Small Business Bookkeeping Introduction
Small business bookkeeping might be one of the most commonly avoided tasks in industry today. Most entrepreneurs start their small businesses because they have a passion for their product or service. Keeping records and bookkeeping as a function are rarely considered in a start-up. The entrepreneur believes that if he retains receipts then all is well. After several months in business it can be a rude awakening to discover that professional bookkeeping services are needed.
What does the business owner need from a bookkeeping service?
If the business began as a one man shop then the needs are quite different from a business that has two or more employees. The business owner should make a list of services he needs to continue to run his company and watch the bottom line. This can include:
- Payroll and payroll taxes
- Sales and use tax
- Accounts receivable
- Accounts payable
- Bank statement reconciliations
- Profit and Loss statements
- Cash flow analysis
- Equipment and asset amortization
What are the different bookkeeping options?
A small or medium sized business can opt for a professional bookkeeper to work in-house one to several days a week depending on volume. Every aspect of record keeping and recording can be done where the principal is on hand to answer any questions the bookkeeper may have.
Or, for a cost savings the owner can opt for a virtual bookkeeper where the professional is not on site but rather works from a corporate office. Every process that can be accomplished on-site can be accomplished virtually. There may be options for more in-depth services the business owner did not consider when first making his list of must-haves such as phone support. Each outsourced bookkeeping service will have a list of ancillary services which will help the business owner track revenue and profits.
How much will small business bookkeeping cost you?
There are several ways to select outsourced booking services. One is to contract with an outsourced accountant who will handle all the day to day bookkeeping as well as becoming involved in tax preparations and financial planning for the business. Naturally, an accountant will cost more in New York City than in Tampa, Florida. But they all usually charge a flat monthly rate for basic services.
The more services that are needed and the frequency will affect the package rate. Like attorneys, accounts charge an hourly fee. A CPA will charge more than a non-CPA. Your person of choice will figure in how much of his time will be required plus how much clerical time will be required. This will result in your package rate. You can expect to pay $40 or more per hour for a qualified accountant to manage your finances.
For a small business with minimal monthly bookkeeping needs, a bookkeeping service may charge a flat fee of $100-$150 per month plus expenses.
Virtual bookkeeping services may be available in set packages, depending on the amount and complexity of the account. A virtual bookkeeping package for a small home business or freelancer could start as low as $269 for monthly bookkeeping, financial statements, bank and credit card reconciliation, and online financial support. A larger small business package may cost as much as $699 for bimonthly bookkeeping, accounts receivables/payables processing, bank and credit card reconciliation, payroll management, online financial support, and more.
For more services that go above and beyond typical small business bookkeeping, such as financial planning, accountants typically charge an hourly rate. Tax preparation also carries an additional cost.Ready to Compare Accounting and Bookkeeping Services Price Quotes?