Infographic: 8 Bookkeeping Tips That Small Business Owners Will Benefit From

accounts outsourcing companies

The success of a business to a great extent depends on the way bookkeeping is being handled. Outsourcing this responsibility to an accounts outsourcing services provider can help you ensure that your bookkeeping is accurate, timely and helps you take wise business decisions. You should never mix your personal and business finance, if you own a small business. You have to pay salaries to your staff, vendor fees, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a full record of your business expenses. Recording errors and inaccurate calculations can take place if bookkeeping is handled manually. The use of the latest accounting software can help you avoid such errors.

Timely checkup of your data will ensure that your data is in sync with what is going on. Not doing so might lead to overdue expenses, inaccuracy in expenses and records, etc. Flawless bookkeeping is not only about keeping a track of what is happening but also taking action on them and ensure timely payment of bills. Never ignore payment of bills as you may have to pay penalties. Get a quarterly review of your accounts and bookkeeping done by a professional. Right bookkeeping will enable you to keep a track of your taxes, expenses related to taxes and deadlines. Hiring one of the top accounts outsourcing companies will help you make substantial savings.

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How to get more client referrals for your accounting practice

The best ever marketing tool for accounting professionals, since the ancient Egyptians started record-keeping for their royal storehouses, are – referrals! Acquiring clients through referral is a technique as old as the pyramids!

A referral is simply a recommendation from a person, usually one of your previous or existing clients or colleagues, to another person to use your services.

Why referrals are so important for your accounting practice?

For any business – be it small or large – choosing the right accounting partner is an important decision. As their accounting advisor, you’ll gain intimate knowledge about their business and their personal financial goals as well. So, an established reputation and trust are highly critical for people to move their business to you.

When someone refers to you, they are vouching for you. And it is far more persuasive when someone else sings your praises than you try to do it yourself!

Do you know where the most persuasive advertising comes from? It’s from the people we already know and trust!

According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report

“More than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family.”

In another research done by Hinge Marketing , 87% of participants said they ask friends or colleagues when they are looking for an accountant.

So, it’s pretty clear how much important referrals are for your accounting practice. Question is – what you need to do to get those referral clients?

Identify Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

As stated in Entrepreneur.com encyclopedia , the definition of the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is:

“The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition”

But what it really stands for? How can it help your accounting practice to get more referral clients?

A unique selling proposition is what your business really does or cares or stands for. It’s what makes your business stand out among other similar types of business. Instead of trying to stand for everything, a business with a USP is known for something very specific.

Let’s explain further.

Many accounting professionals try to offer every possible service they can when they get started. But when you try to be well-known for everything, you become known for nothing! You can’t offer everything to all people!

We can look at FreshBooks as an example. If you search on google just by writing Freshbooks, the following will appear.

Do you notice what they stand for? They say “Invoice and Accounting software for Small Businesses” – not medium or large businesses. This is done on purpose.

Instead of trying to be an accounting software for every business out there, they just focus on serving small businesses. A whopping number of 24 Million people have used FreshBooks so far and they have paying customers over 160+ countries!

The point – you need to be very specific about what you’re offering instead of running a generalized accounting practice.

You can be industry specific (plumbing, constructions, etc) or service specific (bookkeeping, tax return, etc) based on your preference and expertise.

You need to identify your USP for which people will remember you for. When you do that, you will get more referral customers because your good friends will easily understand what you really do and whom they could refer to you.

Market Your USP

Identifying your USP is one thing, ‘marketing it’ to your target customers is quite another.

Once you come up with your USP, you need to show off and reach out to your potential customers with that. This is how:

Your tagline: If your business name is ABC Accounting Service, and you plan to center your service to retails, then your tagline (the words used under the business name and/or logo graphic) could be “Accounting Solution for Retails.”

Your Branding: Your USP should be reflected in all your branding materials. For example, you might create a graphic of an official seal with ’Accounting Service for Retailers’ and position it on your website, on the cover of your brochure, or at the side of your business card layout.

Your email signature and voice-mail message: We tend to forget or ignore this one. But when you use your USP in your email signature and voice mail messages, it could bring you the fortune at the cost nothing!

Verbal introductions: When you meet someone new or you are at a networking event, introducing your USP could engage others and gauge their interest in what you do.

There’s just one catch!

Market demand and your competitors’ offerings will get changed, so is your own business and competitive edge. Hence, while thinking about your USP and its promotion, keep in mind that your tagline and look and feel are easier to change when necessary than your logo or business name.

Incentivise Your Referral program

People love receiving gifts. When you send your happy clients ‘surprise gifts’ – that helps increase the likelihood that they’re going to refer someone else to you.

You can provide a financial incentive for every good referral that ends up signing up with you. However, many people may not accept or feel uneasy with direct cash rewards. In that case, you can provide other incentives that make more sense for you and your accounting firm, such as:

  • Gift Cards to your client’s favorite restaurant or coffee shop
  • Visa gift cards
  • Movie tickets
  • A favorite bottle of drink

If you’re not sure of what to gift, JUST ASK!

