Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Outsourcing Accounting Services - Some Duties You Could Delegate

Outsourcing accounting services is a common habit today among individuals and businesses. To outsource means to assign office work to an independent outworker. This could be an individual or a company. It is always sensible to delegate work to a properly registered company not only to get speedy and accurate results. You also want to hold someone responsible for a breach of contract. It is easy to sue a company than an online freelance professional you have never met. Ensure that the company you intend to assign work to has physical premises in the U.S.
If you think outsourcing accounting services will boost your business, the following are some of the duties you could delegate. You can begin with accounts receivable. The external accountant will do some of the following duties.
• Make client invoices, receipts and credit memos. 
• Do client credit checks and decide a sensible credit authorization procedure 
• Send invoices and collect on your behalf and 
• Record customer payments

Outsourcing accounting services can include accounts payable too. A third party accountant will track your progress with your suppliers and lenders. Doing this constantly can protect you from defaulting and receiving poor credit scores. Duties that will be done on your behalf include:
• Creation of a reasonable purchasing process 
• Recording of purchase orders where applicable 
• Processing of invoices for unpaid bills and 
• Preparation of 1099 forms

If you are like many novice business owners, you do not understand payroll issues. This is why outsourcing accounting services with regard to payroll is very important. Now there are software programs used to process payroll reports. Some of the duties that an independent accountancy firm will do for you are enumerated below.
• Developing and maintaining employee accounts on the payroll software 
• Time sheet execution, including monthly, quarterly or yearly attendance and tax statements 
• Preparation of W-2 tax forms 
• Choosing the most appropriate payroll system for your company

Many entrepreneurs find outsourcing accounting services with respect to the end of accounting period important. Through this they are able to get the things that are shown below.
• Bank reconciliation and credit card reports 
• Accurate and thoroughly adjusted journal entries 
• Profit and loss and cash flow statements 
• Balance sheets and trial balance reports 
• Tax returns statements

Some people find it difficult to prepare budget plans. There are computations that are too difficult to understand when one has no accounting or bookkeeping knowledge. Even if you have an internal accountant, he may also fail because of lacking specific skills or software. Since outsourcing accounting services is possible now, you can get this difficult job done within a few hours or days.
If you already have QuickBooks, you can have an independent contractor install it for you. They can also provide training and monthly evaluations if necessary. In case inventory accounts are too difficult for your in-house accountant you can assign them to a third party company. Outsourcing accounting services will ensure accurate, quick and reliable results. It is also possible to outsource personal finance accounting work to a self-employed contractor. They will do budgeting, pay bills, project cash flows, create tax returns and produce income and expenditure reports for you.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bookkeeping Systems For Start-Up And Small Businesses

