First, let us tell you what accounting and bookkeeping mean. Then, we’ll let you know about the main bookkeeping tasks you’ll need to complete while you are managing your small enterprise.
What does bookkeeping mean?
Without any complications, bookkeeping is when you keep records of the financial transactions of your business. You follow the sources of income and expenses, then separate your taxable and non-taxable income. Next, you’ll calculate your business’ growth and estimate your future earnings.
Essential bookkeeping tasks
When running a business, you have to make financial records and do many other tasks. You must, keep an eye on your bank accounts, reconcile transactions, verify credit card statements, track your cash flow, learn to use accounting software, and send invoices to the clients.
Do you have employees? If so, you must get an overview of your payroll and handle tax payments. These are only the basics you need to do to keep your books well-organized. As your business is growing, you will need more help with the processing of balance sheets, reviewing financial statements, preparing financial reports, and more.
Great! And when will you do your real business? If you are a small-business owner, you know how stressful it is to find time for new ideas to improve your business. You may have a few employees who can help you out with some essential tasks, but none of them will be familiar with bookkeeping and taxes.
So, your to-do list is growing and growing, and you are becoming an expert. By now, you are getting so good at bookkeeping that you can even apply for bookkeeping jobs already!
However, you don’t want to change your profession. You want professional bookkeepers to solve your problem, and allow you to focus on the rest of your business.
Who should you turn to for accounting and bookkeeping services?
Admittedly, it is hard to keep track of the crowded bookkeeping market due to the many types of bookkeeping services. In short, there are bookkeeping firms, agencies, outsource bookkeeping services, part-time bookkeepers, freelance bookkeepers, and online bookkeeping services.
Now, you will need to decide which one is the best fit for your business.
Before we dive into details, there is a crucial matter you need to be conscious of. A bookkeeper does not just keep the books, but he or she can mean the difference between the success and failure of your business. Every essential document is entrusted to your bookkeeper, and if a mistake is made, it will affect everything in your business. For example, a receipt can be lost, or expenses forgotten about. While this is annoying if it happens occasionally, repeated mistakes could get you in trouble with the tax authorities or cost you money.
Here are the main characteristics of a good bookkeeper:
The organization you choose is essential. They should have familiarity with your industry. They need to understand your business processes, type of business, and financial goals.
They must be reliable, and you shouldn’t be afraid of giving them accesses to your business secrets (though not to bank accounts). A good bookkeeper should care about your business’ success as if it was their own. This can mean proposing ideas related to financial planning strategies, increasing your cash flow, and ways to cut costs.
Possessing a current knowledge about online bookkeeping software is also indispensable.
How much does bookkeeping assistance for small businesses cost?
It depends on many factors, but generally speaking, we can suggest an amount between $20 and-$50 per hour. The cost varies for small businesses because they usually pay $100-$150 per month.
You probably can afford to pay a monthly fee for your bookkeeping and accounting services, but you can do even better with something else.
Here comes the best: online bookkeeping services
Benefits of online bookkeeping services
Do you know why we recommend these instead of traditional accounting services?
Because you are a small business owner, you need neither an in-house bookkeeping staff nor a fancy and expensive professional bookkeeper or firms on retainer. Furthermore, online accounting is very beneficial for small businesses since they have been designed to meet modest-sized enterprises’ needs.
By purchasing online accounting services, you will save a lot of resources.! You will save storage costs and office space to keep track of files. Keep in mind that you are obligated to keep your relevant documents for 6 six years. That’s because taxation authorities can audit and check if everything is in order, but documents can be stored electronically.
Even if you work alone, you can do it quickly. These kinds of services allow you to reduce time spent on accounting and focus on more important things.
Let’s think about the advantages.
Save on paperwork, save on money!
Make sure you know what you are buying: Virtual bookkeeping is not the same as online bookkeeping even though these two terms are often used interchangeably. Furthermore, outsource bookkeeping services frequently enter the picture. Such confusion, right?
We’ll explain the differences. Virtual bookkeepers are de-facto freelancers. So, while they do work online, you will hire only one person to work on your project. Online bookkeeping mostly refers to web-based accounting managed by a structured accounting firm that offers accounting services and bookkeeping software. Outsource bookkeeping services instead involve collaboration with a bookkeeper or several bookkeepers who work for another company.
OK, now that you understand the differences, let’s discuss the main features are of an online bookkeeping service:
First of all, you need to know what kind of help you need. Do you need invoices, bill payments, income, and expense reports, or do you need support for payroll services or handling bank and credit card statements?
The cost will be one of the main factors in deciding what you choose. However, consider that it varies depending on your needs and budget.