You can ask your clients what their favorite drink is, and if they say coffee, you can ask where they love to go for coffee. Then, hop online and get them a gift card or send them a packet of their favorite coffee beans.

One important note: There might be regulations as to how large a gift you are allowed to give and your clients are allowed to receive. So, make sure your gift is legal so that NO ONE gets in any trouble!

Cross Sell/Exchange Referral Programs

You can partner up with other professionals who serve the same target group as you do, but with different services.

You can tap into your professional networks, search LinkedIn or leverage local networking groups like business associations and clubs to identify such professionals who already serve the customers that you want to serve. This could include a management consultant, a lawyer, an insurance agent, a banker or anybody you think has a genuine customer base.

The partnership could be in different models. You can pay each other direct referral bonus or you could offer special rates or discounts for each other’s customers.

Conclusion

Many of the accounting professionals are shy of asking clients for referrals. But the interesting part is – according to a marketing survey done by Texas Tech – “83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer a product or service. But only 29% actually do”.

So, getting more referrals could be as simple as asking your clients to refer others to you!

There’s just one problem… if you want to attract referral clients, you need to create a service level that people can easily hook on others to it!

No negative vibes – but do you know how one starts smoking? By hanging with other smokers who seem to have a great experience out of it! If you can maintain high quality and integrity and provide a great service to your clients, people hanging around your clients will certainly know about your accounting practice and start ringing your doorbells.

What other ideas could we use to generate more referral clients? How do you generate referrals for your business? Please share your experience below.

Accounting vs Finance

The growth in business will lead to significant cash flows and hiring an outsourced accountant expert will be the need of an hour. Whether to go for accounting outsourcing or financial planning might have been confusing you. The article will help you to decide whether to hire an outsourced consultant for outsourced accounting services or a financial planner for finance function services.

When to hire an accountant?

Outsourced Bookkeeping Services

An outsourced consultant  or an accountant will take care of the bookkeeping services. It can be online bookkeeping or offline bookkeeping. The services include filing taxes, balance sheet services, ledger maintenance, preparation of reports, etc. to name a few.

Business plan

The business plan is the future goals for your firm. It also tells about what you have in store and what are you going to offer in the future. The outsourced consultant will assist you in project plans and figures. Outsourced accounting services make sure to equip their consultant with the necessary skills and keeps them updated.

Online Bookkeeping

Accounting software for online bookkeeping eases the task of maintaining records when the business grows. It is one of the significant benefits of accounting outsourcing. The outsourced consultant has deep insights into the latest software. Majority of the times this knowledge is found missing in the in-house team. Corporates prefer so outsourced bookkeeping.

Minimize risk and frauds

Frauds and risks to the business cause significant monetary losses & the company’s social capital is also affected. The accountants not only aim in minimizing the risks and frauds but also strive hard to prevent it in the first place. No wonder accounting outsourcing is given a lot of importance.

When to hire a financial planner?

Management of assets

Assets are the resources that help generate profit in your business. The land, cash, stocks, etc. are the assets to the firm. The financial planner will help the firm in managing the assets through his strategy based on the risk-return framework, the time duration of investment and objectives of financing.

Planning of insurance

Insurance planning is a critical component in the financial planning of the corporate and the individual. A proper insurance plan helps to mitigate the risk and be prepared for unforeseen conditions. The financial planner will guide you with various insurance plans and services.

Employee benefit plans

It is immensely important to give lucrative benefits to the employees. The perks can be related to the sick leave, health insurance plans, bonus, salary hikes, etc. The financial planner will make sure to chalk out all such perks maintaining the federal, state and local rules and regulations.

Valuation of the company

The valuation of the company is a tricky business. Valuation techniques and methods are complicated. The financial planner can help the firm on valuing itself and knowing its worth.

We are pretty sure you have realized when to call an accountant or financial planner. If you are looking for accountancy outsourcing solutions,  info@米6米乐体育 Info Solutions provides the best accounting outsourcing services in the UK.

We look forward to schedule a meeting with you!

Why should you use an outsourced bookkeeping service for your business?

Are you wondering why is there a need to shift to outsourced bookkeeping service for your business?  8 out of 10 companies fail due to poor management of their accounts. Many business owners hem and haw about the need to have an outsourced bookkeeper rather than hiring an in-house staff to handle their accounts.

Let us discuss the valid reasons and benefits of choosing an accounting outsourcing company in the UK.

Added expertise

Accounting outsourcing will offer you comprehensive benefits without spending for a full-time salaried person. Handling over your books to an expert team of professional accountants can bring in a lot of functional changes and growth in your business. Outsourced bookkeeping service will make things easier for you by keeping a check on the cash flows and categorize all transactions into various categories. It further helps in analyzing the financial status of the business and its performance in a better way. An expert will not miss even a single transaction, and they will make sure all tasks are done on time. For example, all payrolls are paid regularly.

Saves time and overhead expenses

While you run a business, taking care of books yourself is not an efficient usage of time. Sitting back and entering invoice details and making entries will kill your core time. Bookkeeping and accounting itself is a full-fledged job. Managing your tasks on your own is a good thing, but it should not be at the cost of your primary work schedule. Even accounting is never a CFO, or non- accounting staff’s job.  Managing accounts is not everyone’s cup of tea, and your business was not meant to spend time handling your books. Also, unravelling mistakes can be time-consuming and pain in the head when you have your regular work lined up for you.

