit services and outsourcing labor-intensive bookkeeping tasks. By freeing up time and resources that would otherwise be spent on bookkeeping tasks, accounting professionals can focus on providing personalized, high-value services to their clients. This can increase client satisfaction and loyalty and long-term business growth.

A business owner looking at a laptop with bookkeeping and accounting on the screen

Final Thoughts

Outsourced bookkeeping offers many benefits for businesses and accounting firms. By partnering with an experienced provider, you can unlock cost efficiencies, access specialized expertise, and ensure accuracy and compliance in your financial management. By carefully selecting the right provider and implementing a successful partnership, you can focus on what you do best—running your business—while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with knowing your financial records are in capable hands.

If you are looking to leverage outsourced bookkeeping services, Near can help you hire pre-vetted bookkeepers from Latin America, enabling you to cut your overhead by 30% to 70%.

We find you the talent that best fits your requirements. Then it’s down to you to interview the candidates (for free!) and select your ideal bookkeeper. We can give you as much help as you would like with hiring, onboarding, paying, and even retaining your new bookkeeper afterward. Fill out this form to get your list of pre-vetted bookkeepers today.

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