All You Need to Know About Outsourced Accounting Services

Not every business owner has the time and energy to manage every aspect of a business. It’s understandable if you are not able to handle all of the responsibilities of running a business. In such cases, outsourced services have become a more common solution for small businesses. 

This article will introduce you to outsourced accounting services, one of the most popular types of outsourced services, and help you decide whether your business needs to use outsourced accounting services or not. 

What are outsourced accounting services?

Outsourced accounting services are a third party that provides a full accounting department experience for small businesses. 

An outsourced accounting service handles day-to-day transactions, accounts payable, accounts receivable, financial statements, taxes, payroll, financial reports, and many other accounting tasks like a regular accounting department. 

Most outsourced accounting services provide a wide selection of packages; you can decide whether you also need a bookkeeper or an auditor. To remain competitive in the market, outsourced accounting service providers must constantly enhance their abilities and certifications. You can rest assured that your books are handled well by finance professionals. 

However, keep in mind that even if you hire an experienced and qualified accountant, you’ll still need to be involved in authorizing invoices, making payments, evaluating timesheets, etc.

The benefits of outsourced accounting services

Cost-saving

Hiring an outsourced accounting service is often cheaper and more cost-effective than hiring in-house staff to handle the finance function. 

By outsourcing, you can save your money on costs that hiring an employee would generate, such as paid leaves, health insurance, retirement, vacation, bonuses, and sick days. You just pay for what you require. 

Furthermore, accounting and bookkeeping services are charged on an hourly basis. It means that you can increase or decrease the number of hours without interruption.

Time-saving 

As your company expands, you’ll realize yourself focusing more on the business’s core value rather than handling administrative tasks. 

As a result, using outsourced accounting services allows you to concentrate your attention, energy, and resources on developing a business strategy. This will then help you increase the business revenue and enhance the relationship with your customers. 

Reduced hiring processes

The hiring process requires many resources. For example, it takes time to develop a recruitment policy, interview, and expenses for onboarding and training new employees. This process usually costs your business a significant amount of time and money and distracts you from other important tasks. 

Outsourced accounting services can help you eliminate hiring and training costs as the service providers already did it for you. All you need to do is choose the most appropriate package for your business, sign the contract, and pay for the plan. 

Accounting scaling made simple

Outsourced accounting service providers can expand their services dramatically in order to compete with their competitors. 

In particular, if your bookkeeping and accounting activities require more than an accountant to handle, you can easily demand more staff from the service agent. 

Automation technologies

Most outsourced accounting services have adopted accounting automation technologies to save time. It also reduces human errors and helps business owners eliminate hazards. 

Moreover, automation technologies will lower the likelihood of internal fraud. You’ll have multiple pairs of eyes on your transaction processing and reports, which provides increased internal controls. Having a dedicated team with expertise in accounting best practices will be far more likely to spot an anomaly than one person who’s probably overburdened and overloaded with work.

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When should you consider using outsourced account services?

Outsourced accounting services are most effective when:

  • A small company doesn’t need a full-time accountant, but it demands someone with higher accounting knowledge and skills than a regular office staff or secretary.
  • A business that can’t afford to hire a full-time accountant with the necessary skills.
  • Temporary services are required, such as extra assistance with end-of-year reports or when a full-time worker is on maternity leave, sick leave, etc.

The bottom line

Choosing outsourced accounting services is not just about handling your accounting activities. It also helps you drive profits, improve cash flow, and grow your business in the long term. You can always discuss with the service provider to design a package that suits your business needs and budget, brings you the peace of mind, efficiency, and actionable financial intelligence you need to succeed. 

About Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

Most Famous Tax Court Cases In IRS History That You Might Want to Know

Everyone wants to save money, especially when it comes to taxes. It is not illegal to reduce or minimize business or personal income taxes by legitimate accounting methods. There are, in fact, many exemptions and deductions available under state and federal tax codes to help you minimize your taxes. 

However, when you use deceptive or dishonest methods to save money on taxes, you risk facing significant penalties and perhaps jail time. Even if only a tiny fraction of returns are audited each year, the fines are not worth the risk. 

This article will introduce you to the most famous tax court cases to show how high a price you can pay for this crime.

The differences between avoiding taxes and evading taxes

There is always a clear line between the creativity in minimizing your taxes and breaking the law. Avoiding taxes is legal and understandable, but evading taxes comes with tough consequences. 

Tax avoidance means using legal accounting methods to lower the amount of taxes owed. For example, you can deposit your money into an Individual Savings Account (ISA) to avoid paying income tax on the interest you earn on your cash savings. You can also invest money into a pension scheme or claim capital allowances on things used for business purposes.

