Unlike large business corporations, small and medium-sized businesses do not usually require full-time bookkeepers. Hiring bookkeepers on a part-time basis is not worthwhile either. Therefore, these business enterprises often rely on the financial business services provided by various bookkeeping firms. These bookkeeping firms usually provide two kinds of services, comprising:
Onsite Bookkeeping Services: Here, the bookkeeping firm sends a bookkeeper to the client’s site for providing the services needed. Thus, this model is similar to the situation where the business owner hires a bookkeeper. One of the biggest advantages of this service is that the company needs to pay for the services only for the days it requires the bookkeeper’s services.
Situations could arise where the business owner feels that the bookkeeper sent by the firm does not work well or gel with the workers. In this scenario, the business owner can request the firm to send another bookkeeper. When you hire a bookkeeper, you have to continue with that individual until the contract ends. Moreover, you don’t need to pay any employee benefits when you engage a bookkeeping firm. However, it is worth noting that onsite services vary from one firm to another. Therefore, some firms might require you to get a certain number of days’ service for availing onsite services.
Offsite, Virtual or Online Bookkeeping Services: In this service model, the bookkeeping firm provides accounting services for small businesses from their own facilities. All the business owner needs to do is to send the relevant documents to the bookkeeping firm by fax, mail or courier. The documents sent could include invoices, bills, bank statements etc. Thereafter, the firm will provide the relevant services and send the business owner the necessary updates.
This service model is much cheaper than the onsite service model. In addition, it will cost much lesser than if you were to hire a bookkeeper too. Accounting for small businesses does not usually involve much complexity. As such, it will take much lesser time on an average as well. For these reasons, virtual bookkeeping services work out to be more cost effective.
However, always exercise prudence when you hire a bookkeeping firm. Ensure that you’re aware of the services you’ll receive once you hire a firm. For instance, some bookkeeping firms do not provide payroll services or tax bookkeeping services. Similarly, some firms might just send you an annual report, while others send monthly reports. So, understand the services you’ll receive once you purchase a specific package of services. In addition, check the accounting software used by the firm. It might be possible that the firm is using an outdated software package for bookkeeping. In the long run, using a current application is always beneficial.
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