Outsourced Bookkeeping: Pros and Cons

In the last edition of our blog, we looked at the signs that signal it’s time for a small business to hire a bookkeeper. If the answer is “yes,” the next question might be, “Should we hire someone to join the company or outsource the work?”

Chalkboard drawing - Measure of Pros and Cons
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March 24th, 2019
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In the last edition of our blog, we looked at the signs that signal it’s time for a small business to hire a bookkeeper. If the answer is “yes,” the next question might be, “Should we hire someone to join the company or outsource the work?”

There are pros and cons to either arrangement. After delivering outsourced bookkeeping services for more than 10 years, I know what you need to consider in order to make the right decision. Here are a few thoughts on both sides:

When you hire in-house, you need to ensure:

  • You understand enough about bookkeeping and accounting to recognize when a candidate is a good fit.
  • You can define their role and develop all the necessary business processes.
  • You’re confident in your ability to oversee the work.

Then, you have questions to consider:

Will your needs evolve over time? And, how? The in-house employee can be hired for bookkeeping, but it leaves room for their role to evolve with your business needs. They can be there to multitask and bring additional value to their role, but it’s important they can still be focused on their core duties with the books.

Are you ready for the time spent and costs incurred? In-house means they are an employee. You will be paying wages, payroll taxes, and benefits. You will need time to recruit, interview and hire. You will also need to provide office space and the necessary equipment, utilities and supplies. You will need to train and on-board them to the company. Have you budgeted for the time and expense needed for them to stay up-to-date and in compliance with changing laws, rules and regulations?

What happens if the in-house person leaves? That one person has all of the knowledge, passwords, and access to your books. If they decide to leave or you need to terminate them, the transition could be stressful, with time and money lost.

What to consider if you go the outsourcing route

If you go the outsourcing route, it’s an investment in the business. Generally speaking, you are:

  • Saving on the costs of hiring an employee.
  • Saving on the costs of office space and equipment.
  • Gaining the vital tools and technology that they have to get the job done and stay up-to-date on all laws, rules and regulations.
  • Being assigned to one person, but that person has the support and expertise of their entire team behind them.

Then, you have questions to consider:

Are you prepared for an offsite arrangement? Are you ready to work out any logistical kinks and potential communication pitfalls if your bookkeeper isn’t there in the office with you?

Are you ready for the necessary data security? There are many tools available to ensure the private and encrypted exchange of information. Be sure to ask the bookkeeper what security precautions they have in place to prevent information breaches.

Do they understand YOUR business? They definitely understand small business needs. Do they also understand the differing financial variables that make running a dry cleaner different than running a law office, which is different than running a restaurant, and so forth?

At Brigade Bookkeeping, we help clients of all kinds. In some cases, we also assist the in-house bookkeeper. In others, we are the outsourced bookkeepers. In all cases, we treat every client like a business partner. We are invested in your growth and success. Let us develop a road map for your company and minimize your expenses to grow your bottom line.

 

Additional Sources:

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Virtual Bookkeeper” by Meredith Wood

The Pros and Cons Of Hiring Vs. Outsourcing Your Bookkeeper” by Keeping Your Balance

The Pros & Cons of Bookkeeping Services” by Eddy Hood

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