Running your own business is brilliant. No other career path offers the flexibility, control and excitement of building something of your own from scratch. But, of course, complete control also means absolute responsibility.
As a result, being your own boss brings with it routine administration that you'd usually delegate to somebody else. During the start-up phase, it can be difficult to find effective, easy ways to take care of the boring stuff, leaving you more time to do the work that interests you.
Why Do You Need To Maintain Accounts?
In the excited rush to get started with your new business, it's easy to forget about accounting. However, there are a number of reasons why good record keeping is vital to your success.
First, it is your obligation to keep ordered accounts for the sake of tax and reporting. Even if you work as a sole trader and are not required to publish your accounts, you are required to report your revenue, costs and profits for the purposes of income tax.
It's also useful to keep organised accounts so that you can make the most of your business and maximise your growth. Start-ups never develop into larger companies without a clear strategy and, in my experience, the best strategies are based on insight into finances.
Keeping my own accounts up to date means that I can quickly check my current profit, discover which copywriting clients are most valuable to my business, and identify those clients that I should work hard to grow.
Finally, up-to-date accounts help you to get paid for your work. Using accounting software or implementing a clear procedure makes issuing invoices and chasing late payments hassle-free.
Quite simply, there's no getting away from the fact that your business needs to keep good records.
Do You Need An Accountant?
Although you can't avoid the necessity of keeping accounts, you can offload the responsibility for these accounts to an external supplier. Any accountant is able to help you make sense of your records, and many specialist accountants offer services tailored to the needs of freelancers.
But that is not to say that you need to pay for an accountant right now.
Good accountants do not come cheap and there is a wealth of great accounting advice available online. But, more importantly, the sole trader has no obligation to present accounts in a specific way.
If you are a freelancer without a limited company, and your budget does not allow for an accountant, choose some software that can help you to put together the relevant information.
Of course, if you are required to show your accounts publicly, submit them to HMRC, or plan to apply for investment, you may want an accountant to help you put together the best, most detailed records possible.
And, don't forget - most accountants will be able to help you spot potential savings in your business, particularly when it comes to tax. That could mean that the cost of your accountant is recouped in savings.
Cloud-Based And Online Accounting Software
If you decide to keep your own accounts, my advice would be to find some software that can help you.
Designed to suit smaller businesses but perfectly scalable for larger organisations, the current trend is online, cloud-based software. These solutions allow you to login securely and work with your financial records, directly from your browser. Some examples are
The common features included in these services enable you to:
  • Maintain a database of your customers
  • Issue quotes, invoices and receipts
  • Process expenses
  • Link with your online banking to reconcile accounts
  • Generate reports including profit and loss, balance sheets and forecasts
  • Link with HMRC to submit returns
The best thing about these online accounting services is flexibility. Wherever you are, you can quickly access your accounts. Some solutions even offer mobile applications to manage your accounts on the move.
But this flexibility does come at a cost. Some business owners are uncomfortable with the fact that their confidential financial data exists on a remote server, prone to theft, malicious attack and loss. Although online accounting service providers take every care to protect their servers and mitigate risks, there is no doubt that this approach is less secure than one that remains confined to your desktop.
Desktop Accounting Software
Traditionally, the only option for accounting software was an application to be installed on your home or business computer. These solutions, such as QuickBooks and Sage, keep all of your financial data where it is safest, and eliminate the risk of not being able to access your accounts.
In some cases, these desktop alternatives also offer a wider range of features and more advanced customization. Unfortunately, desktop systems are often also more expensive than their online counterparts.
Keep Good Records While Keeping Hold Of Your Time
As you explore the wide variety of options available to you for managing your accounts, it's not unusual to feel a little overwhelmed. As soon as somebody mentions the taxman, most freelancers tense up and start to wonder if their accounts are as clear and ordered as they should be.
But the reality is that financial records are as much for your benefit as anybody else's. I have found a way of working with my own preferred online accounts system that suits me, fits in with my routine, and ultimately reduces the time that I spend doing administration. The only necessity is that, if the occasion arises, I can explain this method clearly and logically. Check out other tools and resources that can be useful for your home based business.
The single most important thing is that any freelancer or small business owner needs to keep records. Whether you opt for a detailed, expertly formatted breakdown or a folder stuffed with receipts and invoices, keeping hold of information from your very first day will help your business to thrive in the future.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Plan and Start to Outsource Bookkeeping Today

It is difficult to achieve your business vision alone. Assistance from like-minded and skilled people will certainly bring you closer to your long-term goals. Among those professionals is a bookkeeper who will keep your books regularly. In the past it was difficult to employ a worker who was completely independent. Today you can outsource bookkeeping to a few of the top US-based accounting firms. Outsourcing allows you to assign difficult, boring or urgent work to an independent expert.
People love to outsource bookkeeping work to avoid employing full-time employees. It is easier to delegate work to a self-governing company than to an individual bookkeeper who must use your office space and equipment. If you choose a reliable company, you will get more gains than losses. A decision to outsource bookkeeping is not easy for starters like you.
It is possible to fear sharing confidential financial data of your company with strangers. In addition, because your small business has limited finances, you might feel tempted to continue working alone.
With a great outsourcing strategy you will succeed, and without it you will fail. So, the first step is to plan how you will begin to outsource bookkeeping. If you have a bookkeeper, and want to farm out work, chances are that you are not happy with their work. Perhaps they are overloaded and this is why their work is not very good. A bookkeeper's work is difficult and tiring. If you ask them to multi-task, they are much more likely to make serious mistakes. It is wiser and cheaper to outsource bookkeeping to a reputable accounting firm instead of keeping your internal bookkeeper.
The attention you are required to give your employees by the law will not be required by the outside firm. Therefore, your mental alertness and concentration might improve after delegating duties and dismissing unnecessary workers. Imagine how good it will feel to have a team of professionals produce excellent work within a few hours. A task that normally takes your in-house bookkeeper a full-day to finish will be done within an hour or two by an outsourced accountancy firm. If your business is new now, you should outsource bookkeeping tasks to save money and time. A young business can benefit a lot from aggressive marketing. To afford massive marketing, you have to stop overseeing and doing difficult tasks like accounting.
There are many outside contractors who can work for you. Normally, these contractors work from remote offices. If you form a contract with them, they will not make you incur further expenses apart from the fee you will agree upon. It therefore makes sense to have these independent contractors contribute to the growth of your business. Besides, as a new enterprise, you may not have current tools used by self-employed bookkeepers to update books. A move to buy these tools and then learn how to use them may require a lot of money and time. If you try it, your competitors will be quick to grab opportunities that would have been yours. Do you want to grow your company quickly? If so, start to outsource bookkeeping today.