Should I outsource my bookkeeping?

For most business owners, when they are considering outsourcing their bookkeeping, they are mainly thinking of the costs of paying the bookkeeper. However, the fees paid for the outsourced bookkeeping services should only be a small part of the consideration. There are numerous tangible and intangible benefits that comes with outsourcing bookkeeping, we have listed down some of the more important ones below.

You Can Spend Time on More Important Things

Imagine two business owners who start the same business at the same time in similar cities, one of the business owner outsources the bookkeeping function and the other business owner does it himself, spending an hour everyday on it. The business owner that outsources the bookkeeping function spends the hour freed up to focus on driving sales and growth of the company. Which business do you think will perform better after one year? Will it be the business that the owner has spend 260 hours on doing its bookkeeping or the owner that has spend 260 hours focusing on sales and business development? Which of them would you want to be?

You don’t need to be good at accounting if you own a business. Instead, you should be an expert in your field. A business owner has to wear many hats, you are the salesperson, the management, the cashier and even the cleaner, but what is the most important function of the management? The most important task is to bring in the sales and cashflow. The reason is that having a negative cashflow is the single biggest reason for the failure of business.

And, since bookkeeping is a back-end function, CEOs, CFOs, non-accounting team and office managers should not spend their time behind the books. They should be performing various more important tasks such as listening to your customers or knocking on doors to get more sales. It will result in greater productivity and growth for the business which is crucial to achieve its aim of profitability and healthy cashflow.

There are many more important things to focus on such as building a sales funnel or researching the competition which is essential to building up a viable business. Most business owners are good salespersons and outsourcing will allow you more time to drive more sales. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish as they say. You only have 24 hours each day as everyone does, spend your time wisely.

Access to Top Tools

By using bookkeepers that use online cloud software, such as Xero, you can have more access to the top software in the industry. Many organizations cannot afford to pay for expensive software services. So using cloud software will help to reduce costs and offer many benefits such as having real time view of your finances and reports. It will allow you to have real time information on the cash flow of the business as mentioned above. Outsourcing can benefit these small and medium sized companies with these tools as bookkeepers will know how well different tools perform.

In addition, a good system can keep organized records for years which is essential when the tax authority (IRAS) ever comes for the audit. It is also important to have an exit strategy in sight, when you want to sell your business the valuation will not be just based on the revenue and profitability of the business. The potential investors will judge the reliability of your records, the more reliable, the higher premium investors will be willing to pay for the business.

Expert Advice

How many business owners really understand the financial reporting standards or what kind of items can be expensed off? If you use your vehicle to drive to a meeting, can you expense the claim in the accounts? Does IRAS allow you to deduct the petrol expenses or the parking fees? It may not seem like a major issue but when the Company is subjected to a tax audit, you wouldn’t want to be facing huge fines or even jail time for such mistakes.

You can have our knowledge and expertise which is gained over many years on your side.

Peace of Mind

Outsourcing can really give you and your team peace of mind. An experienced and qualified accounting expert can deliver timely and accurate accounting reports. It will provide you with complete insight into the financial health of your business. It will give you more time to relax and make informed decisions.

By outsourcing your bookkeeping services, you can rest assured that your financial data is correct. Also, it will greatly reduce the threat of fraudulent activities in the Company. A Singapore Fraud Survey conducted by KPMG-SMU in 2014 highlighted that internal fraud constituted 75% of fraud, up from 64% in 2011 – a massive red flag for companies and employees are the greatest perpetrators of fraud, as the survey found 58% of fraudulent activity was committed by staff, up from 47% in the same time frame.

In our experience dealing with numerous small companies, we have detected employees siphoning money from the businesses, which would not have been found out if the employees were tasked with performing the bookkeeping function as well.

Scalability

Scalability becomes a huge challenge with an in-house team. If a company suddenly expands and needs a greater workforce, it can take many days to hire a new employee.

Moreover, a new employee needs time to settle down and resources to learn new skills.

By outsourcing your accounting, you can minimize huge investments in human resources, and technology and maximize the production. It will allow scaling and for the Compnay to respond to changes more quickly.

Conclusion

Be it a small enterprise or a large organization; knowing the revenue and expenses on a timely basis is crucial for making good decisions. Whether it is deciding how much to spend on advertising or whether to hire one more sales person, those are decisions that need accurate financial information. Smart business owners know that having timely and accurate bookkeeping records is not just necessary but vital for the growth of the company.

A competent outsourced accountant is the best thing you can do for your business. After considering the numerous advantages listed above, do you still think that monthly bookkeeping services is costly?

So, get start on outsourcing your bookkeeping and grow your business to greater heights.

How Can Cloud Bookkeeping Transform Your Business?

Cloud computing is changing our lives for good! Be it education, integration in healthcare, or eCommerce businesses; cloud computing is significantly impacting numerous fields.

