Frequently Asked Questions for Outsourced Bookkeeping
1.What is Outsourced Bookkeeping?
Outsourced bookkeeping refers to having bookkeeping done by a third party instead of an employee of the business. We use QuickBooks® Financial Software to track the data from the business. Our clients can access their data 24/7 through a secure internet connection.
2.How does Outsourced Bookkeeping work?
Our system uses internet based QuickBooks® and a paperless workflow management system. Documents are transmitted via a scanner, fax machine, or e- mail.
3.Why should I outsource my bookkeeping?
There are four main reasons to Outsource:
A. Quality – There is a shortage of qualified bookkeepers. We take your books to a new level by having our data entry staff input your information. Their work is then reviewed daily by a skilled accountant for quality and accuracy.
B. Security – We design an accounting system, complete with checks and balances. Although no internal controls are foolproof, having our system in place allows the business owner to do virtually all functions related to money management in a very short amount of time. This provides protection for the business owner from misappropriation or theft of business assets.
C. Coaching – We schedule a monthly meeting with the business owner to review critical numbers and business events. This “business coaching” provides direction to business owners.
D. Cost – Most business owners do not know what it actually costs to have an employee do their bookkeeping. The cost of a bookkeeper is the sum of the bookkeeper’s wage and overhead costs. Overhead costs not only include benefits and office costs, but also the time it takes to train, supervise, and provide back-up for time off, etc. All of those costs are eliminated with outsourced bookkeeping, thereby costing less than an in-house employee.
4.Does Outsourced Bookkeeping safeguard my assets?
We design an accounting system, complete with checks and balances. Although no internal controls are foolproof, having our system in place allows the business owner to do virtually all functions related to money management in a very short amount of time. This provides protection for the business owner from misappropriation or theft of business assets.
5.What does Outsourced Bookkeeping cost?
The cost is a little different for each business. The more transactions each month, the number of bank reconciliations, and the complexity of payroll all affect the cost. Most of our clients pay between $1000 and $2500 per month.
6. How can I compare the cost of Outsourced Bookkeeping to hiring a bookkeeper?
The cost of hiring a bookkeeper is often difficult to calculate. The direct costs are easy to calculate. This would be wages and payroll taxes. However, there are more costs involved. The easiest way to calculate the overhead associated with each employee is as follows: 1) subtract wages and salaries from your total expenses. 2) Divide the total wages and salaries by the number you calculated in step 1. This will usually be a factor of 2 or 3. Now multiply this factor by the hourly wage of your bookkeeper. This is the overhead that each hour of labor must carry in the business. Converting that bookkeeper labor to a sales person or administrative assistant will cause income generation in exchange for this expense.
7. Is outsourcing my bookkeeping cost effective?
Outsourcing your bookkeeping is wise because it allows the business owner to have better information and spend less time on functions of business that don’t make them money. Surprisingly, outsourced bookkeeping is usually cheaper than hiring a bookkeeper. Also our accountants who review your account every day usually have more training and experience than an average bookkeeper. This means you get great value for the money.
8. Does Outsourced Bookkeeping include payroll services?
Yes. Our office prepares payroll on the pay frequency you have established for your employees. You have the option to print payroll checks or set up direct deposit for your employees. Direct deposit is the simplest, and pay stubs can be emailed to your employees. Our office also prepares all monthly, quarterly and annual payroll reports. We are an IRS Reporting Agent, meaning we can prepare payroll reports and send them directly to the necessary government agencies.
9. Do Outsourced Bookkeeping services include accounts payable?
Yes, we process accounts payable. Vendor invoices and bills are sent to our paperless system for data entry. Vendor statements are also sent to our paperless system for account reconciliation. Bills are then paid directly from QuickBooks® by our clients. Computer checks or online banking payments are easily generated by the system.
10. I want to process accounts receivable from my office. Is this possible?
Our system allows access to your QuickBooks® file 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means you can use QuickBooks® to generate invoices (or sales receipts) at your point of sale. Also QuickBooks® allows estimates to be generated, and the QuickBooks® Premier version allows sales orders to be generated.
11. Can I use purchase orders with Outsourced Bookkeeping System?
Yes, we encourage our clients to use purchase orders for inventory type purchases. This means that your purchasing agent generates the purchase order. When the order is received, our staff matches authorized receipt documents with the purchase order and vendor billing in the QuickBooks® system.
12. I need my data available quickly. How will outsourcing my books help with that?
All documents submitted by the end of the day are entered into your bookkeeping file by the following day. Month end closings are done within a couple of days of our receipt of bank statements and other month end documents.
13. How can I get financial information from your Outsourced Bookkeeping System?
Our clients are set up with access to their accounting information in QuickBooks®. We design reports you can review every day to make effective decisions in your business. The result is higher profits for your business.
14. Will I lose control of my assets and information if I outsource my bookkeeping?
The goal of our accounting and bookkeeping systems are to give you accurate bookkeeping without surrendering control of your assets. We do not deposit money or pay vendors, but we set up systems so you can perform these tasks in a matter of minutes. Also, your information remains your property. We will return it to you without any hassles if you decide to discontinue your relationship with us.
