Article by Evan
You already know it’s time to hire an expert bookkeeper for your business.
Your company grows by the hour, and it’s tricky enough just to keep track of your finances. Or maybe you want to sell your business down the line, which you need clean books to do.
Or… maybe you’re just sick and tired of QuickBooks. And, who can blame you?
Thankfully, there are a lot of expert bookkeepers out there. We’ll show you a few things to keep in mind so you can find a great expert bookkeeper to hand your work off to.
Table of Contents
Recap: What is a Bookkeeping Expert’s Role in Your Ecommerce Business?
Bookkeepers provide accurate, up-to-date financial information about an ecommerce business.
Most often, their reports go to ecommerce business owners and managers to help them make decisions. Some bookkeepers, however, actually also delve in strategy development.
Bookkeeping specialists may also share some jobs with accountants, such as the preparation of annual financial reports and tax returns.
Q: What is a bookkeeping specialist?
Besides your own personal living computing machine, a bookkeeping specialist is a business staff member responsible for keeping business journal entries and conducting bank reconciliations. Other services they can do for your business include managing your accounts receivable and payable, collecting taxes, monitoring debt levels and paying the debt as it pops up (using your business’ money, of course).
Why Hire a Professional Bookkeeper?
Bookkeeping is an essential role that every business owner should be able to handle, or enlist the help of an expert in the field. But you don’t necessarily have to hire an in-house bookkeeper to do this for you. Outsourced virtual ecommerce bookkeeping services are often a better solution.
Q: What does a professional bookkeeper do?
Professional bookkeepers keep track of accounts, transactions, and reports for businesses. They organize, collect, and maintain business records. records, such as bank reconciliations, cash flow statements, and loss statements. A professional bookkeeper helps business owners and accountants identify trends, build budgets, and plan for the future.
Suppose a bookkeeper had a whole list of duties.
Maintaining an accurate record of your product inventory and restocking it as necessary would be your primary responsibility as a business owner. Whenever your business orders inventory, your bookkeeper collects receipts, enters each transaction into the general ledger, and files records in your financial database.
In the same way, bookkeepers assist businesses in keeping track of their receivables. Imagine your HVAC company has recently repaired a customer’s air conditioner. Your bookkeeper can help you create invoices, collect payments, enter the payments into general ledgers, and document paid invoices.
I Use Accounting Software — Why Would I also Need an Expert Bookkeeper?
There can be a huge difference in success of an ecommerce business that uses both software and human input than one with just software. Yeah, software will definitely give you a rundown of the status of your business within seconds or even in real-time, but a human bookkeeper can analyze that data, and provide you (the business owner) with valuable choices for the betterment of your business.
The gist of it — software can get you valuable data, and a bookkeeper can help use that data to an advantage.
How to Find a Bookkeeping Expert For Your Ecommerce Business
Know What You Need an Expert Bookkeeper For
Having knowledge of what exactly you want your bookkeeper working on in your business can help smooth things out in the long run. You don’t want to waste paid bookkeeping talent and you would want to maximize your bookkeeper’s efforts to the advantage of your business.
Beginning your search: Where to look for Expert Bookkeepers
Though one search on Google can instantly get you a list of platforms for bookkeeping services, I highly recommend outsourced bookkeeping. Why? You’ll save a lot on full or part-time wages and benefits to an in-house bookkeeper. You’ll also save on lost productivity costs that come along with having to constantly hire new staff and put them on your payroll. Plus, they can work while you sleep.
Choosing an Expert Bookkeeper
Looking for the right traits in a bookkeeper can be tricky at first look. We certainly have that in mind so here’s a look on the most essential factors you’ll have to watch out for when hiring an expert bookkeeper.
How Often Does the Expert Bookkeeper Work with Ecommerce businesses?
You’ll want a bookkeeper with enough knowledge and experience with ecommerce businesses. This way, you save time and money on training or the bookkeeper’s learning curve, and get straight to work. Also, a bookkeeper well versed in ecommerce businesses can improvise to help smoothen your business transactions, and will even have tips and tricks on your business’ financial management.
What Kinds of Bookkeeping Tasks Can the Expert Bookkeeper Help Me With?
The first step in choosing a bookkeeper is to find out what you want them to do for you. If you’re looking for a bookkeeper to handle the mundane daily or weekly bookkeeping duties as well as an accountant, you’ll want to look for an outsourced bookkeeping platform.
How Available Will the Expert Bookkeeper Be?
At the end of the day, you need a seasoned bookkeeper who’s willing to work for you. Making your business a priority means being respectful of your time, maintaining an active approach to communication, and showing the capacity to understand your professional goals. Take some time to observe their customer service and client relations habits to ensure you actually choose the expert bookkeeper most likely to help you meet your financial objectives.
What are an Expert Bookkeeper’s Fees and Charges?
Offshored bookkeeping services typically charge a flat monthly fee, depending on how much time it takes to complete your books every month. The number of accounts they’ll be tracking — and the transaction frequency — may also affect this.
How Involved Will the Expert Bookkeeper Be with My Business?
