Easy Ways To Grow Your Bookkeeping Practice

The field of accountancy is increasingly competitive with fierce competition from up and coming firms day by day. This makes it even more challenging to develop and attract your business. If you are looking for easy ways to grow your bookkeeping business, we have just the tips for you. Keep reading to discover the five golden rules of growing your accounting firm in these uncertain times.

Invest In CRM Data Automation Tools

Data enrichment tools are the best way to grow your bookkeeping practice today. When you invest in tools like CRM data automation and data enrichment services, you improve your customer relationship management system’s overall data quality. This not only keeps you updated with the latest information but minimizes the hassle of manual data entry. With this increase in CRM adoption, you can get insights into your sales team and grow your business significantly.

Focus On Strengthening Client Relationships

While acquiring new clients is an important part of any business, retaining old and loyal customers is equally crucial. Hence, you must focus on strengthening client relationships by following a client-centric approach in all your business endeavors. Your level of understanding and engagement with clients goes a long way in determining the level of growth your firm enjoys.

Attend Strategic Events

Face-to-face communication is the key to developing your business. This makes industry events a hotbed for gaining referrals and meeting new prospects. When looking for these events and conferences to attend, review the list of attendees, speakers, and sponsors to find potential opportunities or leads for your business. Remember that a single strategic event could lead to a dozen or more leads for your practice.

Encourage Collaborations Through Zoom Meetings

Business growth depends a lot on relationships within a firm. Hence, your business development and sales teams must work in tandem with each other and collaborate from time to time to share their knowledge and benefit from this mutual connection. In these times of pandemic, zoom meetings have become an essential part of every business. With ‘work from home’ becoming the new normal, you must encourage collaborations through zoom meetings and other reliable platforms to break relationship barriers throughout your firm and increase revenue.

Focus On Your Network

Finally, you must have a vast network if you have already been in the field for years and have a lot of experience under your belt. Therefore, there might already be a ton of untapped potential in your bookkeeping practice. Check out your network thoroughly to find connections at prospective companies or in the target industry. You can get the ball rolling with a single connection introducing you to the right people. Hence, aside from building new contacts, spend time analyzing your existing client database too.

Concluding Thoughts

Using these tips, your bookkeeping practice will not just be able to beat the competition and overcome disruption but also grow substantial revenue over time. Make sure you adopt a client-centric approach in your business to become industry leaders.

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

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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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What is the Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting Services

As businesses grow and start to attract more customers, keeping track of the finances can become difficult. Hiring  online bookkeeping services in UK  or accounting services may be a solution to that challenge. However, do you need a bookkeeper or an accountant? Many people use the terms bookkeeping and accounting interchangeably but the truth is while they are similar and some tasks may overlap, these remain separate services and before you think of outsourcing  online bookkeeping services in UK , you should understand the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant. Here are some of those key differences.

Bookkeeping Definition 

Bookkeeping is about daily records of transactions . A bookkeeper keeps a tally of all the daily expenses of a business as well as the money coming in. The duties of a bookkeeper however are much wider than just taking records.

Accounting Definition 

Accounting involves summarizing, analyzing, and creating reports  based on the bookkeeping records. An accountant will create concise statements about business transactions over a particular period. To get a better understanding of the two definitions, let us take a closer look at the roles they play in a business.

What a Bookkeeper Does?

This is a service that has been offered for decades. Bookkeepers kept records of early trader’s money inflows and outflows. This service continues today with bookkeepers recording daily transactions in a systematic way that is easy to read. These records will then be used by the accountant to do their job. A key duty for a bookkeeper is the maintenance of a general ledger. This document contains records of expense receipts as well as amounts from sales. Modern technology enables bookkeepers to use software like QuickBooks and Xero to keep track of all the entries made into the ledger. Whatever transaction is made by your business needs to be recorded in the ledger. This function also helps when you have to do your taxes. A bookkeeper doesn’t have to have as much training as an accountant to perform their duty, however, they may need certain principles of accounting like how to use accounting software as well as financial terms. The work of a bookkeeper can be overseen by an accountant or the business owner. Other tasks that they take on include: – Monitoring daily cash flow – Issuing invoices – Following up on payments – Making payments on behalf of the business – Handling payrolls – Preparation of trial balances – Reconciliation of bank and credit card activity – Monitoring and controlling credit card activity – Keeping nominal expense records – Handling multi-currency transactions – Handling other daily financial tasks requested by the client

What Accountants Do?