In such a scenario, it is always wise to have an expert outsourced accountant and bookkeeper who can manage your accounts well without errors, and all of this come under the outsourced bookkeeping services.

Save Money

No wonder opting for an outsourced accountant will cost you money, but when an expert outsourced accountant takes care of your books, you will save much more money and see visible growth in your business.  Also note using outsourced accounting services is cheaper than having an in-house salaried bookkeeper. With outsourcing, one only has to pay for the services they use whereas you pay more to a full time professional for the same number of tasks.

Fewer chances of fraud

Fraud is one problem that is prevalent in every business, whether small or large. The company owners have to set aside their resources for preventing fraud and handling the errors. Fraud is inevitable but with outsourced accountants, it can be reduced to much extent.  In outsourcing accounting services, the duties are separately managed by the professionals, which help in preventing fraud and misconduct in an organization. With a team of professionals taking care of a single firm makes sure there is no discrepancy in reports and managing transactions.

Outsourced bookkeeping service -“Books Are Being Taken Care Of”

This is the only thought that brings you comfort at the end of the day. This is one of the main reasons as to why leading accounting firms from the UK are outsourcing their accounting and bookkeeping jobs to companies like  info@米6米乐体育 Info Solutions . If you have any query or are looking for an accounts outsourcing partner in the UK, you can get in touch with us at  info@米6米乐体育 . We, at  info@米6米乐体育 Info Solutions , understand that as accounts professionals, you have a lot of responsibility towards your clients. But stay assured when we say that outsourcing your client’s accounts and bookkeeping jobs to us would be the best decision you will take for your as well as your client’s business.

Have you considered Outsourcing? Why Not?

For small & mid-sized accounting practices outsourcing their work can be quite a dilemma. There are quite a few issues which need to be considered & most of the time partners/owners are in dark about major factors to arrive at a proper decision.

Cost is not the only factor for making the decision as there are many other positive aspects which far outweigh cost & other considerations.

Basic Questions to be answered: 

  1. Do you need to do your Bookkeeping & Accounts production in house?
  2. Will outsourcing bring negative effect on your business, your employees & your clients?
  3. Do you have in house talent to do all the work & the projected increase for the next 2-3 years?
  4. Have you accounted for increased resources required meet your growth targets?
  5. Whether incremental investments required for growth is justified in terms of comparable ROI?
  6. Did you account for any staff redundancy for next 2-3years?

Once you are able to answer these basic questions you will be in a better frame of mind to make a decision to outsource or not. You will need to consider all the answers to make an informed choice. Once you have done so, the next stage would be to decide on the vendor.

How To Make A Choice 

Now comes the million-dollar question.

How would you choose a vendor to outsource your work? What should be the basic criteria for outsourcing?

As per my views there are five essentials for selecting an outsourcing partner.

  1. Take note of the qualification of directors, whether they have a UK qualification or work experience. Believe it or not a UK qualification is a great advantage. Check whether the staff has certifications in or is well versed in accounting software’s such as SAGE, IRIS, QUICBOOKS, CCH & XERO.
  2. Whether the outsourcing vendor has a UK dedicated set up or is it working with other countries as USA, EUROPE & AUSTRALIA too. The one, which has a UK set up, is going to be the most appropriate as keeping update with tax related changes in various territories is a huge task & no one can be reasonably up to the task. So if a vendor is concentrated more than 1-2 territories it has a better chance of having a grip on legislative changes in those geographies.
  3. Check for references & how long they have been in the market. A new entrant is a new entrant; you get some of the knowledge through work experience only.
  4. Check for TAT. i.e how quickly the vendor is enable to turn around the job.
  5. Check how much of their internal processes are documented & automated. Also see what is their level of operation on various technological platforms i.e. Cloud, VPN, RDP etc.

Apart from this you can also check if they are financially sound & have a secure platform to work on. What is the service level agreement & specifically check for security, confidentiality & indemnity clauses in it.

You also need to consider what type of work you need to outsource & what is the best managed in house. Normally you would need to send across various documents to your vendor for processing. Best choice is to send the works in one go, so that the job is not held up at vendor level for want of records. Those of your clients having work processing for more than a certain no. of hours i.e. says 7-10 are ideal for outsourcing. Any client which requires less than 2-3 hours work & with incomplete information to start with is a big no-no for outsourcing.

Cost v/s Benefit

Perceived costs put off most firms from outsourcing. They think it to be an additional operational cost & therefore being unnecessary to the business. However, in reality the savings can be quite considerable.

The savings include cost of additional resources you might need to employ to do the work & overheads associated with these. It can be an average of not less than 50% of the in-house cost.

The other major benefit form productive time savings of key persons of the operations. This can be better utilised to bring in additional revenue by meetings, networking & building relationship with clients. The time of key persons could also be utilised to explore the high end lucrative work such as tax investigations, estate planning etc.

If done properly outsourcing can benefit your practice.