As you assess the implications of the recently announced Budget while coping with Covid-19 restrictions, preparing for Brexit and managing day-to day tasks, time constraints are more than likely an added burden. Outsourcing tasks like payroll and bookkeeping can be an effective way to streamline processes and free up time, says Sarah Daly.
What a year 2020 turned out to be. As we move into the final quarter, most of the accountants and business owners that I work with simply don’t have enough hours in the day to keep on top of constantly growing ’to-do’ lists.
Admittedly, the last quarter is always a busy time of year, but 2020’s changed working practices, pressures on cashflow, constant stream of new Government announcements and the forthcoming end of the Brexit transition period are creating a perfect storm.
Given the complexity of these challenges, it’s easy to understand why so many businesses and their accountants are struggling to keep on top of things at present. Indeed, research commissioned by GroForth a few months ago found that time constraints were the top concern of accountants, closely followed by difficulties finding and retaining good staff.
Support for you
The time pressures that our clients are facing has led to increased demand for GroForth services this year. By looking after bookkeeping and payroll — two of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks for many businesses — we are able to give our clients more capacity to focus on other areas of their business. Clients tell us that the assistance we provide is a game changer because of the way that it streamlines their processes cutting out duplication, improving accuracy and giving them peace of mind. Our clients, who are mostly Irish businesses, like the fact GroForth is based in Dublin and that our local team is up to speed and understands Irish rules and regulations.
8 practical examples of tasks that can be outsourced
New clients often ask me for examples of the types of task that GroForth can take over for them. Often, we provide customised services depending on individual business requirements but commonly included tasks are things like:
- Cross checking balance sheet entries against the supporting documentation (e.g. bank statements)
- Tracking down and resolving errors,
- Checking that profit and loss accounts are correctly calculated,
- Ensuring fixed assets are correctly recorded,
- Bank reconciliations including processing payments and ensuring that cash allocations are deposited in bank accounts
- Payroll administration and support,
- Issuing RCT reminders,
- Generating management reports.
While many of these tasks are year-round activities, Q4 is always busier for businesses and their accountants due to year-end deadlines. In fact, that’s the main reason why our accounting firm clients use GroForth’s back office support for accounting firms. It also helps that our team use all the common accounting software packages like Xeroand SortmyBooks so we are able to integrate seamlessly with the systems that businesses and accountants are using.
GroForth also provides cash management services for some of our clients. Given the pressures on cashflow that many businesses are experiencing at the moment, it is important to have strong financial controls in place as this helps businesses control their income and expenditure and avoid running out of cash.
Planning for 2021
As in any other year, Q4 is when businesses review their plans for the coming year and assess how any changes or new measures announced in the Budget will affect them. Meanwhile, day-to-day tasks continue and filing deadlines must be met. It’s likely that planning will take more time than usual as the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit preparations, mean that templates used in previous years are unlikely to be sufficient.
When reviewing your plans, it is worth considering whether outsourcing your payroll and bookkeeping could be a cost-effective move. Payroll has been particularly challenging for many businesses this year because of the impact of the various Government supports introduced to support jobs and help individuals cope with loss of income during the pandemic. With all the indicators suggesting the pandemic will still be with us in 2021, the implications for payroll will need to be carefully considered when planning for the year ahead. Outsourcing payroll can be a good way to free up time so that you can concentrate on the other challenges facing your business.
Finally, cash, of course, is king and making sure that you don’t run out of cash will be more important than ever in the coming months. The key to successfully managing business finances is making sure that you have access to accurate information at all times. This means that transactions must be recorded accurately and on time — a challenge in itself when so many administrative staff are working from home at present. If you need support, GroForth’s bookkeeping team can provide assistance. Likewise, if you need help to analyse or interpret financial information or want someone to do this for you, GroForth can extract meaningful management reports from your business data. These reports can help you plan more effectively for the year ahead. If these services are of interest, please contact me for further details.