Whether you are a newbie firm in the CPA world or have been juggling client accounts for years, there is never a bad time to call in extra help for bookkeeping tasks. The chances are that your team is overworked enough with handling strategic accounting tasks.
So why not outsource the bookkeeping function to a third-party expert and save yourself some valuable time? At this point, you might be thinking – “but I do not want to hand over my client data to someone I do not know.” Keep reading, and you might just change your mind.
Why outsourcing your clients' bookkeeping is a great idea
Let us face it, running a CPA firm is tough. You are dealing with critical business data every day, and you need to make sure that every client is receiving the most personalized attention possible. Luckily, several outsourcing service providers like Stellaripe can take some of this burden away from you and deliver a high-quality finished product. Even if you have never outsourced before, here are some reasons to consider the switch today:
1. Time to focus on your core business
Your clients count on you for the specialized accounting and financial strategy services that only you can provide. Chances are, day-to-day bookkeeping is not on that list. By outsourcing, you free yourself to focus on your high-value services and expand your portfolio of offerings. And as you know, bookkeeping can be pretty time-consuming and cumbersome – so the time savings will be considerable for you and your team.
2. Save staffing and payroll costs
When you outsource your bookkeeping function, you only pay for the work completed. No health insurance, no benefits, no bonuses. All of those are handled by the outsourcing firm that assigns its bookkeeper to your CPA firm.
Quite obviously, this is a much cheaper option than hiring an in-house bookkeeper on your payroll. Plus, if your business is going through a slack period, you can pause your outsourcing agreement and resume it whenever things pick up again.
3. Easy access to the experts
Given that they already handle the books for several clients, outsourced bookkeepers are likely to be mindful of all the latest techniques and regulatory requirements, which saves you the trouble of having to look them up. Stellaripe accountants are AICPA-certified and have experience working for clients in tech, manufacturing, retail, logistics, and other sectors.
4. Latest bookkeeping software
As professional bookkeepers, the service provider you work with will have all the latest cloud-based tools to import details, auto-fill transactions, and reconcile accounts in a jiffy. This allows you to get the final books of your clients back in record time without having to navigate a whole new software yourself.
5. Error-free results
When you hire a bookkeeper in-house, you will typically have to navigate a transition period where they get used to how your firm works, and you have to keep checking their work for errors. By contrast, the bookkeepers at an outsourcing service provider are all guaranteed to be reliable, given that they have consistently been working with clients whose needs overlap with yours. You can completely count on them.
6. Hassle-free tax season
Pretty much everyone in the accounting business hates tax season. However, with an expert bookkeeper getting the financials in order, your work gets significantly lessened. The bookkeeper might even offer tax advisory services that you can recommend on their behalf to your clients. A win-win for everyone!
7. Assured confidentiality and security
Any outsourced bookkeeping service worth their salt will take your client’s data security and confidentiality seriously. They will have advanced systems in place to secure the data and a set of NDAs and other agreements that keep the data private.
Stellaripe exceeds the industry standards when it comes to data security. Our team uses a secure remote desktop such as GoToMyPC or Citrix or a VPN to log in and access the data on the CPA’s system. The client data is never transferred on our servers, and we do the job remotely.
Stellaripe has certain information security measures in place, including firewall defenses, a breach notification system, limited email access, 256- bank-level encryption, along with physical security standards such as disabled USB ports, daily internal data backup, and limited printer access.
Things to look for in an outsourced bookkeeper
Outsourcing can be highly beneficial, but as with any service provider, you need to vet your options and choose the most reliable one. Here are some essential qualities that set the best bookkeepers apart from the merely average:
A bookkeeper should not just understand the nitty-gritties of debit and credit (although that is important). They should be conversant with the latest technologies and have sufficient experience that they can offer concrete financial insights that benefit each client.
2. Industry experience
In addition to general accounting and financial expertise, the bookkeeper you choose should have specific knowledge of and experience in your industry. This will allow them to spot errors and make suggestions that a generalist might miss.
3. Big-picture thinking
A bookkeeper who goes above and beyond to share insights on things like funding, cost restructuring, and acquisitions can be a massive asset for you. Your clients can benefit from keen insights on how to boost their profitability, and your reputation as a CPA firm can go up when you provide cross-services like this through the right partnerships.
All too often, one comes across bookkeepers who earned their credentials long ago and have not bothered refreshing their knowledge since. Bookkeeping laws and regulatory requirements keep changing, as do industry and technological trends. You need a bookkeeper who stays au courant of the latest norms through self-education.
You need an outsourced bookkeeper who is timely with delivery, consistently scores high on accuracy, is clear and prompt with verbal and written communication, and is known for getting along well with clients.
Speaking of good communication, the bookkeeper you work with should be able to explain things to you patiently and to your satisfaction. Each assignment calls for a tailored approach, so a bookkeeper who adopts a one-size-fits-all attitude probably is not the best person to work with.
While it is reasonable to assume that bookkeepers are organized by default, you should still check! Look for streamlined workflows, strategically chosen safety nets, and stringent review policies that ensure that client books are always shipshape.
When you work with a bookkeeper, you should always feel confident that the bookkeeper prioritizes you and is committed to delivering the best service possible.
Things like being respectful of your time and communicating proactively are vital for a good working relationship. Take the time to speak with their existing customers and understand the dynamic that exists so that you can make the right choice.
Over to you
In conclusion, outsourcing your bookkeeping gives you a whole new level of freedom as you devote your time to critical tasks while being assured that your clients’ books are in expert hands. Shop around for the service provider that best fits your specific needs, and do not hesitate to ask for free trials or client testimonials as necessary.
Once you have found the right fit, you will be set to take your CPA services to the next level. And if you want to begin your search with Stellaripe, you would not have to look any further! Build a resilient CPA firm with Stellaripe. Book your free consultation with us today!
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We have the experience, expertise, and resources to help your CPA firm spend less time doing bookkeeping and more time giving strategic advice to clients.