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Evolution of Traditional Bookkeeping

by / Saturday, 03 October 2015 / Published in Finance

Small business bookkeeping was traditionally done on a desktop program such as QuickBooks, ACCPAC or Simply Accounting. The service of bookkeeping for a small business might have required a part-time bookkeeper to come in to the office to enter invoices and expense reports from receipts and bank statements.  In most cases, small businesses cannot afford a full-time, in-house person to manage all of their finances.

Tantelo-compressed

Moving to the Cloud

In recent years, desktop accounting software programs have been transitioning to the cloud. The industry for accounting and bookkeeping software has started transitioning from desktop solutions to cloud-based solutions.

More and more bookkeeping is done online, with new solutions such as Xero, Wave Accounting, Freshbooks, and QuickBooks Online (QBO).  With this transition to online bookkeeping, small business owners are able to access their accounting system from any computer with internet access, and freeing them from having to log-on only from their desktop computer linked to a local server.

Previously, traditional accounting systems were only accessible on the desktop, but today’s online solutions allow employees and accountants to perform bookkeeping tasks on the move, including on their smartphones.  Being able to access the system with mobility is a key element of the cloud-based solution.

These cloud-based solutions also offer third-party apps such as Stripe and Harvest, to integrate directly with their online bookkeeping solution.  Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and payroll software can be linked directly to the cloud-based bookkeeping software.  Fully integrated systems provide transparency and ease of access across the entire organization, leading to improved efficiencies.

Remote-based Bookkeeper

Outsourcing a company’s bookkeeping function allows business owners to focus on their core operations and strengths.  More and more bookkeepers are starting to offer their services remotely.  However, relative to employment market overseas, bookkeepers in Canada and the US are more expensive.

Tantelo seeks to capitalize on lower overseas labour costs, meanwhile still providing customer service and customer relationship management from locally-based account managers based in Canada. Data entry, analysis, and other back-end activities are performed with lower costs and remotely.

On-site vs Off-site Bookkeeping

Off-site bookkeepers

Cost

  • Usually costs less than on-site bookkeeper.
  • No travel time to pay for.
  • No annual accounting software cost (bookkeeper provides software).
  • Can take advantage of leverage and have lower cost staff do beginner level data entry.

Hassle for business owner

  • Don’t have to schedule time for bookkeeper to come to office.
  • Bookkeeper provides own desk, computer, software, supplies.
  • Business owner provides answers to questions by e-mail.

Bookkeeper Accessibility

  • Usually more accessible because not having to spend time travelling and spends most of the day at own office.

Bookkeeper Questions

  • Answering bookkeeper’s questions can be done by e-mail (usually at a time convenient for owner).

Accounting software data file and Security

  • Accounting software data file resides at bookkeeper’s location.
  • Automatically backed up multiple times per day for disaster recovery purposes.
  • If cloud-based software is used, is automatically backed up and secured by host provider.

On-site Bookkeepers

Cost

  • Usually more costly than off-site.
  • Some companies and owners feel more comfortable using an on-site person, for time management purposes.

Hassle for business owner

  • Bookkeeper can open mail, organize documents and perform other administrative tasks.
  • No need to transport (fax/email/courier) documents to bookkeeper.
  • Bookkeeper can write cheques more frequently.

Bookkeeper Accessibility

  • If part-time, may have to wait until bookkeeper is on-site before getting questions answered.

Bookkeeper Questions

  • Answering bookkeeper’s questions can be done verbally (usually at a time convenient for the bookkeeper) and can be an interruption during the work day.

Accounting software data file and Security

  • Accounting data file resides at business location.
  • No additional monthly fee for access to live accounting data file (because data file resides on company computer).
  • May not be backed up regularly.

TANTELO VALUE PROPOSITION

  • Provide online bookkeeping service to Canadian and US small businesses at affordable and fixed pricing.
  • Lower level data entry and invoice posting is performed by our outsourced operations at a lower cost than local bookkeepers.
  • Allow for time-scarce managers and owners to focus on their core functions rather than secondary tasks such as bookkeeping.

Tantelo Services and Operations

Tantelo is a bookkeeping firm that focuses on Canadian and US small business but can provide service globally.  Our company has employees based in Canada and overseas in Sri Lanka to reduce costs, thereby passing savings on to customers.

Overview of Services

Tantelo offers fixed price packages based on the size of business.  Estimated expenditures of the client determine the basis for pricing.   Small companies such as independent consultants or freelancers may have a limited number of transactions and require the smallest plan offering, starting at $150 per month.  Larger companies, such as a retail store or restaurant, may have pricing ranging from $500 to $750 per month.

Our bookkeepers perform full-cycle accounting for the client, including recording payables and invoices, sales reconciliation’s, bank and credit card reconciliation’s, and payroll.  We perform our bookkeeping on an accrual basis rather than cash basis.  Clients will pass their documentation such as bank statements, receipts, invoices to either our local accountant or forward it into their supplied @tantelo.com email address, depending on their workflow preference.

Value added services

As a bookkeeping firm, we refer value added services that competing independent bookkeeping professionals may not be able to provide.  Such services include year-end notice to reader and corporate tax engagements, SR&ED advisory, and cash flow management or part-time CFO services.

Competitive Positioning

Bookkeeping is a mature practice with competition in the forms of independent professionals, in-house staff, to larger firms.  Tantelo differentiates itself by using a low-cost staffing structure, allowing for more competitive pricing at similar levels of service. Tantelo also distinguishes itself by being able to provide other value-added services, such as year ends and higher level finance roles to clients.  Mainly our ability to capitalize on the timing of the cloud-software movement and using remote staff is what sets us apart from the competition.

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