In-House vs Outsourced Bookkeeping: The results are in.

May 23, 2017 October 22nd, 2021

“Ah, the joys of bookkeeping!” said no business owner. Ever.

However, the fact of the matter is that every business needs someone to keep track of day-to-day transactions and make sure the accounting records are up to date. Few, if any, small businesses start out hiring a dedicated bookkeeper or outsourcing bookkeeping duties. It’s more likely that someone among the staff (more often than not, that means you, the owner!) will manage the books themselves using bookkeeping software or a cloud-based accounting package.

As you’re probably finding out already, bookkeeping often becomes a task that’s impossible to find the time for as your business grows. Running a company efficiently means one person should never be overburdened by tasks outside of their core skill set. As a business owner, your leadership is much better put to use in other areas.

So perhaps the time has come to decide on whether you need to hire an in-house bookkeeper or investigate outsourcing your bookkeeping.

I’m only a small business. Why do I need a bookkeeper?

If DIY bookkeeping is starting to interfere with productivity, it’s time to consider a dedicated bookkeeping service.

A bookkeeper processes the basic transactional paperwork for a business, providing you with an ongoing, accurate account of all your financial activity. Depending on the size of the business, it could mean simply processing one type of account – accounts payable, for example. It could also mean processing all the business’s accounting paperwork, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory accounts and payroll. In very small businesses, the bookkeeper’s role might be expanded to producing basic income statements and other financial statements.

The nature of this kind of work demands fine-tuned accuracy and an understanding of all processes. If these tasks are left to someone who isn’t a specialist in the field, this can potentially lead to confusing errors and even the occasional but expensive disaster.

Balancing your bookkeeping options

For many small businesses, splitting off the bookkeeping function is the first step in assembling a true financial management team.  If you’re at a stage where performing bookkeeping duties is overwhelming your ability to run the most important aspects of your business, you have two basic choices:

  1. Hire a full-time or part-time bookkeeper and put them on your payroll.
  2. Outsource the work to a professional bookkeeping service.

In-house bookkeeping – costs and considerations

Before the advent of high-speed internet, having a full or part-time bookkeeper in the office was the go-to solution for most small businesses. These days, with outsourcing often surpassing hiring in-house for cost-effectiveness, businesses only hire dedicated bookkeeping staff for a select few reasons, such as workplace culture or strict security/confidentiality measures.

The most difficult issue with hiring in-house is of course, finding the right person, and keeping them.

Once the hiring process is complete, one major disadvantage is that adding someone directly to your payroll makes you responsible for payroll taxes and entitlements, not to mention additional overheads and expenses.

Remember, a bookkeeper’s sole responsibility is to track and organise financial activity. Your bookkeeper cannot be expected to offer tax advice, help you determine the best structure for your business, manage your cash flow or plan and strategies. It’s still up to you to fulfil the financial controller and CFO roles.

Outsourcing bookkeeping – benefits and bonuses

Rather than relying on a single staff member’s availability and capabilities, outsourcing bookkeeping can provide you with considerably more flexibility and security.

At MBC Bookkeeping, we set you up with a tailored package of services that maximise the benefit to your business. For example, if you need help setting up secure payroll procedures, or creating a certain kind of report, you’re able to call on the expertise of an entire team of specialists for assistance.

Another bonus with MBC is that we can provide you with knowledge and advice in other financial areas as well. We can assist with tax advice, suggest the best structure for your business, help manage your cash flows and set strategy, goals and objectives.

So, why depend on just one bookkeeper when you can enlist a whole team of qualified experts?

At MBC we’re more than happy to jump on a phone call to discuss your needs. Feel free to contact us on 6362 0988 to find out more about how we can make your company’s financial maintenance and management our business instead of your burden.