Accountants pick up from where the bookkeepers stop. They analyze the daily financial records to come up with detailed insights for the business owner to make financial decisions. Accountants can also help in the decision-making process by offering advice in different fields of finance. Some of the roles they play include: – Verification and analysis of data – Reading financial signals to help in forecasting opportunities and trends for development – Performing audits and getting tax records in order – Preparing reports like balance sheets and income statement – Guiding business owners to make the right financial decisions. Accountants can also do bookkeeping but bookkeepers cannot do what accountants do. Some businesses pay accountants to do the bookkeeping as well as accounting.

When Should You Hire Online Bookkeeping?

If your business needs to keep track of its daily financial activities, then hiring online bookkeeping services would be advised. Remember that bookkeeping is about the day to day running of the business’s transactions. It is however convenient when you hire a person or company who can do both bookkeeping and accounting. This will mean when you need reports that focus on the big picture of your business finances, then there would be someone ready to do that as well.

When Should you Hire an Accountant?

You may not need accountancy services every day. Most businesses need accountants when they need to carry out an audit of their financial transactions or when they need to make big financial decisions. Accountants can help prepare reports that give you a clear picture of where your business stands after a given period of operation. Accountants can also be important when you are preparing to present your books to the taxman. They will provide you with sound tax advice and guide you through the complicated UK tax system which many business owners find a headache to deal with.

Verdict 

Both bookkeeping and accounting services are relevant for the smooth running of a business. When you need help for short term daily financial tracking, the bookkeeper is your solution and if the need is to look at the long-term business finances, then you need an accountant. Finding a professional company that can provide the entire package would be the best option as opposed to choosing one or the other.

How to Stay Productive While Working from Home?

accounting outsourcing services

Working from home can be joyous because of the flexibility it offers to your daily schedule. However, it can be challenging to stay organized and productive if you don’t plan well. Recently, many people opted for or were forced to work from home during the lockdown. Hence, it is a good idea to learn a few hacks to stay productive while working from home. This way, you can discover how you can use it to your advantage and do much more than you imagined.

Have a Designated Work Space

Tricking your mind is important! So, having a designated workspace can help you immensely and put you in “work mode” immediately. If you have a spare room, you can dedicate it to working. If not, you can also take a corner with a table and a comfortable chair. Make sure there is adequate lighting where you work. That always helps focus better and be more productive.

Plan One Day In Advance

Planning is crucial to having an organized and productive day. You must make a priority list of the tasks that you plan to do the next day. This will help you get on to the tasks immediately and not waste time planning things. With a concrete plan, you can also schedule regular breaks and finish your workday without stretching. It can also help you avoid working late nights. Hence, plan in advance and be strict about not working late nights because that might mess up your schedule the next day too.

Have Specific Work Hours

As mentioned above, having specific work hours is very important while working from home. If not, you might end up wasting crucial work time in the morning, leading to working late hours in the evening. You must be strict with your schedule and go to your work area like you go to the office. You must have a nice and healthy breakfast, take a shower and start your workday early. Knowing when your productivity is the highest can help a lot too. You can plan to make the most of your productive hours and schedule all the important tasks around that time. So, make a schedule and stick to it. But don’t make it too tight and leave some space out for breaks and relaxation too!

Create The Right Ambience

The right ambiance can also do wonders for your productivity. Therefore, you must create it well around your workspace. You can do so by keeping your workspace clean and tidy. Furthermore, you can have some soothing music to have a relaxed ambiance. Make sure not to have anything that distracts you, such as television, loud music, or social media chats. Surround yourself with things that help you focus better.

Conclusion

These are some hacks that can help you enhance your productivity at home. You must enjoy your time at home that allows you to have little breaks or short naps. Work from home can be a blessing in disguise. All you need to do is plan it well!

Coronavirus and How Virtual Accounting Companies Can Help your Business

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With the pandemic changing the business landscape, working with virtual accounting companies is the best way to keep your finances and other critical processes in check.

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the way that companies do business. Just a few months ago, it was all business as usual. But now, the government regulations to control the spread of the disease have seen most business close doors. Now, many companies are shifting to the internet to render services to their esteemed clients. They are also having their employees work from home.

If you were contemplating between an in-house and outsourced bookkeeping expert, then the decision is now easier – a remote one will be more beneficial than an in-house one. Working with the best  virtual accounting companies  is a great way to get your bookkeeping and accounting solutions handled without worrying about the effects of the pandemic. In this article, we will tell you how a remote accounting company will be beneficial during the global crisis.

Play your part in preventing the spread of the virus

Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire. Just a couple of months ago, we all thought that it was a China-only problem. But at the moment, it has affected more than three-quarters of the world. By working with a virtual company, you cut out the need of employees having to come to the office, and thereby, minimizing exposure. You can think of this as your way of supporting the government’s effort to stop the spread.