With its ability to access software programs in real-time, cloud computing has now entered the accounting and bookkeeping field as well. Cloud bookkeeping makes the accounting process more straightforward and more efficient.

The hard reality of starting a business

You will have often heard the statistics that 8 out of 10 business will fail within 5 years and you may not believe it or maybe you don’t think that is true in Singapore. We were also curious and examine some statistics about the formation and cessation of business entities from ACRA between 2014 to 2018.

On average from 2014 to 2018, the proportion of business that has ceased trading compared to business that was incorporated is 75% which is quite close to the often quoted 8 out of 10 business will fail statistics.

Why do most small business fail then? According to Travis Thorpe, CEO and Co-founder of Boostability, the top 5 reasons is:

  • Failure to market online
  • Failing to listen to their customers
  • Failing to leverage future growth
  • Failing to adapt (and grow) when the market changes
  • Failing to track and measure your marketing efforts

Most of the reasons listed does not look complicated or is so highly technical that a business owner like you can not do it, but in reality, where do you normally spend your time?

We are all guilty of this at times, you spend so much time on trying to manage the business tasks and too little time on the important things such as marketing the business. This is why outsourcing your bookkeeping and using cloud bookkeeping software can help you focus on the priority matters. If you have not yet incorporated cloud bookkeeping in your business, this article is for you.

Here is how cloud bookkeeping can transform your business in the right way.

1) Reduce Time Communicating Through Efficient Collaborations

Be it your finance team keeping track of invoices, or your order and logistics team encountering record discrepancies; cloud bookkeeping enables anyone from your team to address accounting and records clarification. It makes your team more efficient and collaborations with your accountant easier and faster.
Further, with cloud accounting, anything you upload can be viewed by your colleagues in real-time from any corner of the world. You can even write comments that can be seen by everyone.

2) Improved Real Time Information

Instead of waiting till month-end to know if you managed to achieve your budget revenue and costs, would it be better to have weekly or even daily insights? Most cloud-based accounting systems allows you to send invoices directly to your customers which can then be tracked for payments. How many times have you wondered which of your clients have not paid their outstanding bills? Now with cloud bookkeeping software, you can send access the information in a glance and send statements of what is outstanding at a click.

Having all these real-time information allows you to make better decisions. For example, should you implement that month-end sale to generate more revenue? Wouldn’t knowing how far are you from your targeted revenue be relevant to you making that decision?

3) Access Anywhere Anytime From Any Device

Be switching to cloud accounting; you can access your data anytime, anywhere from any device. For instance, you have to upload a receipt or check a report while on holiday. With cloud bookkeeping services, you can easily access the app by logging in and finish the work.

Since cloud computing system need not be installed onto your system, you just have to log in with any of your devices to view your accounts. Further, you can quickly check your finances using your laptop, tablet, or even phone. For instance, if you are on your way for a meeting with a client, you can pull up their account to check their status. Going well-prepared to your clients can convert your leads into sales, thus making significant profits.

Keep on top of your business even while you are away. A survey by Walls Fargo bank notes that 39% of business owners still do work related activities during their vacations. A cloud bookkeeping software will allow you to cut down the time spend on work activities and enjoy yourself more.

4) Enhanced Security

Data security is crucial for business owners. Financial records must be accurate and kept safe for tax purposes. It is mandatory to keep all financial records for at least 5 years in Singapore.
In the traditional accounting system, your data is safe as long as your hard drives do not get corrupted. But what if your hard disk crashes or gets damaged. Saving your data on physical drives is full of risks, such as destruction, corruption, and theft.

This is where cloud accounting enters. Cloud bookkeeping services take multiple backups of the data to make sure it is safe and ready to be recovered if needed. Besides, in cloud accounting, essential security updates to prevent viruses and hacks happen automatically. If you opt for cloud bookkeeping, data security would be the key responsibility of your service provider.

5) Increased Scalability and Flexibility

A simple spreadsheet-style accounting system might serve the needs of startups. But as businesses start to grow, managing the finances becomes more complicated. With an increase in tax issues and cost-base becoming more substantial, it is essential to upgrade your accounting system as well.

To avoid this hassle, businesses are now using a cloud-based accounting system because of its scalability. It means that as your company grows, the accounting system will grow with you.
With a scalable system, you can add a new company, consolidate multiple business entities into a single report and calculate various currency rates. Be it additional support, extra storage, or new features; you can have access to these immediately when you need them.

Most cloud based accounting systems also have integrations with other cloud software such as inventory systems or Point of Sales (POS) software that expands the functionality to meet the different needs of different business owners. This allows you to continue using the same cloud software instead of having to make a change even when your needs evolve.

Conclusion

Along with these advantages, switching to a cloud-based bookkeeping system can also reduce the cost of bookkeeping and accounting. You don’t have to purchase an expensive computer to install bookkeeping software or a server so everyone can access the same data.

