Yes we're an online bookkeeping service, and yes I would like you to hire us, but that's not why I'm writing this post. There are a lot of options out there and I want to make sure that you're informed before you hire anyone, Ignite Spot included.
So if you're planning on outsourcing the bookkeeping tasks in your company, here are a few things you should know:
#1 - Cost is a Big Factor
There are a lot of pricing models out there. Make sure you understand exactly how the firm bills so that you don't end up with a surprise at the end of the month. They may bill hourly, by project, with a set monthly fee, or even based on value.
#2 - Keep the Hourly Firms in Check
At Ignite Spot, we don't charge by the hour. However, if you do go with a firm that does, make sure that you set benchmarks with them. Accountants that charge by the hour are notorious for making processes more difficult than they have to be.
#3 - Calculate Your True Savings
If you're thinking about replacing in-house staff with an online bookkeeping service, make sure that you understand what your true savings will be. Look at the total wage you pay for your employee and then multiply it by roughly 1.1 to add in the taxes you have to pay as well.
#4 - Think Twice about Offshoring
It's true that bookkeeping firms offshore are cheaper, there's no argument there. But with all good things comes a trade off. For starters, they tend to be awake when you're asleep which can be a problem if you have an accounting emergency. Also, different countries do practice different accounting standards. I just got off a call with a company that's been using a firm in India for a few years, and they're getting tired of incorrect expense classifications.
#5 - Watch The Setup Fees
We don't have setup fees unless your books are significantly behind. Make sure to ask your firm and get it in writing. I've heard of bookkeeping firms say they don't have setup fees, and then end up charging one 30 days into the relationship due to "difficulties with transition", whatever that is.
#6 - Avoid Contracts
No accountant should ever make you sign a contract. If you're getting set up with a firm and they put one of these puppies in front of you, turn tail and run. Without a contract, the firm has to work hard to wow you.
#7 - Get a Set Team
Make sure that you're not getting assigned to a call floor of accountants. You want an assigned team working on your business so that they get to know you, your company, and your needs.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below and we'll answer them for you. Even if you're considering a firm outside of Ignite Spot, ask your questions and we'll help you find the best firm possible.