15. Will I have to fire my current bookkeeper?
That decision varies for customers that have hired us. Sometimes the bookkeeper is given duties that better match their skills, such as administrative assistant. Other times the bookkeeper position is eliminated and the employee is released from employment.
16. Who will work on my account?
Each client is assigned an accountant. This accountant is available throughout the day and reviews your online QuickBooks® file daily for accurate data entry.
17. Who will file the documents I fax to your workflow management system?
There is no need to file paper documents when using our system. We recommend documents be placed in a box after faxing and scanning. When the box gets full, place it in a secure location. This is so you can easily retrieve a paper copy of the document, based on when you submitted it to the paperless system, in the event a fax submission did not come through clearly and the document needs to be resubmitted. All documents sent to our paperless system are given 7 attributes of identification (i.e. date, name of vendor or customer, type of document.) Our bookkeepers then enter the data from these documents into your QuickBooks® file every single day. These documents are easily retrieved by you if you need a document that was sent to our system.
18. My staff will need help with the QuickBooks® program. Will you train us?
We are masters at QuickBooks®. We provide training for all users during the first few weeks of setting up your bookkeeping system and whenever necessary after that time period.
19. Will I need to back up my QuickBooks® data?
Our QuickBooks® files are backed up daily. They also run on redundant servers. This means we have up time of over 98% and you no longer have to back up your bookkeeping system.
20. Is my data secured on an Online Bookkeeping System?
Data security is an important issue to us. We use a nationally recognized application service provider. All normal security tools are in place on their system. Furthermore, you will have earthquake, flood, and fire and equipment failure protection.
21. Do I need to leave my current accountant?
No, we encourage you to maintain a relationship with an accountant. We work with your accountant to maximize tax planning and transition smoothly to tax preparation.
22. Will Outsourced Bookkeeping make it harder for my accountant to work with my business?
Our online bookkeeping system simplifies data transfer to your accountant and auditor. We can even provide them with a login to your data if you prefer. The accuracy of our accounting and bookkeeping system will greatly enhance tax planning and tax return preparation.
23. Can my accountant/business advisor access my data file?
You have complete control over the access to your data. If you would like your accountant or other advisors to directly access your bookkeeping records, we can easily set that up.
24. Do I have to sign a long term contract for your services?
No, in the beginning all we require is a commitment of 90 days. This is because of the set up costs we incur and do not pass along to you.
25. What happens if I want to cancel my Outsourced Bookkeeping contract?
After the 90 days, if for any reason you would like to cancel your contract all we ask is for a 30 day notice. We will then end on the last day of the next month. Upon your termination date, we return your QuickBooks® file to you. Within two weeks we will send your paperless document images to you on a CD. All books and records remain our client’s property.
26. Is outsourcing my bookkeeping right for my business?
There are certain instances where outsourced bookkeeping is not in your best interest. Contact us and we can quickly analyze whether outsourced bookkeeping is right for you.
27. Will outsourcing help my business be more successful?
Outsourced bookkeeping will make your business more successful because: You will have accurate information daily to operate your business, all payroll reporting and financial reporting will be accurate and timely, and, our business coach will spend one hour each month on a strategic planning call with you. The most valuable element of this entire service is that monthly planning meeting.
28. How can outsourced bookkeeping help my business grow?
Outsourced bookkeeping is a natural fit for growing companies. As our clients grow, we provide assistance for financing and important decisions. We can do the bookkeeping for multiple locations with ease. Most important, we provide accurate information timely, so you can make good decisions and spend less time on office issues.
29. How can outsourced bookkeeping help me manage my business better?
We set up reports to give you information about what is going on in your business. We encourage our business owner clients to review that data every day. Then, we meet with our clients every month to give advice and help them understand what the numbers mean.
30. What software does your company use for Outsourced Bookkeeping?
We use QuickBooks® in a hosted environment. This is not QuickBooks® Online, but a fully functioning version of QuickBooks®.
31. How long does it take for my accounting function to be transferred to your online system?
We expect the system set up to take 2 weeks and the implementation process to take up to 90 days. Once the system set up is done, you can begin accessing your QuickBooks® through our online system and we will be doing all the data entry and processing. The implementation process is the period of time when we develop best practices for your business to get accounting information to us and we train your staff.
32. What equipment or programs do I need to use Outsourced Bookkeeping?
Hi-Speed Internet, Fax Machine, Fax Line, Current Year QB License, Windows XP or higher, and E-Mail are all needed for Outsourced Bookkeeping. A Fujitsu Scan Snap (which automatically scans different sized and double sided pages and instantly creates e-mails with PDF attachments) is a great option that will reduce the time of sending source documents to a few minutes a day without even using a phone line.
33. What if I have more questions?
Please give us a call so we have an opportunity to answer any questions you may have or discuss our services in more detail. Our number is 803-929-0006.