A good bookkeeper annoys the heck out of you. If your bookkeeper lets things fall through the cracks and doesn’t follow up on every single item, they’re sure as heck gonna let you and your business down. Bookkeepers have to be like hawks – to obsess over every single financial line item.
Q: How much does a professional bookkeeper cost?
Bookkeeping rates can vary based on the type of business, industry, and financial services you need. Bookkeepers can charge between $18 and $23 per hour, depending on their level of experience, which can be quite heavy on your pocket — especially if you’re just starting out. One alternative is to outsource the bookkeeping. Monthly bookkeeping fees start at $99 per month, so you can pretty much save up a lot more in the long run.
Service Cost: Bookkeeper vs Accountant
Salaries may differ based on your state, business needs, and candidate qualifications. The average bookkeeper salary is $41,000, while the average accountant salary is $50,000, according to PayScale. Accountants typically earn more than bookkeepers due to their additional education and certifications.
That’s why businesses who can’t afford to hire internally often opt for outsourced work. Aside from a much lower price tag, you’ll only be paying them for a whole month’s worth of services, whereas in-house bookkeepers and accountants get paid hourly.
Bookkeeper Duties for Small Business
Invoice production, chasing payments, preparing you for tax deadlines, and payroll processing. This is just a sampling of the services bookkeepers offer small businesses.
- Daily account management
Bookkeepers keep track of your business’ accounts for all transactions on a daily basis. They use the latest software to track every sale and purchase, so they can keep a close eye on cash flow.
Plus, it saves a lot of data entry time.
- Keep accurate and up-to-date records
An experienced bookkeeper keeps your business records current. They will also flag up any discrepancies between the books and your business accounts, so you can deal with them asap.
- Make sure businesses follow the law
Taxes are a sensitive issue. Make one mistake and a tax notice from HMRC could soon be on the way. This is where bookkeepers can help, since they can make sure your business adheres to applicable laws.
Don’t forget, they’re here to help, not to make it worse.
- Make sure you’re tax-ready
Tax deadlines are just as strict as laws and regulations. Many small businesses put off doing their books, so they don’t pay attention to deadlines. By keeping accurate records, a bookkeeper prevents you from paying a bonus to the taxman.
- Handle bank transactions
Essentially, bookkeepers handle transactions that come in via software, such as an app. Using the software’s bank feeds, you will be able to view all transactions in real-time.
- Payables Management
Small business bookkeepers make payments on behalf of their clients. This includes anything from petty cash, payment of supplier invoices, and expenses.
- Manage accounts receivable and send out invoices
It’s your bookkeeper’s job to send invoices to your clients so you get paid on time. A bookkeeper will also manage the accounts receivable and chase up late payments so your records are always accurate.
- Prepare financials
A bookkeeper will also prepare some significant financial statements for small businesses. They can include a profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.
Basically, these reports show a business’s bottom line, operating expenses, the balance of assets and liabilities, and how much cash is coming in and going out.
- Work on payroll
A bookkeeper can do a lot of things. Sometimes they do payroll, too. It can include getting paychecks processed and paying employee taxes.
- Handle foreign exchange
In addition to maintaining foreign currency accounts, bookkeepers use current exchange rates. If you’ve got a digital bookkeeping app, which can analyze exchange rates in seconds without taking much time, much better.
- Conduct stocktakes
Bookkeepers also count your stocks to make inventory feedback. When there’s a discrepancy, the team reports back to make sure you can deal with it as soon as possible.
The figures featured in reports like profit and loss statements are usually compiled at the end of a business’ financial year.
- Pay attention to cash flow
One of the main tasks a bookkeeper has to do for a small business is make sure they have enough cash to get them through the day. To do this, they can watch the revenue-to-expense ratio, and provide more advice if the business needs more cash.
- Getting the Books Ready for the Accountant
Whenever the accountant needs the accounts, it’s a bookkeeper’s job to make sure they’re accurate and up-to-date. It allows an accountant to make business and tax recommendations.
Cost of an In-House Bookkeeper
A bookkeeper makes on average $20 an hour in the United States, but rates can range from $18 to $23 depending on education, experience, and additional skills. How you calculate labor costs will depend on if you need a full-time or part-time employee. Comparing an in-house bookkeeper to a financial management company requires looking at employee costs like benefits, training, and time off.
Hiring an in-house bookkeeper seems like a good idea to some, but for many high-volume companies, the costs of training and payroll outweigh the benefits.
Cost of an Outsourced Bookkeeper
At first glance, hiring a bookkeeping agency can seem daunting. But it’s an extremely cost-effective, simple solution with a lot of benefits. Outsourced bookkeeping costs vary depending on what you need. Etail Express offers a range of bookkeeping packages with a dedicated accounting team, online access, and attentive customer support.
Get Started Today
Searching for the right expert bookkeeper can be a real tough chore if you have to do it yourself. Why not try offshore ecommerce bookkeeping? It’ll save you a whole lot of time, plus you get stats on potential expert bookkeepers from all around the world. If you want to know more, visit us at EtailExpress.com.