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Monday, December 11, 2017
Article written by Donna MacMillan

Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping

There are several distinct advantages to outsourcing your bookkeeping functions. First and foremost is saving money. Having said that don't step over dollars to pick up dimes. You get what you pay for and if you don't pay for quality than you won't have quality service. However, you can save money by outsourcing because you won't be paying for employer payroll tax expense (FICA, FUTA and SUTA) workman's compensation and general liability insurances, vacation time, sick time, health insurance and other benefits a good full time bookkeeper will expect from his/her employer. Just remember, however, that these costs will be built into the consultant's hourly rate and their fee will reflect these costs. Any bookkeeping consultant who has not taken these costs into consideration is not a bookkeeper you want - if they don't know enough to include these costs into their fees, then they don't know enough to be a help to your business. You should expect to pay at least three times what you would pay an experienced full charge bookkeeper.

And just how do you save money by paying three times the amount you would pay an employee? Well, let's see. There will be no recruiting, interviewing and training costs for start. And if you should find yourself unhappy with the services there will be no additional recruiting, interviewing and training to replace your bookkeeper. Also, you will not have to be concerned about law suits such as sexual harassment, unlawful firing, age discrimination, sexist, etc. Or an increase in your unemployment rates because you laid off an employee that you really wanted to fire but had no lawful cause to do so. So right away we have less time and money spent and potentially less hassle if things don't go well.

And of course you will not be paying the 7.65% employer's share of FICA and Medicaid, or SUTA or FUTA expense, or workman's compensation and general liability insurance premiums. Also any worthy bookkeeper will expect at least two weeks vacation, coverage for sick time, health and dental insurance, a 401k plan where the employer matches employee contributions and even perhaps more benefits.

Most free-lance bookkeepers will have their own offices saving you space within your office. So you will not be buying that extra desk, calculator, computer and computer software. Your bookkeeper will be providing all of that as part of his/her fee. No software updates, computer maintenance, training costs, etc. Of course should you prefer to have your computerized bookkeeping records available to you at your office, a small investment in software installed on your computer makes this possible. Also no office supplies to be paid for. You will be amazed at just how much pens, pencils, and paper can be used by a bookkeeper. Your consultant bookkeeper will either ask you to drop off the work at their office, will pick it up at your office or some may even offer remote bookkeeping service. And by having your bookkeeping done off site, your bookkeeper will be able to work more efficiently and accurately because her/his office will most likely offer less distractions than your busy office. All of this is saving you money.

And the best reason for outsourcing is that you control the amount of money spent on bookkeeping. What I mean by this is that the person you hire to do your bookkeeping will be doing just that - not answering the phone, dealing with drop-bys, chatting to other employees, etc. Also you can start with just a few hours a month and add on when you need to and then adjust downward again should it be necessary. Can you imagine finding an employee to start with only four hours a month, then asking them to put in 20 hours a week for awhile and then back down to four hours a month again. I don't think you would keep them for very long, but a free lance bookkeeper is able to work around these variables and even more importantly expects to work with flexible schedules.

So have I convinced you yet? If so, then just remember "you will get what you pay for". Go for top quality because your financial records are the core of your business and without great bookkeeping you cannot expect to succeed no matter what type of business you have. After all don't you think you are worth it?
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