When looking for an outsourced accounting and bookkeeping solution, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the myriad of options in the market. If you consider the simple factors outlined below, you’ll find the field of options narrows quickly.
They say the best mechanics are the ones who can tell what’s wrong you’re your car just by listening to it. They’ve literally “heard this one before.” The same goes for accountants. Be sure to find an outsourced bookkeeping solution with at least 10 years of experience. Good accountants have developed pattern recognition and can zero in on how best to help your company quickly.
Does the firm use the latest cloud-based accounting solutions to provide you with a real-time, secure, and paperless experience? Or are they using aging software that requires you to share your most sensitive financial information via email attachments or worse? Do they support seamless time tracking, expense tracking, online billing and invoicing?
3) Domain Expertise
You need to find an outsourced accounting solution that knows your company before you even walk in the door. If you are a restaurant, do they have an existing restaurant accounting practice? Are you a tech start-up? They’d better know exactly what start-up accounting is all about. It’s easy to find out. “How many other (kind of your business) are you working with?” The more, the better.
Accounting services for $135 a month! Sounds great! But…what do you get for your money? You get what you pay for, that’s what. We’ve had numerous clients come to us after a trying an online “automated accounting” solution for a few months only to tell us they weren’t getting the comprehensive bookkeeping and accounting services they need. Will they handle all your invoicing and billing? Can you just hand over raw data files and rely on them to make informed judgment calls about your books? Be sure you’re getting great value for your money, not just a “bargain.”
You’re going to spend a few hours a month interfacing with your outsourced accountants and bookkeepers. It will be one of your most important and enduring business relationships. So, you have to ask yourself – are they good people? Do they seem to care about you and your business? Are their accountants and bookkeepers building their careers at the firm, or do they have high turnover and a toxic work environment?
Finding the right outsourced accounting firm is an important decision for the long-term health of your small business. Take your time, and ask questions in each of the 5 categories above to determine which one is right for you.