The Internet is flooded with blogs and web pages on the benefits of outsourced bookkeeping services. Don’t get me wrong – I certainly believe that outsourced bookkeeping services are a boon for small and mid-sized businesses.
However, there are challenges in outsourcing the bookkeeping operations that the business owners never get to know about, at least before they sign up for them.
The mere reason is that the web pages highlighting the features of outsourcing bookkeeping services dominate the search results pages.
Although the benefits and features are as important, an essential aspect – that is, the challenges of seeking the best bookkeeping services and delegating to them – remains unaddressed.
How can, then, the business owners who are new to outsourcing the bookkeeping operations navigate the challenging journey and approach this whole endeavor more professionally? How can they prevent committing expensive mistakes or subscribing to a service partner that is not right for them?
The Answer – Learn from Experts
When it comes to outsourced bookkeeping services, the theory of how the service provider should ideally operate is quite different from reality.
There is a lot that is off the book, and only practical experiences teach you these nuances of working with accounting and financial service providers and dealing with them.
The trick is to learn from the industry experts without going through bad experiences yourself. These experts have seen the ups and downs of the finance industry and know the accounting services, market, and the economy quite well.
Experts suggest that to outsource financial operations like bookkeeping professionally, one must know the following:
- The challenges with outsourcing the bookkeeping operations
- The right questions to ask when you contact an outsourcing service provider
- The features you should look for in an accounting and bookkeeping services provider
- The outsourcing mistakes one should avoid committing
When you begin with the whole outsourced bookkeeping and accounting thing, these small bits of information can come in very handy. Therefore, we have published this article to explore the truth about outsourced bookkeeping services no one talks about.
It will discuss the challenges and mistakes in outsourcing bookkeeping operations and help you pick out the best bookkeeping services.
- To explore the truth about outsourced bookkeeping services that no one talks about.
- To guide the business owners in navigating through the numerous options out there.
The Challenges of Outsourced Bookkeeping Services
For a layperson, outsourcing bookkeeping services means delegating the bookkeeping operations to an accounting firm. These accounting firms communicate with businesses online and work seamlessly using technologies like cloud accounting.
Needless to say, outsourcing bookkeeping services comes with salient benefits and features. However, that is a different story altogether and is covered on our webpage for virtual bookkeeping services.
Outsourcing also comes with potential challenges like data confidentiality, cybercrimes, data theft, poor quality, communication gaps, etc. Moreover, remember that you might need controller services on top of bookkeeping. Therefore, it is advised to search for a firm that provides both controller and bookkeeping services in the same package.
Let us discuss the significant challenges of outsourcing bookkeeping services and the mistakes you should avoid committing when doing so.
1. Business Data Security
You don’t want to transfer the control of your bookkeeping operations to a partner you can’t trust. Day-to-day transactions and journal entries contain crucial information about your company.
Anyone can leverage this information to harm your business or scam you. Additionally, ending up losing this data, such as due to theft, corruption, or a ransomware attack, can set your business back by months or even years.
It can rob you of detailed tax research and business analysis and keep you from preparing accurate tax reports or making strategic decisions. This is also bound to affect the financial statements such as the balance sheet and income statement.
2. Transparency and Unrealistic Expectations
A stark difference between an in-house bookkeeper and a virtual bookkeeper or accountant is that you have a transparent relationship with the former.
You might not have that transparency and insight into virtual bookkeeping services, and you might never know how exactly they operate and the details, like steps involved in the processes.
This comes with potential issues like compromised quality, temporary solutions, disregard for sustainable growth, etc.
To be able to trust your bookkeeping operations with a service provider, you need a transparent view of how they work.
Moreover, it is not difficult to fall for far-fetched promises and unrealistic expectations that your service provider gives you.
A fake promise like that will only spend your precious time, money, and other resources and restrict your business from growing.
