Outsourcing to a Virtual Team: Bookkeeping Options for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Giving up control isn’t easy for entrepreneurs, nor should it be taken lightly. We would often rather take on too much and make mistakes ourselves than delegate an important task.

Common sense should tell us that we need to trust and rely on others to build a business, but that doesn’t make it much easier to do.

What is easier is finding help. Hiring isn’t necessarily less complicated, but outsourcing, working with virtual teams, and finding skilled service providers online can be completed in just minutes.

Thanks to cloud accounting and being able to integrate online accounts with software, accounting teams halfway across the country can take care of reconciliations and prepare financial reports while you’re focused on sales and marketing.

If deciding to outsource your business’ bookkeeping to a virtual team, which of course is our specialty here at Kahuna Accounting, here is what it takes, benefits of doing so, and additional considerations before handing over your books to another company.

What It Takes to Outsource Your Small Business’ Books to a Virtual Team

  • Knowing What Your Business Needs

Understandably, most accounting firms focus on just that – accounting. They have little knowledge of or interest in helping their clients grow their businesses with the financial information they’re putting together for the company.

Because of this, you will need to know exactly what your business needs. What they offer may not be what your unique company needs.

This is not always the case. For example, Kahuna Accounting prides itself on being entrepreneurial and has a special niche in law firms. We know how many law firms go wrong and what they need in order to grow from our experience working with well over a hundred of them.

  • Contact Person

BookkeeperVirtual teams can help integrate many of your current systems and online accounts, but there is information you will have to provide them with to help reconcile accounts and make sure the information they have is completely accurate. You need a contact person in your business to answer questions and communicate with the company when necessary.

  • Have Setup Requirements Available and Prepared

To do your bookkeeping, the outsourced service provider will need documents and passwords in order to setup your system. Ask ahead of time what these requirements are.

  • Trust in the Provider 

In order to outsource your bookkeeping, you have to have trust in the company providing you accounting services. Take time and care in the selection process and make sure the firm or individual understands your business, is experienced, and knows exactly how to best assist your company.

  • Choose Reliable Payment Date

Most accounting companies can automate your payments and setup for a consistent date each month. Make sure the day you choose is one that aligns with when you’re most likely to have more than enough in your business checking account to cover the payment

Benefits

  • Having a virtual team take care of your bookkeeping allows you to have coverage while not having to directly train or manage an employee. This is a huge advantage! You’re not responsible for managing their employees.
  • As long as you put care into the selection process, you will know exactly what to expect from them.
  • A virtual team makes scaling easy. For example, if your business doubles in a month, you don’t have to take six weeks to plan, search, hire and train an employee. You can make a call and increase your service plan.
  • Companies that provide virtual accounting services hold themselves accountable, meaning if a mistake is made, they have a process for detecting and correcting the mistake.
  • Although it’s “outsourced” you should have access to your files and reports 24/7 through the cloud software you’re using.
  • If you’re handling your own bookkeeping or even if you hire a bookkeeper, who can you call if you run into problems? Rather than hoping your Google searches return the right information to help, you’ll have a customer service team or dedicated representative ready to answer questions and help.
  • Kahuna Accounting has a staff with decades and decades of experience and they’ve dealt with nearly any and every accounting and bookkeeping situation.

2 Additional Things to Consider

  • Is your business extremely seasonal in nature? If so, discuss this with the company and figure out how you will pay them in off months or if they will allow you to have a plan that only charges you for months with financial activity.
  • You need to carefully consider the virtual team you choose to work with
    • Do they specialize in serving your specific type of business?
    • Will there be a direct contact person to help catch mistakes and answer your questions?
    • What do they offer versus what they charge?
    • How do they stack up to competitors?

This article is part of the Bookkeeping Options for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs series by Kahuna Accounting. For a summary of the six most popular options that entrepreneurs choose when handling their small business’ books, read the initial piece in the series here: Bookkeeping for Small Business: Six Options for Entrepreneurs.

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