Avoid overspending during the crisis

If there’s one thing that most businesses are struggling with right now is to stay afloat amidst the mess. The last thing you want is to start spending lots of money trying to put new structures in place for the new team. Not to mention the interviews and training costs. Working with online accounting companies means you enjoy the services without having to spend a fortune on the onboarding process. Additionally, you may not need to spend money trying to buy new bookkeeping and accounting software and technology because these companies already have the latest ones.

One less thing to worry about

Hiring a virtual accounting company means your accounts, VAT, payroll, invoices, cash flow, and other bookkeeping solutions are taken care of. At least, that’s one less thing to worry about. Besides, a virtual company ensures you get real-time, accurate financial reporting you need.

Virtual is the new norm

We are living in unprecedented times. No one knows for sure how the business landscape will look like after the pandemic is over. But still, one this is for sure – more businesses are shifting online to offer services. Clients, too, are turning to the internet to buy solutions. Unless you adjust your structures to accommodate online services and transactions, you might end up missing out. A virtual accounting company allows you to streamline your finances both virtually and physically, allowing for a smooth transition to the latest marketing models. They will advise you on tax matters and everything you need to know about selling online.

Conclusion

Working with a remote company might be of a necessity than an option right now. But you shouldn’t view it as a punishment, but an opportunity to expand your business and align with the new way of doing things.

Benefits of outsourcing your accounting work

Do you feel your competitors are taking away your clients because they can out the price you? Do you feel threatened by the ongoing onslaught of technology in your profession? Why don’t you try to outsource your accounting work?

Do you feel you need to add new service offerings to your clients?

Then read below and consider  accounting outsourcing and outsourced bookkeeping  work to achieve various improvements in your practice.

Outsourced accounting  services are not just about cost-saving. Here are the top 10 advantages of outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping services for accounting firms.

1. Faster growth for your practice- Outsource your accounting work. 

One of the significant benefits of outsourcing is that you can have more time on your hands to increase your efficiency, grow your firm and restructure your operations and maximize your return on investment (ROI) on the core competencies of your business. You can use this extra time to try to bring in more clients, by improving your marketing efforts and customer services and more by just outsource your accounting work. Outsourcing accounting services is most likely to reduce your costs by 30 to 50%.

2. Never Lose a Client to non-availability of time.

Outsourcing provides you with a team of professionals at a short call, and your ability to deliver services is no longer limited to how much time you can personally put in around the clock. Hence, you can now entertain new projects and clients coming your way with all the help you are getting.

3. Don’t Pay for the Overheads pay for the actual work.

When you outsource, you do not need to pay for the overheads, vacation, sick leaves, NI, training, and other staff expenses. You pay for the actual work done for you at most of the time at an agreed price.

4. Alleviate the risk of overnight losing of your staff. 

The stuff bad dreams are made of. You reach your office to find one of your staff is ready to put in his/her papers. If you have been in practice for long enough, you would have faced this situation. Most of the methods can’t afford a backup person, but when you hire accounting outsourcing services provider in UK, you don’t have to worry about such cases, as their business nature requires them to have an expert, qualified and experienced team that is reliable and ready with a capable backup.

5. Standardise quality control. 

Most of us get frustrated over review times and other delays and efforts required to minimize errors in the final output. Having an outsourcing team changes all this as you get the advantage of standardised quality control procedures put in place by them, and you could even mutually agree to more stringent requirements.

6. Utilise diverse experience across various lines of business.

Outsourcing companies work for various accounting practices, thereby earning diversified experiences across multiple sectors. You can utilise this expertise to gain a competitive edge in your area.

7. Allow you to introduce new services.

If you had always wanted to introduce some new services to your customers but could never take the initiative because of lack of time and expertise available, hiring outsourced services can help you change that. You can introduce new services to your customers, which is just like adding new sources of revenue and making the best use of your in-house and outsourced capabilities and expertise.

8. Reengineer your Practice with online bookkeeping. 

You can reengineer your services offerings to shift from compliance work to higher proportion of advisory services enabling your firm to be future-ready in the upcoming digital work environment.

9. Work less, Earn More with the finance function services.

An outsourced accountant helps you to cut expenses on overheads and pare down your salary bill. You are able to increase your bottom line without an increase of efforts from your side. Moreover, you can utilise savings in profits to teach yourself and your staff for more value-added & niche services.

10. Increased valuation of practice.

The firms that outsource show increased profitability as compared to their peers, not using the services. As such, you would enjoy higher valuation multiplier increasing the valuation of your firm. This also helps firms in case they wish to raise borrowed funds from banks.

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.