On the other hand, tax evasion occurs when a person or business uses illegal means to escape paying taxes. Some common examples of tax evasion include withholding from the IRS the tax you owe, keeping your business off the books by doing transactions in cash with no receipts, or using an offshore bank account to hide money, stocks, or other assets. 

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Most famous tax court cases in IRS history

Al Capone

Al Capone’s case is possibly the most famous one in IRS history. Though this notorious gangster had committed various illegal acts, including bootlegging, prostitution, and murder, only one landed him in prison––income tax evasion.

Under Capone’s leadership at the Chicago Outfit, the organization generated an estimated $100 million annual income. He was convicted on five counts of tax evasion from 1925 to 1927 and willful failure to file for 1928-1929. He was sentenced to 11 years in Federal Prison (including the notorious Alcatraz) and paid $80,000 in fines and outstanding tax bills.

Joe Francis

Joe Francis is a talented American entrepreneur, film producer, founder, and creator of Girls Gone Wild’s entertainment brand. He was accused of criminal tax evasion in 2007 for allegedly filing fake business tax returns. Francis is accused of submitting fake company expenses totaling more than $20 million to avoid paying taxes. He was able to avoid the felony accusation by accepting a guilty plea.

However, he didn’t seem to have completely avoided his tax problems. The IRS issued Francis a $33.8 million tax lien in November 2009.

Walter Anderson

Anderson’s case was probably one of the most famous tax court cases in IRS history. Walter Anderson, a former telecommunications executive, was accused of using aliases, offshore bank accounts, and shell businesses to conceal his earnings. Anderson pleaded a guilty plea in 2006, admitting to concealing nearly $365 million in earnings. He was condemned to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $200 million in compensation.

Anderson avoided the majority of the taxes owed due to a typo mistake in the amount of the federal government’s judgment. In this case, the IRS agreed to pay taxes and penalties for three years. Anderson is, however, still liable for $23 million owing to the District of Columbia government. 

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes, the famous American actor, film producer, and martial artist, has been charged with numerous offenses by federal prosecutors. 

The “Blade” star is accused of hiding money in overseas accounts and failing to file federal tax returns for years. Snipes’ federal tax debt is reported to be approximately $12 million.

He was only convicted of misdemeanor charges in 2008 after being acquitted on felony tax fraud and conspiracy charges. 

Douglas P. Rosile, his accountant, and tax protester Eddie Ray Kahn were also accused as co-defendants. Rosile received a four-and-a-half-year sentence, and Kahn was given a ten-year sentence. 

Leona Roberts Helmsley

Leona Roberts Helmsley, an American businesswoman has accumulated a multi-billion dollar real estate portfolio. The “Queen of Mean” and her husband, Harry, were charged with invoicing millions of dollars in personal expenses as their business in order to evade taxes. Helmsley was convicted of three counts of tax evasion in 1989. She was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. A fun fact was that she was sentenced to prison on the income tax deadline day for that year, April 15, 1992.

The bottom line

Evading taxes can lead to serious consequences. As you can see from the US’ top tax court cases listed above, it’s critical to understand what happens if you cross the line between legal tax avoidance techniques and unlawful tax evasion. If you have tax questions or have received a notice from the IRS, it’s a good idea to consult with a tax professional to discuss your situation and your choices moving forward.

About Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is a receipt management application that turns your receipts and business documents into a digital format in just one click by taking a picture straight from your smartphone or scanning a pdf. It automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures you will always have your receipts securely stored and ready for tax purposes.

Access your Shoeboxed account from your web browser or smartphone app. Stay audit-ready with Shoeboxed for FREE now!

Why Using Digital Invoicing Software Is Important for Small Businesses – Plus Our Top 5 Recommended Software

Invoicing is the final step between delivering a product or service and getting payment from your customers. A fast and efficient invoicing process will improve your financial management, provide an exceptional customer experience, and increase your chances of receiving payments on time.  

In our rapidly changing world, the only way to perfect your invoicing system is to go digital. Digital invoicing, also known as e-invoicing, is the process of automating and managing your invoices totally online. With a good digital invoicing software solution, your accounting flow will be significantly simplified. Sending and receiving invoices will cost less time and money, freeing your mind from tedious administration work. 

Read on to learn more ways digital invoicing software can help you and your business, and get the top 5 recommended applications on the 2022 market right now.  

