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Three Things You Can Do to Help Protect your Business

July 6, 2016 / by Indre Bauza posted in Northern Virginia

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Indre_Bauza-for-web.jpgYour accounting services provider is in a position of trust—he or she works with the finances of your company. Ideally, your bookkeeper is your trusted advisor, a valuable member of your team who works to help achieve your company’s vision and goals. That’s why it’s disheartening to hear stories about bookkeeping services providers abusing this position of trust.

It’s not a common occurrence, but it does happen and every now and again that a news story crops up about a bookkeeper slowly embezzling thousands of dollars.

Here are a few things you can do to help protect your business from embezzlement.

1. Do Your Homework

If someone you know refers a bookkeeper to you, ask how long he or she worked for them. Financial deception can go on for very long periods of time without the business owner knowing that there is a problem, so look for a candidate who worked at the company for more than a year. Be sure to do a background check as well.

2. Be Involved

If you are doing your own bookkeeping, it will save you a lot of time to hire a bookkeeper or outsource to an accounting services firm. However, as a business owner, you need to stay involved and oversee the bookkeeper’s work.  Looking at the financial statements routinely is not enough—it is important to review the details as well. For example, one way that a bookkeeper can embezzle funds is to create a vendor that doesn’t exist and pay himself through the fake vendor. Over time, even small payments will add up to significant loss.

Make sure that all accounts (payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable) are reconciled every month so that you don’t miss any important details.

3. Work with a Firm that Values Security

If you’re working with a bookkeeping services firm, make sure you choose one that puts a high premium on your security.  Ask the company about its hiring process and whether or not they do background checks.  Find out what systems and protocols are in place to prevent fraud.  You want to choose a firm that relies on a system of checks and balances.  It shouldn’t be the case that only one person oversees your business’ finances—there should be a team involved checking and overseeing each other’s work.

Outsourcing accounting services is an important step for a growing business. It will enable you to put more of your energy into your core business. Just take the time to do your homework when choosing a bookkeeper, stay involved by reviewing the details, and choose an accounting services firm with secure systems and protocols in place.

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Five Quick Tips for Choosing the Best Outsourced Bookkeeping Services Provider

May 18, 2016 / by Indre Bauza posted in Northern Virginia

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Indre_Bauza-for-web.jpgNow that you have made the decision to outsource your bookkeeping—hiring a professional bookkeeping service rather than doing it yourself or asking one of your employees to take it on—how do you decide which company to choose?

Here are five quick tips to help guide you while you are choosing a bookkeeping service provider:

  • Experience. You want to find a bookkeeping service provider that has the experience and knowledge to save you money by helping you to stay on top of your finances. An experienced bookkeeper will be able to tailor their services specifically for the kind of work you’re doing and the industry you’re in. Having worked with many businesses before across industries, a bookkeeper will also be able to offer valuable insight as a business consultant—having seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t.
  • Time and Money. One of the benefits of outsourcing bookkeeping is that you do not have to hire an employee at a set number of hours. Make sure that the bookkeeping services provider will be able to adjust to the level of bookkeeping service that is appropriate for your particular company.
  • Technology. The world of bookkeeping has evolved a lot in recent years—new technical capabilities have enabled bookkeepers to streamline much of what they do. When choosing a bookkeeping services firm, you want to make sure that they are not only up-to-date with technology, but that they’re enthusiastic and open to new technologies as they continue to develop.
  • Company versus Individual. Another benefit of outsourcing accounting is that if you hire a bookkeeping services firm rather than an individual bookkeeper, you have a whole team working for you rather than just one person. When you look for a bookkeeping services company, look for one that has an experienced team of accountants. Even if you have one person who directly works with you, you want that person to have a team of accounting experts to consult with as needed, and to be part of a company that stays current with accounting changes and has established best-practices protocols.
  • Safety. Using cloud-based storage is safer than you might think. Make sure your bookkeeping services providers are using leading cloud-based storage solutions for your data so that your information is safe and easily recovered.

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Supporting Strategies Launches Partnership with Remodelers Advantage

May 12, 2015 / by Indre Bauza posted in News, Corporate, Northern Virginia

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Remodelers_AdvantageI'm pleased to announce that Supporting Strategies - Northern Virginia has joined forces with Remodelers Advantage, a Maryland-based support organization for owners of remodeling businesses. Remodelers Advantage has worked with thousands of firms of all sizes to help business owners improve company performance along with their quality of life.

Our partnership came about thanks to Supporting Strategies vice president of franchise development Steve Schultz, who developed a relationship with Remodelers Advantage and made the introduction.

We look forward to this opportunity to reach a new audience — and to delivering a valuable service that will benefit all involved.

See the official Remodelers Advantage announcement.

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