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When is the time right to outsource bookkeeping?

In many smaller organisations, there is a tendency to retain accounting functions such as bookkeeping in-house, when realistically it might be wiser to outsource them. Indeed, deciding whether, and when, to entrust an organisation’s bookkeeping to an accounting professional can present managers with a real dilemma.

Often, the cost of outsourcing bookkeeping is the only consideration, but this needs to be weighed against a number of potential benefits.

When deciding when the time is right for your business to outsource, assess how the time you save would be used – whether for networking, strengthening client relationships or providing customers with new services. Or would it be profitable to spend some time developing your own skills in a different area so that your company could widen its range of services or products?

Additionally, would there be any negative impact on your business or its clients were you to delegate this essential operation to a professional bookkeeper?

Equally, you need to be realistic about whether you have the right skills to continue doing bookkeeping in-house, or whether an outside party would be better placed to carry out this essential function more quickly and cost-effectively.

Alternatively, you may have reached a stage in your business’s development where you or your staff are overqualified to do basic bookkeeping tasks, in which case the time has possibly come to subcontract this function to an external provider.

Other circumstances in which it might make sense to outsource include if there is a prospect of the current in-house bookkeeper retiring in the next few years, or, for whatever reason, he or she is no longer able to stay abreast of all the changes in legislation affecting your industry.

For example, if your bookkeeper can no longer keep up with GAAP standards, tax law changes and payroll rules, not to mention good reporting and management of records, it could well be better to entrust your organisation’s bookkeeping to a specialist.

And if your business seems poised to undergo a period of rapid expansion, it could be a good idea to focus on growing your organisation and strategy rather than devoting time to adding up interminable columns of figures.

At the same time, if you are looking to cut back your operation, outsourcing your bookkeeping offers the scalability to allow you to do that very quickly. You will have a flexible range of options so you can be helped in achieving your commercial goals, whatever they may be.

Finally, bear in mind that outsourcing also gives you access to the latest technology – and some of the best tools in the industry – that you may not otherwise have. So if you feel your business should be taking advantage of these, it’s right to think about contracting out.

FourM’s bookkeeping division has a wealth of experience of working with companies of all sizes and types throughout Scotland. Talk to us today about how we can help you free up time to concentrate on the areas of your business that know and you do best.

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