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Increasing number of calls for bookkeeping services

Increasing number of calls for bookkeeping...

I am getting an increasing number of queries on providing bookkeeping services. This is not an area I would to get into.

One client has agreed to pay a high hourly rate for this service. I have a few bookkeepers in mind who would work on freelance basis. I have not done this sort of thing before. I would be grateful for your comments/views on:

  • What would the best way this would work. By the client contracting with me or the bookkeeper? The client would like to contract with me. In general how does this work? Any other model that I should consider?
  • The bookkeeper would obviously know how much I am charging for the service, so I would like to know how much I should pay the bookkeeper. I know I can Google rates, it would good to know hear how people apporach this. I am South London based.
  • Is  this an area worth getting into? - Purely bookkeeping services in addition to exisiting services. Sound like a real headache.

Thanks

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03rd Feb 2011 22:30

Outsourced Bookkeeping

 HI

I think the best solution would be to enter into a reciprocal agreement with the bookkeeper i.e. you send them your bookkeeping work and they in turn refer clients who may want additional services to you. See how that goes for a six month period or so. Select a bookkeeper who may have clients who want additional services.

Failing that I would say have the client sign the contract with you and you outsource the bookkeeping to someone else. As in any outsourcing arrangement you will need an "anti poaching" agreement with you so that when they know how much you are charging they do not undercut you.

If you have the time or the resources to do the bookkeeping then it can be a good way to sell the services that you specialise in. A good way to get an idea of pricing is to do some phantom shopping with some of your local bookkeepers.

Hope this helps.

Cameron

www.accountsetc.com

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By Spudsy
04th Feb 2011 10:00

Buddy agrement
I offer bookkeeping services and I do buddy up with a few Accountants which works very well. With new clients we both go to the initial meeting and explain the services we both offer. If I get a lead on new busines I ask if they want a Chartered Accounting services and visa versa. Billing we bill separately. It's surprised me how much business I create for the Accountant more than I get for myself but both work hand in hand as most clients want a complete solution. It's also good that the client can treat each of us independently which can help if there are any problems.

-- www.bagofreceipts.co.uk www.image-uk.com

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04th Feb 2011 11:29

We earn as much..

...from offering bookeeping services as we do on accounts. The income is more regular the clients are better quality ones and my wife (who does most of it) has become indespensible to them -and their accountants. We charge between £21 and £27 an hour.  

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By Monsoon
04th Feb 2011 11:48

We like bookkeeping

I've got 2 employed bookkeepers and it's an extra revenue stream for the business. I decided to employ rather than to subcontract as it's more profitable and more controllable (had a bad experience with subcontracting). I'm promoting the bookkeeping more this year as I think it's a good move.

As to whether you decide to do it or not - it depends on what you want and your business model. I can't remember if you're working from home or whether you're in offices.

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04th Feb 2011 12:29

Bookkeeping can work and work well with the right clients working as you want them to work.

We have had bookkeeping jobs where the clients bring the records in every month unprompted, in a format easy to process, with all the supporting information and detailed explanations of non invoiced items.  Result of which is that the books are done quickly, correctly and completely, reconciliations are easy, management reports are provided and VAT is done effortlessly.  Good profit for us, good value for client.

We have also had clients who never bring their books in until the day the VAT is due,  records in a complete mess, not available to answer queries, and a general PITA.  Result - losses for us, no value for client.

 

 

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07th Feb 2011 14:20

It does depend on your business model

Do you want to only take on clients who have arranged their own bookkeeping? I'd imagine this would reduce the number of new clients you take on unless you're focused on bigger clients.

Personally I'm keen to keep employee numbers down but if you have enough bookkeeping work to warrant having someone on staff it makes your practice more rounded and 'full service' which is what many clients want. It means they only need to contract with one professional service provider, rather than two.  And this can work whether your bookkeeper is on staff or on contract. 

If the bookkeeping arrangements are separate to the accounting and tax work - take care!  Some years back I was an expert witness in a case where the accountant who was being sued tried to blame the bookkeeper. The accountant said the bookkeeper had not passed on key info re the client's residence status. The accountant therefore claimed that they were not liable for failing to give simple tax advice that would have saved £50k over 4 years.  The court was unimpressed by this argument and the accountant was found to be liable for the loss.

Mark

www.BookMarkLee.co.uk

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By sharp
09th May 2013 22:20

Outsourcing getting polular & smarter

Hi,

Outsourcing the bookkkeeping dramatically enhances your capability to engage with more & more customers. Logistical arrangements for off-site assignments has evolved to a great extent in last few years. There are quite some companies who offer online document management systems with are exceptionally smart solutions i.e., they handle all your client documents and make these available online within no time. (e.g. shoeboxed)

Most Accounting Firms create customer accounts on online systems such as Xero, Kashflow, Quickbooks Online. Rest is handled by the outsourced Bookkeepers.

After that, all you have to do is to give access to these online documents to your outsourced Bookkeeper. You can even hire an off shore bookkeeper on 70% than actual local cost. 

This arrangement gives you a lot of time which can be utilized to improve the quality of work,  customer relations, Marketing efforts etc.

 

 

Abdul

 

www.sharpoutsourcing.com

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