Buried under a mountain of paperwork? Vendors calling you incessantly? Let’s face it, accounting isn’t fun. There are financial reports that you don’t understand, checks to prepare and mail, deposits to run to the bank and on and on. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

As a small business owner, focus on what you do best. So unless you actually enjoy tedious tasks, deadlines that never end, employees that give you that “will my direct deposit work this time” look… what you do best probably doesn’t include accounting. So pass the buck and let others do it for you.

Why should you outsource? Because contrary to popular belief, outsourcing done right, saves time and money. How? A lot of small businesses try to do everything but you have to find balance. By relinquishing tasks that don’t bring in the bucks, you garner more coveted time to focus on money making activities and save not only time but pieces of your sanity.

Check out the contestants
Before going all gung ho for outsourcing, be sure to check out your options and compare apples to apples. Ask what functions are available, what do you have to do (for example do you need to input hours, send a file, etc) and most important, know what your needs, requirements and preferences. Once you find the right fit, go for it.

“Pass the buck” downers
I would be a “Pollyanna” if I neglected to inform you of the potential pitfalls of passing the accounting buck by outsourcing. Here are a few.

  • Inability to customize services so you only pay for the features you need/want.
  • File swapping…you send them a file of your accounting information, they review your information and send you a file back for you to upload to your accounting software. A lot of steps, especially if you’re not a computer genius. Or if your provider is in the pre-internet age, they literally pickup the computer file as well as documents…and bring them back when the work is completed.
  • Emailing files. Not the most secure way of transporting them. You may or may not have access to your accounting file to input current data while the accountant is away and if you’re impatient, merging files may be a hassle.

Picking the Buck Recipient
We can’t advocate this enough, do your research! Look around at what is available and do what works for you and your company. Some things to consider…

  • Consider internal & external options – some service providers charge by the hour and others at a flat rate or per diem (as needed). Caveat: compare apples to apples.
  • Consider those that will integrate with your software systems such as payroll and crm. There are distinct advantages to entering information one time.
  • Consider the personality of your company. Match it to that of your service provider.
  • Consider the features available, including real-time and/or virtual access, and compare them to the features you need. Don’t pay for more than what you need.
  • Consider making a decision to outsource sooner than later. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll probably wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Don’t forget, keep up with your service provider and spend time focusing on what you love, the things you’re good at. After all…that IS why you got into business. Right?

Common Cents Consulting and it’s subsidiary, Common Cents Outsourcing, were created to provide virtual accounting & payroll alternatives to small businesses on the go without sacrificing quality. Need help choosing an outsourcing provider? We’re happy to help…even if you don’t choose us! http://www.commoncentsoutsourcing.com/
(c) Common Cents Consulting LLC – Common Cents Outsourcing 2008

*originally published on www.ezinearticles.com


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