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Where do taxes and payroll fit in with bookkeeping services?
Typically, a small to medium size business will need support on three dimensions when it comes to financials:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • Taxes

Taxes should be handled by a CPA or a tax adviser. They’re the ones with the proper qualifications, certifications and continuing education required to handle your taxes. Beware of bookkeepers who want to do your taxes as well!

In the past, payroll was often managed by CPAs or bookkeepers, but nowadays, with the increased liabilities surrounding payroll, this function is predominantly performed by specialized companies such as Paychex, ADP or smaller outfits. These companies have created such massive economies of scale that CPAs and bookkeepers can’t compete on price and should not compete. Clear Quickbooks Solutions works hand in hand with several payroll companies to ensure that payroll is taken care of properly and that it is correctly reflected in your QuickBooks file.

Once your taxes and payroll are in good hands, bookkeepers can handle pretty much everything else when it comes to your books. At this point, it’s a matter of tracking information in a rigorous and timely fashion.

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Bookkeeping is not just about data entry.
Good bookkeepers will ensure that your books are structured correctly to achieve two key objectives:

  • Facilitate tax preparation
  • Help you run your business

The first function is tactical and a necessity. The second function is strategic and an opportunity.

Facilitating tax preparation: Accurate and timely bookkeeping will make sure that all the data required by your CPA or tax adviser is recorded properly and in a way that will make it a cinch to create the tax returns. If your CPA ends up having to extensively massage and restructure the data that you give to him/her, it will cost you additional billable hours from the CPA and it defeats much of the purpose of having a lower cost bookkeeper on the front-end.

Helping you manage your business: this is an aspect often overlooked by business owners. Taxes and compliance with the IRS should not be your only motivation to keep up with your bookkeeping functions. QuickBooks can be an extraordinary business tool if you manage it well. It can give you great insights into the performance of your business and it allows you to manage your clients/customers, your vendors and your inventory with much improved efficiencies. That’s when you can turn bookkeeping from a lowly tactical function into a very strategic activity. That’s also when you can see the biggest difference between good bookkeepers and bad bookkeepers. Bookkeeping services are not just about data entry and bank account reconciliation. They can be so much more than that… and it shouldn’t have to cost you a penny extra, if it’s setup correctly up front.

Bookkeepers working on-site or remotely?
Should bookkeepers work at your business location or remotely? There is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your needs. Clear Quickbooks Solutions has the staff and the technology to accommodate most situations: work on site, remotely or a hybrid of these two. We have a sophisticated technical infrastructure that allows you to share your QuickBooks file with our bookkeepers remotely and in a multi-user environment. You don’t need to use this technology if you are not comfortable with it, but if you believe that our technical platform could help you be more productive, we’d be happy to give you a demonstration of how it works. Essentially, you’d be using the same QuickBooks application that you are used to, but your QuickBooks file would be hosted on our server so that you and your bookkeeper can access it in parallel.

Aren’t firms more expensive than independent bookkeepers?
Not necessarily and certainly not in the case of Clear Quickbooks Solutions. Every client of ours is assigned a senior level bookkeeper.  Most of the work is assigned to the staff bookkeeper to keep your costs low. All the work is then quality controlled by the senior bookkeeper and all the communication with you is done through the senior bookkeeper. This ensures a decent rate for the services that you are being provided.