Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean to be cloud based & how does it work? It simply means that our system utilizes the most current technology that allows us to perform the same tasks as an in-house bookkeeper without having to work on-site. Being high-tech means we are able to serve more clients, better.
How do you get my receipts & pay my bills? Through the wonders of technology, all it takes is opening a secure app on your phone & snapping a photo of the receipt. The app sends the receipt to the accounting software and we take it from there. Crazy, huh?
Why is cloud based accounting software safer than installing it locally on my laptop or server? With cloud based accounting, the software provider is responsible for the security. These companies provide bank level encryption and monitoring, backups are automatic, software updates are instant, and servers are hosted in multiple secret locations to protect against a breach. With cloud-based software, the software providers take on the liability, and they are incredibly proactive because their business depends on it.
When software is installed locally, the business is responsible for the security. Unfortunately, any computer with an internet connection is a target for hacking. If the computer is breached, that’s a liability to the business owner. Locally installed software is also subject to theft, loss, and equipment failure. Although routine backups sound like a simple task, fact is, many businesses either do not do them, or they do them incorrectly, causing the data to not be available or accessible when needed.
I don’t want my information in the cloud. Totally understandable! The reality is, it’s already there. Every bank account, credit card, business loan, personal loan, and tax return is already in the cloud. Sobering as that may be, the silver lining is that managing your finances is more efficient than ever before, which translates to a cost savings to you.
How does Bella Vita Bookkeeping keep my information safe? We do not have access to your information outside of the cloud-based software. Nothing gets downloaded to our servers. There’s nothing printed, so nothing to shred. We get to share the benefit of the software companies’ security.
For file sharing & storage, we utilize a third party, cloud-based file sharing and storage system, complete with end to end encryption and 24/7 access. Clients upload documents to us via desktop or a phone app into a shared folder. Similar to a bank, when we save reports to the shared file, clients receive an emailed notification to log into the secure system.
Won’t outsourcing cost more than hiring someone in-house? Not usually. Keep in mind that employees cost far more than their hourly rate. You’ve got to pay workers comp, unemployment insurance, Medicare, payroll expenses, sick days, training, employee management, and more. For a business small enough to not need an accounting department, outsourcing to bookkeeping experts provides the highest quality professional at a lower cost than a full-time, untrained office employee.
I’ve been doing the books myself so how will outsourcing my bookkeeping save me money? How much is your time worth? I’ll bet its worth more per hour than it will cost to pay an expert who can work more efficiently. Unless you own a bookkeeping business and are trained in trust accounting, you probably have better things to do with your time and expertise.
My office manager handles the books, why would I pay for a bookkeeper? When businesses aren’t large enough to support an accounting staff, data entry often falls upon busy office staff. Don’t mistake data entry for bookkeeping, though. At Bella Vita Bookkeeping, yes, we handle data entry. More importantly, we prepare custom financial reports, and interpret them so a business owner is armed with the financial understanding to make strategic business decisions. In addition, we are experts in trust account bookkeeping, knowing how to maintain audit-proof trust accounts.
Do you offer payroll services? We partner with third party payroll providers who are experts in what they do. They handle the HR-end — calculate taxes, prepare W-2s & manage the direct deposits to employees’ accounts. We take the payroll reports and accurately enter the data into the appropriate categories in the bookkeeping software.
My spouse handles the books. Reclaiming date night is a great start to living a good life.
I’m not comfortable with someone else signing our checks. Neither are we! We believe strongly in separation of duties and never have check signing authority! In fact, we don’t even have our clients’ checks. Instead, any bills that are paid via check, we prepare the check in the accounting software and the company’s authorized user is the one to print, sign & mail the checks. But this is 2020 & most bills can and should be paid digitally. We help our clients set up a system to pay bills digitally through bank ACH or credit card. Funds cannot be released without the authorization of the client for each payment made. Because of the separation of duties, it can actually be safer to use an outsourced bookkeeper.
How much does it cost? Nationwide, the average full time bookkeeper salary is $54,000/yr. Don’t worry, we’re nowhere near that! We don’t charge an hourly rate. Instead we offer customized package pricing tailored to each client. Packages start at $350/month, with the most common price point in the $600-800/month range. After a thorough consultation, we provide a proposal specific to each business’s unique needs and goals.