Don’t ignore the ease of use, because this is one of the best reasons to choose online bookkeeping help. If it’s easy to use, it saves you lots of time and resources.
Have you used cloud accounting software like QuickBooks or Freshbooks? If so, then your bookkeeper should integrate future work with these tools.
Read More on The Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business
Our choices of the best four online bookkeeping services.
Here’s a short list of the essential names in the market that are offering bookkeeping services.
Notice that the order chosen should not be seen as indicating the very best provider. That’s because the best service for your business can differ based on the needs and budget considerations Bench
“Best Web-based/Remote Bookkeeping Full-Services”
Here is some example of their assistance:
They are a group of virtual professional bookkeepers. This virtual bookkeeping service provides you handy things such as financial statements. They also review transactions and give you an overview of expenses every month. What is especially useful about their services is that they help you to have an insight into your business’s financial health by using visual reports. In addition to all these benefits, they supply a financial package to help determine how you should file your taxes and tax returns.
They don’t do everything that a business might need. This service will not generate invoices and payroll slips for you. Similarly, they do not pay your bills or file your taxes. It is a limited service that helps you ensure the financial health of your business.
On the other hand, they will collaborate with your CPA on request. They even can find one for you in case you need someone to help file your taxes.
According to some customer complaints, they lack adequate communication skills, and customers are having significant difficulties with the bookkeeping teams.
They offer five packages: Starter ($139 per month), Micro ($159 per month), Boutique ($199 per month), Venture ($249 per month), and Corporate ($349 per month). If you prefer to buy their services by paying an annual fee, they will give you a discount. In this case, you may pay as little as $115 per/ month based on the package you choose.
Bookkeeper.com is another virtual bookkeeping firm that provides online bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses. They are supported by certified accountants who use QuickBooks accounting software. It’s a useful software since it compiles your banking and credit card statements and creates invoices, bills, and payments.
They assist you with lots of financial tasks. Apart from the basic virtual accounting and bookkeeping services, they help you with financial planning and tax preparation. They’ll also, prepare financial statements, provide payroll support, and even tax deposit services. Lastly, you can even take advantage of their investment services.
What’s even better is that they will help you pay vendors with checks and warn you about the due dates of your invoices.
They are expensive. You also don’t have the chance to try out their service before paying, because there is no trial version available.
Only two packages are available, depending on the number of bank or credit card transactions a month. If you have a maximum of 125 transactions, the Small Business package would be your better choice and costs $285/month. If you usually exceed this number, you would need to pay for the Small Business Plus plan at $495/month.
Here’s Another practical alternative for small businesses: Bookkeeper360. It’s also an online virtual bookkeeping service, and just like its competitors, it offers useful accounting services.
Bookkeeper360 beyond essential virtual bookkeeping services provides account management, financial statements, an overview of cash flow, financial reports, invoice and bill management, payroll support, and assistance with filing taxes.
They have pretty appealing additional services like CFO Advisory, which is a service for creating analysis and business strategies to boost your growth. You can also benefit from their HR services. They developed an application where you can find human resources for everyday bookkeeping, CFO/CPA’s, training materials, reporting, and even job descriptions. If you like outsourcing, this tool can work for you.
They also use accounting software, called Xero. Before proceeding with bookkeeping, they match each data entry with the software.
They rely on only Xero or QuickBooks accounting software, which means that if you use something else, you cannot transfer your data from your accounts.
They offer three packages: Support ($199 per month), Monthly ($314 per month), and Weekly ($539 per month).
FreeAgent is a simplified management system for your financial duties.
You can get whatever you need for your small business with freeAgent services. They offer you eight attractive invoice templates, payroll forms, and balance sheets. They will facilitate payments, set up sales tax accounts, and monitor your profit and loss statement. You will get an insight into your cash flow since they supply helpful tools as soon as you give access to your accounts. FreeAgent is about monitoring cash flow.! It lets you record your expenses and earnings. However, it does not do bookkeeping for you automatically. If you need this service, you can benefit from the option of adding accountant services, but otherwise, you should do it outside their system. FreeAgent gives you a picture of how much tax you will have to pay. The tool is supplied in multiple languages. Best of all, it’s effortless to use.!
Somehow they are not able to remove you from their system if you are no longer in business or discontinue their services.
Furthermore, sometimes it’s difficult to benefit from their discounts.
FreeAgent is among the cheapest online accounting tools out there. They are not into offering packages since they provide just one solution. You start paying only $10 per month for the first six months, and then you will pay $20 per month.
The question is which service matches your needs. Which one are you going to choose? Let us know your preference and the reasons for your choice in the section below!
Good luck with your business!