3. Reduced Quality
You outsource the bookkeeping services to an accounting firm to leverage their expertise and technology and benefit from high-grade bookkeeping services at a low cost.
However, things can go sideways if the service provider doesn’t offer the level of quality it offers. Such outsourced bookkeeping services aren’t worth the money they cost and do not aid the growth of the business.
A low-quality bookkeeping service will not provide precise bookkeeping and give no accurate tool to track the flow. It will also be of no help in increasing the revenue and profitability of the business with the passage of time.
4. Geographical and Cultural Barriers
While outsourcing the bookkeeping operations doesn’t have to bring in the barriers mandatorily, the businesses often end up having to deal with these barriers.
It is because although there are firms in the central USA and other similar time zones, small and large businesses alike often choose to outsource to firms in India, Central Asia, and the Philippines.
This is due to the growing trend, popularity, and credibility of the affordable outsourced services originating in Central and South Asia.
A challenge that might arise by outsourcing to distant regions and cultures is the time, language, and cultural barrier.
However, that can be wisely addressed by selecting the outsourced service provider who operates during your working hours, is fluent in English, and has a good understanding of the market and economy in the USA.
5. Additional Costs
Businesses opt for outsourced bookkeeping services with the major purpose of saving on business expenses.
They expect that outsourcing the bookkeeping operations will reduce the overall cost of maintaining and paying an in-house employee and subscribing to software and tools and replace it with a single bookkeeping plan.
That is if everything goes as planned. However, if your business needs services that are not included in the baseline plan, it might cost the business extra charges.
Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your service provider is not tricking you with a seemingly low price tag, which might cost you more in the long run.
The Right Questions to Ask the Outsourced Bookkeeping Services
Here are some self-explanatory questions you should remember to ask the outsourced bookkeeping services you can work with. This information will help you gain crucial insights into how the firm works and what it can do for your business.
- What are the bookkeeping services you offer?
- Please tell me about your certifications and qualifications as a bookkeeper.
- Do you offer customized services for small and mid-sized businesses?
- What are your pricing and plans for my business?
- What software and technology do you use to carry out the bookkeeping operations?
- What time zones do you operate in, and what are the business hours you are available in?
- Does your team operate from an onsite office, or are they distributed across many locations? Do they work from an onsite office or home?
- How do you protect the data and its confidentiality and ensure that it doesn’t get hacked or stolen?
- Do you also provide controller services in addition to bookkeeping?
- What are your backup and disaster management strategies in case the business data gets corrupted or compromised?
- How do you communicate with your client businesses, and what modes of communication do you use?
- Do you provide all the services my business needs when it comes to bookkeeping, or are there additional costs I should know about?
- Do you also provide accounting, tax preparation and advisory, and audit and assurance services for small and mid-sized businesses?
Tips to Outsource Bookkeeping Operations Like Pro
The sole purpose of listing these challenges was to equip you with ideas and strategies to tackle them. These tips will help you seamlessly outsource the bookkeeping operations and avoid falling into expensive traps.
- Browse through the services and firms available for your business.
- When a good service catches your eye, make sure to conduct thorough research across various platforms on the service provider.
- Go through the client testimonials, reviews, and feedback on third-party websites not owned by or related to the service provider.
- Explore the pricing and plans they offer and compare them with the service they provide to understand the value for money.
- Shortlist a service provider that is both affordable and credible.
- Get to know the technologies and software they use, and ensure it is as per the current industry standards.
- Make sure that you can trust the services and quality they promise.
Bookkeeping can be quite heavy to take care of by the business owners or management. Moreover, it requires the latest software to ensure accuracy and elevate quality.
Therefore, one cannot opt out of outsourced bookkeeping services, fearing the challenges or the obstacles in the path. The right approach here will be to systematically approach the whole process and utilize the tips above to make the right decisions.
Although the article will help you find the right service provider, nothing beats real-time support from seasoned experts. Contact our expert accountants at +1(800) 580-5375 and take a free consultation today!