Bookkeeping is one of the many tasks dental clinic owners need to budget for, but that is often easier said than done. When considering bookkeeping services for your clinic the question of how much to pay is important. The truth is, there is no simple answer. Bookkeepers, like many professions, have varied skill sets and do different tasks, and pay depends on many factors.
What do you need a bookkeeper for?
Before getting into your bookkeeping options, it is important to identify what services you require a bookkeeper for. A typical dental or medical office requires a bookkeeper to:
- Record financial transactions
- Reconcile accounts
- Document and pay bills
- Process payroll
- Provide necessary accounting documentation
The cost of hiring a professional bookkeeper varies depending on the skill level, experience and the tasks you expect them to complete. According to Indeed, the average cost for a bookkeeper who has up to 3 years of experience is $22.16 an hour. This pay level assumes that the bookkeeper will perform basic bookkeeping duties such as, data entry, document filing and paying some bills. It also assumes that you will provide a workspace, guidance, and review and supervise the work. This may be the ideal for certain clinic owners who are interested in overseeing these tasks, but for those of you that are looking for alternatives, what are they?
Option 1: Do-It-Yourself |
Pending your bookkeeping requirements are simple and straightforward, you can probably do your bookkeeping yourself or delegate it to your office manager. However, it is important that you both know how to properly record your transactions and have the time. At the end of the year, your CPA (Tax accountant) will review the work and will make any necessary adjustments.
Main considerations | When deciding to undertake your bookkeeping on your own you need to ensure that you not only have the time to do it, but it is the best way to spend your time. You also need to consider whether you (or your delegated party) has the skill set to perform the task, otherwise consider additional time to study up on the requirements. The last thing you want is for your CPA to find out at the end of the year that there are bookkeeping errors.
Average Cost of DIY bookkeeping: 9 to 18 hours monthly
Option 2: Hire a part-time bookkeeper |
If your bookkeeping needs are simple, but you’ve determined that your time is not best spent doing your own bookkeeping a viable alternative option is to hire a part-time bookkeeper. A part-time bookkeeper can help with paying bills, processing transactions or ensuring your payroll is properly complete. Save for doing it yourself, this is probably the most economically efficient option. However, there are a few additional considerations to take into account such as the quality of work, and the risk that could result from future costs not being accounted for that can cost your clinic in the long run. You also want to consider the segregation of duties as a part-time bookkeeper will only do the task you previously agreed upon and might be inflexible when it comes to unforeseen changes in the scope of work.
Main considerations | When deciding if you want to go the route of hiring a part-time bookkeeper you should consider the complexity of your bookkeeping, and the quality of the work you want to maintain.
Average Cost of hiring a part-time bookkeeper: $350 to $650 monthly
Option 3: Outsourcing to a professional firm |
If you are uncomfortable taking on the task yourself or overseeing a part-time bookkeeper the best option for you will be to outsource your bookkeeping work to a professional firm. However, this is the most expensive option so why opt to pay more?
When you hire a professional firm, you are not only paying for their expertise but for the peace of mind of a job done well. You aren’t hiring an individual, you’re hiring a team that will ensure your books are up-to-date in a timely fashion, hassle-free. They are only a phone call or email away and can provide valuable advice for planning your clinics future.
They can make recommendations on what the best accounting, payroll, document management and bill payment system is for your business. Along with providing advice beyond bookkeeping by analyzing industry trends, as well as incorporate best practices and innovative techniques into your practice.
Main considerations | While this may be the most expensive option up-front, it is the most hands-off method and provides the greatest level of security, along with added value for the future of your clinic.
Average Cost of hiring a part-time bookkeeper: $500 to $800 monthly
Where do I find a professional bookkeeping firm?
If you decide that outsourcing your bookkeeping is the best decision for your clinic, talk to your accountant or peers, recommendations often make the best business relationships. It is important that the company you choose has industry experience and can deliver your clinic the value it deserves. Value-added services can include financial advice, along with industry-tailored and focused services.
Advancement in today’s technology allows you to find the perfect service provider for your needs, and you are no longer limited to your geographic location. Book a meeting today and find out what the best fit for you is.
Interested in discussing outsourcing your bookkeeping? Get in contact with Shift Accounting at email@example.com or +1 (403) 456-2437. We would be more than happy to discuss with you and the best fit for your clinic.