Benefits of using a digital invoicing software solution 

Get paid faster and improve cash flow 

Using digital invoicing software lets you automate almost every step of the traditional invoicing process: allowing you to create, edit, and send invoices directly from your software or to send tailored reminder emails before the due date. This ensures an efficient invoicing system – customers receive invoices quickly, and you will get paid faster too! On top of that, receiving payments quickly and on time also improves your cash flow – making it easier to keep track of and forecast your finances. 

Increase accounting accuracy 

Humans tend to make mistakes, especially when dealing with a lot of small details and numbers. Digital invoicing software takes that worry and risk away by offering automation, improved visibility, and end-to-end tracking. This significantly reduces common human errors like duplicate payments or miscalculations. Digital invoicing solutions will ensure precise, correct data for your accounting records. 

Enhance your relationship with customers 

Every customer wants a quick, accurate, and modern invoicing system. Using digital invoicing software means you won’t waste any more of your customer’s time than necessary and minimize any unwanted misunderstandings. Stay on top of your invoicing and keep your customers happy!

Top 5 recommended digital invoicing software 2022 

You will find below the five most popular and highly recommended digital invoicing software on the market today.

1. FreshBooks – best digital invoicing software for small businesses and freelancers 

FreshBooks is a famous invoicing application for small businesses and freelancers. This digital invoicing software allows you to customize and send unlimited invoices. Additionally, you can check to see if a client has received or paid an invoice, and you can even see if they’ve viewed it. With automatic late payment reminders and fees and insightful business reports, FreshBooks offers various features to help you refine your invoicing system.  

  • Pricing: From $15 user/month.
  • Best for: Small businesses and freelancers.

2. QuickBooks – best digital invoicing software for SMEs and freelancers

QuickBooks is an easy-to-use cloud accounting software that can help you organize your invoices quickly. With QuickBooks, you can send custom online invoices from any device, schedule recurring payments, and transact in multiple currencies. QuickBooks 

automatically saves your data in the cloud and syncs across your devices, making it easy to run your business on the go.

  • Pricing: From $10.36 user/month. 
  • Best for: SMEs and freelancers.

3. Xero – best digital invoicing software for mid-to-large-sized businesses

Xero is another secure and reliable software solution for your business. This digital invoicing software also accepts a wide range of online payments (e.g., debit/credit card, PayPal, Stripe, etc.) and lets you bulk-invoice customers – which can save you a lot of time! Xero also guarantees 24/7 customer support to help you solve any issues or problems you have, at any time while using their service. 

  • Pricing: From $12 user/month.
  • Best for: Mid-to-large-sized businesses 

4. Invoice2go – best digital invoicing software for those with low invoicing volume

Invoice2go is a basic yet efficient online billing software. It’s a great choice if you are only looking for invoicing software without additional functionality. Invoice2go allows you to create a customized invoice with a broad range of templates, similar to other top invoicing software. You can also see when your clients view your invoices and have payment reminders automatically sent before the due date. Invoice2go also provides charts and reports of your business’s financial performance for further analysis.

  • Pricing: From $59.99 user/year. 
  • Best for: Sole proprietorships, freelancers and very small businesses with low invoicing volume

5. Wave – best digital invoicing software for freelancers and startups

Wave is a free cloud-based invoicing software – a perfect option for small, newly established companies. This software allows you to make and send professional customized invoices, estimates, and receipts. You can also set up recurring invoices to automate your billing and track the status of your invoices on the go so that you can know when to expect money in your bank account allowing you to manage your cash flow better. It’s even better if you’re already using Wave accounting software! This is because all your invoicing data will be automatically synced and transferred to the accounting software for bookkeeping records. 

  • Pricing: Free.
  • Best for: Freelancers and startups.

Final thoughts 

While invoicing software can help you digitize and manage invoices and receipts issued from your business, what about the ones you receive from your business partners like a purchase receipt or bank receipts? Aren’t you tired of seeing them laying everywhere in the office? How can you organize and keep them in order? 

Shoeboxed can help you. 

Shoeboxed is an online application that helps you clear your piles of documents and turn them digital in just a click. This mobile app automatically extracts and categorizes important data from your receipts, which then gets manually checked and approved by a team of data experts. You can scan receipts, manage expenses, store business cards, and track business mileage easily, helping you boost productivity and bring in more revenue. What’s more, Shoeboxed integrates with almost every accounting software on the market, so you can import and export data between apps easily. 

Quick, reliable, and trustworthy, Shoeboxed guarantees to organize your receipts in the best way possible! 

Go paperless with Shoeboxed now!