If you’re like most business owners, you spend much of your time on peripheral tasks that have little to do with your core business functions. It’s likely that many, if not most, of those chores could be outsourced.
The types of tasks you might want to contract out include the following:
• Payroll processing such as check writing and preparing and maintaining employee compensation records.
• Preparing returns for payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation.
• Bookkeeping, accounting, and income tax return preparation.
• Billing and collections.
• Computer and Internet services: hardware and software maintenance, website hosting and maintenance, and online marketing.
• Non-Internet marketing services such as mailings and print, radio, or TV advertising.
• Specialty services not required on a regular basis.
Outsourcing such activities lets you spend more time planning and working within your core areas of expertise. With contracted services, you only need to focus on outcomes; you needn’t worry about the provider’s lunch hours, break times, or use of company time. In addition, you only pay for the services on an as-needed basis, while avoiding the complexities of payroll and benefit management.
Outside service providers may be individuals or companies. Individuals tend to value every client, and their services may be less expensive. The quality of services will vary with each provider, however, and close monitoring is advisable at the outset of any engagement. Larger companies can be good choices for generic services such as marketing or payroll processing, and they offer the advantage of backup if your assigned staff person becomes ill or otherwise unavailable. Smaller companies may offer the best of both worlds. We would be happy to discuss this with you at anytime.
David Compton is a Certified Public Accountant with offices in Meridian and Birmingham, Ala.