Smith Office Solutions has a few suggestions for achieving the most efficient and cost-effective bookkeeping service (and making our job a lot easier,) when outsourcing the bookkeeping functions for your business. How you manage the bookkeeping has a lot to do with how efficient the process is. Of course, as a business owner you already know that more efficient means lower costs for you.
Our first suggestion, and most important, is to avoid a "stop and go" bookkeeping process. What does this mean?
Every time that we need to start a session working on your books, there is a period of time necessary to get things in motion. We may need to clear our head from working on another client and refocus on your specific company's needs, access your QuickBooks file, find the unique passwords to log in to your company information, and review any tasks that need to be completed or open issues. Once we have completed the work, there is also a short time needed to close out the session, update the list of tasks and status of open issues, and contact you with appropriate information or questions. Keep in mind that the time spent in starting and ending a bookkeeping session is a fixed cost per session, whether the bookkeeping lasts 5 minutes or 5 hours. Due to this fixed cost, Smith Office Solutions usually charges a minimum 15 minutes of bookkeeping at our hourly rate every time we work on your company file. This makes it important to batch the work in longer sessions in order to keep your costs lower. The fewer sessions we have per week, the lower your overall costs for bookkeeping.
Another way to avoid "stop and go" bookkeeping is to make sure that the information that you send to us is complete, right from the start. This will make everyone's life easier. Your bookkeeping costs will be higher than they should be if we have to chase you down to get the missing information. Without complete information, we may start the work session, realize that some documents are missing, and then we will need to contact you and wait for a response before we can continue with the required tasks. This usually means we either have to set your tasks and needs aside and work on another client (which means the fixed cost referenced above,) or continue to charge you while we wait for you to respond with the correct information. Both of these options will end up costing you much more overall.
A common difficulty we have is attending to frequent requests for single pieces of information in a timely and cost-effective manner. As noted above, it takes time to access your file and get you the information you need. We are more than happy to respond with the information and data that you request in a timely manner. However, if we are responding to a high volume of requests for single pieces of data, your bookkeeping costs will be higher. Combining your questions and requests into a daily or weekly communication will greatly improve the efficiency of the bookkeeping process and lower your overall bookkeeping costs.
Contact us and we will work with you to streamline the bookkeeping process for your unique needs.
Next month Smith Office Solutions will share another suggestion for keeping your bookkeeping cost low and making the process more efficient.