All you need is an internet connection. Employees can access these services from their own devices.
Now, as you can see, there is a myriad of benefits of leveraging this cloud technology in the bookkeeping profession. So, whether you’re just starting out or in the business for some time now, it’s the right time to integrate cloud bookkeeping into your business.

Grants for Business Start Ups In Singapore

Starting a business has never been easy. Be it formulating an idea or getting the funds; an entrepreneur faces many challenges during his business put up. And, if you don’t get the right support, it only adds to the many challenges.

This is why Singapore, being one of the best countries to start up a business, has everything that a new start-up desires. Be it infrastructure, cash grants, tax incentives, or financing schemes, Singapore has it.

The country has the most proactive government that promotes entrepreneurship and grants to companies at an early stage.

So, if you are also starting a business in Singapore, here are a few funding schemes and attractive grants that are sure to help your business grow.

1. FSTI – Financial Sector Technology and Innovation

Launched by the Momentary Authority of Singapore, the FSTI scheme provides support for financial institutions and Fintech companies looking to creating a vibrant and innovative ecosystem.

There are quite a number of schemes that will be of interest to financial institutions and Fintech Startups. We will highlight two of them.

FSTI-Proof of Concept (POC)

One of the schemes is the FSTI-Proof of Concept (POC), which offers support of up to 70% of qualifying costs capped at $200,000 for a maximum of 18 months to develop early stage innovative solutions to issues and problems in financial sector. The funding level will depends on the type of project.

Digital Acceleration Grant

The other scheme is the Digital Acceleration Grant for financial institutions and FinTech firms looking to adopt digital solutions, there is 80% co-funding of qualifying expense for institution projects that last up to one year. This can be used to implement cloud services, communication and collaboration tools, enterprise services (including HR and accounting systems).

The scheme covers building appropriate infrastructure for industry-wide technology and promotes the development of advance solutions.

2. raISE SG: VentureForGood Grant

VentureForGood grant or VFG is a funding scheme launched by raISE, which supports social enterprises in a variety of stages of their business. Whether you are a budding or existing company looking to start or expand your business, you can apply for up to $300,000 in grants under this scheme.

The scheme will provide funds to both new and existing companies that are register or about to get themselves register under the Co-operative Societies Act or the Companies Act.

While you submit an application for this scheme, make sure it has a compelling social objective, a committed team, and a viable business proposition.

3. Start up SG

If you are planning to start your business or incorporate a Company in Singapore, Startup SG might have the best schemes for you. The platform is divided into six parts:

  • Start-up SG Founder
  • Start-up SG Tech
  • Start-up SG Equity
  • Start-up SG Acceleratorl
  • Start-up SG Talent
  • Start-up SG Loan
    • The primary motive of this government scheme is to endow Singapore-based start-ups with access to mentorship programs and funding sources. It will help them by converting their innovative business ideas into flourishing companies.

      There are two schemes that we feel is really relevant to new Singapore Companies:

      The primary motive of this government scheme is to endow Singapore-based start-ups with access to mentorship programs and funding sources. It will help them by converting their innovative business ideas into flourishing companies.

      There are two schemes that we feel is really relevant to new Singapore Companies:

      Startup SG Equity

      This is for technology companies that needs additional funding. Under this scheme, companies that has been incorporated less than 5 years and that have located external investors willing to invest a minimum of $50,000 into the startup may seek co-investment from the government. The government may invest up to 70% of the total investment for the first $250,000 and match investments up to $2 million cap for general tech. For deep technology companies, the investment cap will be raised to $4 million.

      Start-up SG Tech

      Through Startup SG Tech, companies may receive early-stage funding for the commercialization of proprietary technology. The project must either be a Proof-of-Concept (POC) Project for which the solution is at the conceptualization stage or a Proof-of-Value (POV) Project A grant of up to $250,000 for POC or $500,000 for POV will be granted for the Company to commercialize the technology.

      4. BIF – Business Improvement Fund

      If you are a Singapore-based company that focuses on tourism, Business Improvement Fund could benefit you and your business. By encouraging technology adoption and innovation, remodel of business structure, and the tourism sector’s process, this scheme focuses on improving competitiveness and productivity.

      The funds under this scheme are based on the evaluation of STB by taking into account the scope and its merits.

      A successful SME applicant can get funds up to 70% of the qualifying costs. But if you are a non-SME applicant, you will only get a fund of up to 50% of the qualifying costs.

      Conclusion

      Since Singapore knows that start-ups and SMEs play an essential role in its economy, the country is always trying to implement new and innovative ideas for the betterment of companies. So, regardless of the size of your company, you can rest assured that your business is going to get excellent support from the government of Singapore through its various grants and schemes.

      Needless to say, Singapore is the best country to start or expand your business. So, before you start your business, you can go through the above schemes to see which one caters to your needs. You can always take a look at our incorporation packages. or drop us a note here for discussion.

That is why we partner with Xero – The World’s Easiest Cloud  Accounting Software, so that you can always enjoy doing business anytime, anywhere.

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