Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use accounting software?
Accounting software compiles all your business information in one place. It provides you with the financial information you need to make smart business decisions and allows you to compare your business standing from one month or one year to the next. With accounting software, sales and expenses can be recorded in real-time, limiting the possibility of an “oops, I forgot that” at tax time.
Why do I need a bookkeeper?
You went into business because you were highly skilled in your field, and if you’re reading this, it probably wasn’t bookkeeping. Even if you currently use accounting software, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are using it correctly. Credits, debits, properly recording assets and liabilities, expenses versus liability reductions, tax regulations, reporting deadlines…the list goes on and on, and if you don’t know how to handle these things properly, your books won’t be correct and your business won’t be in compliance. Experienced bookkeepers have spent years learning the ins and outs of bookkeeping and accounting principles and are well equipped to keep your books correct, limiting your exposure at tax time and providing accurate financial reports to help you run your business.
I just give all my stuff to my CPA to handle at tax time. What’s wrong with that?
There’s nothing “wrong” with that, but if your CPA has to compile a year’s worth of your information during tax season, before he or she can even begin your taxes, you are probably paying a premium for that. Not only that, but if you are only getting a true picture of your business profitability once a year, you aren’t equipped to make good business decisions throughout the year. Also, if you aren’t keeping up with your transactions in real-time, the possibility of something getting missed increases tremendously.
I have a receptionist/office assistant, can’t they just do my bookkeeping?
Yes, they can, with proper training. Just because someone works in an office, that doesn’t mean they have the knowledge to do proper bookkeeping. Most every bookkeeper had someone to mentor them when they started out and didn’t jump into doing books on their own right away. Proper training is vital to be a qualified bookkeeper. Most every instance of bad books stems from someone who wasn’t qualified trying to do bookkeeping. Bad books give you misstated financial reports and are very time consuming and difficult to correct, which equates to higher costs for clean-up services. See “Why do I need a bookkeeper?" above.
Why choose a remote bookkeeper?
With cloud-based accounting programs, a bookkeeper doesn’t need to be in the office every day to perform their functions. Remote bookkeeping is a cost-effective solution for business owners to have an experienced, highly qualified bookkeeper at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time employee. Remote bookkeepers work with multiple clients so they are able to charge each client a fee for their services which is far below what would normally be paid. Since they aren’t employees, the business has no employment tax or benefits expense related to their services. Remote bookkeeping also frees up vital office space and reduces computer and supplies expense.
I’m not sure I like the idea of remote bookkeeping. How do I know if the bookkeeper is actually doing their job?
The same way you would know if an in-house bookkeeper is doing their job. Look in your books, make sure you receive copies of your tax filings, review your monthly financial reports and ask questions about anything that seems amiss or that you don’t understand. If they aren’t doing their job, it will be apparent. Remote bookkeeping can seem like a foreign concept, but many businesses have embraced it and have benefitted from receiving quality service at lower costs. Remote bookkeepers are business owners, so it is of the utmost importance to provide superior service to their clients, just like any other business owner. If they don’t, it will reflect poorly on their business and affect their livelihood.
I want a bookkeeper that is dedicated to my business. How can a remote bookkeeper work on multiple clients and still provide quality service to my business?
Most remote bookkeepers have years of experience that allows them to work efficiently and accurately. Most small to mid-sized businesses don’t require forty hours a week of work for an experienced bookkeeper. Remote bookkeepers take into consideration the size and type of business along with the services required when calculating the time needed to dedicate to each client. A qualified remote bookkeeper understands how important your books are to your business and organizes their schedule to provide service you can count on.
Since a remote bookkeeper isn’t my employee and they work with different clients, how do I know they won’t share confidential information about my business with others?
Any remote bookkeeping engagement agreement or service contract should address the sharing of information with outside parties. Smooth Sailing Bookkeepers’ engagement agreement contains a non-disclosure clause regarding all confidential information obtained during the course of performing services.
It seems like remote bookkeeping requires a lot of electronic information. How do I know my information will be secure?
QuickBooks Online is a VeriSign SecuredTM product. VeriSign® is the leading secure sockets layer (SSL) Certificate Authority. With password-protected login, firewall protected servers and the same encryption technology (128 bit SSL) used by the world's top banks, QuickBooks Online has the security elements in place to give you peace of mind. Read more at https://quickbooks.intuit.com/global/security/
Smooth Sailing Bookkeepers uses Dropbox Professional for electronic file storage, which has 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption. We also maintain Cyber Security Insurance coverage. All printed documents that contain sensitive information are shredded after use.
Is your company insured?
Smooth Sailing Bookkeepers maintains Professional Liability Insurance and Cyber Security Insurance. Insurance certificates can be provided upon request.