Bookkeeping is one of the least popular administrative tasks for small business owners. Many would rather go to the dentist for a root canal rather than make journal entries. What ends up happening in many cases is that the bookkeeping tasks are pushed aside and they pile up as the business owner procrastinates. Without bookkeeping, your accountant can’t do their job. So either you will pay expensive hourly rates to have an accountant do bookkeeping work or you will go without financial statements. Neither is a good idea. Instead, outsource the number crunching—pay someone else to do it so you can focus on what’s really important for your business.
What exactly is bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping is not accounting. It is the process of preparing the information that the accountant will use to prepare financial statements and interpret them. Bookkeeping consists of recording the day-to-day transactions of a business such as sales, purchases, revenues and expenses. Bookkeepers can also write checks, make deposits and reconcile bank statements. This information is then provided to the accountant.
Given that online banking is commonplace these days, several innovative methods for outsourcing bookkeeping methods are growing in popularity. Let’s take a closer look at two of these options.
Option 1: LessAccounting.com
LessAccounting.com provides an online software system that simplifies the bookkeeping process for business owners. The system securely and automatically downloads transaction records from your business bank accounts and loads them into a user-friendly interface for bookkeeping. The system also sends invoices, provides proposal templates and generates reports. The system also integrates with 37Signals.com software, PayPal and Teaspiller (which I discuss below).
LessAccounting.com starts at $30 per month for access to their online software. For $100 per month, you'll also get a virtual bookkeeper (yes, a person) to perform transaction categorization, prepare basic reports, perform bank reconciliations and assist your accountant at tax time. Three hundred dollars per month gives you the virtual bookkeeper on a monthly basis.
Option 2: Teaspiller.com
Teaspiller.com is an online directory “on steroids” of accounting and accounting-related service professionals. Teaspiller allows you to search for the type of professional you need (in this case bookkeepers) and by geography.
It then provides a detailed profile on the individual including their picture, internal performance rating, client ratings, telephone number, website and information on their response time.
After selecting one (or several) professionals, Teaspiller allows you to request a price quote for the services you require. Once you select someone to work with you, Teaspiller provides a secure, online virtual office for you to communicate, share files and pay. The site currently has over 20,000 professionals listed.
In order for accounting professionals to participate they provide detailed biographies on their work history. Teaspiller also performs limited background checks and informs users if they have found any records of misconduct on the professionals’ part.
The bottom line
A small cash investment and a little set-up time is all that is required for you to solve your bookkeeping nightmare. Take care of this problem today.