The revenue for accounting, tax preparation and payroll services in the United States is set to generate around 160 billion US dollars in 2018. That’s a lot of people spending a lot of money on accounting and bookkeeping services.
With companies spending so much money, you’d think that it would be easy to pick a quality accounting service for your business. Unfortunately, finding a reliable and high-quality accountant is far from simple.
Ensuring that you have a high-quality out-sourced service is tough. It’s an integral part of making sure your company operate smoothly.
The good news? We’re outlining everything you need to know – with the 7 essential signs that you need to look out for – about picking the best accounting and bookkeeping services for your business.
Why Outsource Accounting and Bookkeeping Services in the First Place?
First, let’s look at some reasons why most people would want to outsource their bookkeeping services in the first place.
You’re Worried About an IRS Audit
The IRS can select you for an audit for many different reasons such as:
- Your document records not matching
- You have issues with relevant examinations
- Your business was randomly selected
Doing your books on your own leaves room for careless errors and omissions that would mean the IRS would need to investigate your business further. Hiring outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services would make the process easier.
They will document and keep track of all your expenses, income and documentation in one place.
Your Current Bookkeeper Has Let You down
Many businesses pay a part-time bookkeeper to look after their books. However, this can be a frustration if that person has let you down in the past. Things like changes in tax regulations, going on vacation for two weeks and leaving you in trouble at crucial times are some examples of when they can leave you unprotected.
You’re Paying Too Much for Accounting and Bookkeeping Services
Should you entrust your whole businesses accounting success to one person? Employing a part-time or full-time accountant to look after your books can be a costly affair. Often paying upwards of $40,000 a year for their services.
Outsourcing that work can give you access to a range of more diverse accountancies. It can also significantly reduce the cost for your business.
It’s not unusual to outsource, with around 4 million people outsourcing their accounting and bookkeeping services every year.
You’re Starting to Scale Your Business
As your business grows, you will find your needs changing and what has worked for you in the past may no longer be the best way to continue. Outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping services gives you a lot more flexibility.
It can give you access to a higher level of knowledge that in-house accounting services won’t be able to provide. With that in mind, let’s jump into the seven essential signs of a quality accountancy.
1. Privacy and Confidentiality
In any business, there are few things more guarded and protected than internal financial records. Most people would classify this information as one of the most important to keep safe. Not only for protecting yourself from competition but also to protect your business from auditing.
This is the information that an owner wants to keep safe, secure and private. Finding accounting and bookkeeping services that you can trust to do this job well can be tough.
Someone who will stay with your company for a long time and maintain confidentiality is paramount, but not a simple task.
More than half of US organizations experienced fraud in the past two years. With these kinds of statistics making fraud very real, privacy has never been more important.
This can be even harder if using a local bookkeeper who knows your personal finances. Outsourcing to a bookkeeping service with influential client referrals can give you, as an owner, peace of mind.
By removing any opportunity to have a member of your community misuse any of your financial information, you reduce the risk significantly.
Managing growth for a company can be hard. Having an accountancy that can scale with you is a crucial sign of quality accounting and bookkeeping services.
Often, when you first go with a new accountancy service, your needs start off small. As your business grows, your accountancy services can’t keep up. Especially when it’s rapid growth.
Picking an accounting and bookkeeping service that can cope with growth is huge. It’s a massively important consideration when picking any new firm.
Hiring an outsourced bookkeeping service which can deliver strategic services, such as controller oversight, is key to scaling your business. It also means you don’t have to hire or train additional staff members.
3. Training and Management
Most business owners are not skilled in accountancy and don’t have the expertise or understanding to train a new member of staff on what to do. Many businesses have no idea of what’s happening with their own books; they’re just looked after by the current accountancy service.
It’s worth having accounting and bookkeeping services that have knowledge of the latest QuickBooks services. A great accountancy firm will also be able to advise you on a variety of things, like how to choose the right invoice management software and can even train your staff on how to work alongside them with this software.
4. Maximizing Your Resources
Businesses can try to save money by doing their own bookkeeping and accounting services. However, delegating it out to your key employees can have a knock-on effect on company resources.
When handing tasks out to key employees, you are expending valuable time and energy that could be better used to grow your business using their skill set.
When you outsource your accounting and bookkeeping services, you free yourself up to spend time on what you do best. Any member of your staff that isn’t a qualified accountant shouldn’t be wasting time on completing the companies books.
You can use resources like a reliable expense tracker paired with the knowledge and expertise of your accounting and bookkeeping services. This will help you maximize your resources and avoid extra time scratching around for receipts or manually filling in forms.
5. Tax and Audit Ready
You can use outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services to prepare your end of year reports, ensuring you have clean, accurate books and filings. This will help keep the IRS and banking institutions off your back.
Why? Quality accountancy and clean books give them fewer concerns over whether your books are accurate, making you less likely to be flagged for an audit.
Outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services take the worry off of you. Need to supply a financial report to satisfy an investor, bank, or the IRS? You can hand over this financial information without doubting your data.
It’s crucial to choose an accounting firm that can provide this authority and trust.
6. New Technology
Technology, especially in bookkeeping and accounting services, changes and advances all the time. Staying up-to-date with the latest changes and newest pieces of software is so important.
It’ll help to keep your business ahead while also limiting your exposure, and potentially save you money. Software and technology firms design at the cutting edge to improve accounting processes.
Accounting technology reduces and refines compliance exceptions and safeguards against any fraudulent activities. They do this by automating the process of calculating key performance indicators and budgeting for you.
You’ll find larger client accounting services can stay ahead of the latest technology innovations. They also can pass those resources onto their clients to save them time and money.
7. Industry Insight
Bookkeeping and accounting services are not one size fits all. Small firms can often offer outsourced accounting services that might not have the industry insight and expertise that you need to ensure that your books are correctly completed.
Cash service businesses, companies that use government contracts and companies which are subsidiaries of foreign businesses, for example, all require unique record keeping to ensure they remain compliant.
When you are selecting an accounting and bookkeeping service for your business, make sure you are dealing with a firm that has insight into your specific industry. This is crucial to make sure you are not only compliant but that you are maximizing the effectiveness of your business.
An accounting firm should be there to not only make sure you file your returns correctly but also to improve the bottom line of your business. They do this by advising you of the best way to structure your companies finances.
Time to Get Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Services Sorted
Now that you have all the information you need to be able to identify what a high-quality accountancy service is, make sure that you make the right decision in picking your next firm.
For more advice on how to pick the right accountancy firm for your business needs, reach out to us today.