7 Effective Ways To Onboard Your Outsourced Bookkeeping Team Remotely

7 Effective Ways To Onboard Your Outsourced Bookkeeping Team Remotely

7 Effective Ways To Onboard Your Outsourced Bookkeeping Team Remotely


7 Effective Ways To Onboard Your Outsourced Bookkeeping Team Remotely

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses had already recognised the benefits of outsourcing their bookkeeping function.

Now that the pandemic has necessitated remote working everywhere, it is all the more important to select a competent outsourced bookkeeping team that can complete your books of accounts accurately, on time and without constant supervision.

At the same time, it is essential to create a smooth work environment for the remote outsourced booking team and give them access to everything they need, together with complete and relevant information to do the job.

If you have appointed an outsourced bookkeeping team or are planning to do so, here are seven best practices to onboard them effectively:

1. Educate them about your business

Your new team needs to know about your company and particularly any rules and regulations in detail, even more than a regular employee would. Guide them through everything they need to know before they take over your business accounts.

You can schedule a Zoom call where you present your screen and take them through training materials, or you can share explanatory videos with them and then schedule a call for questions. Make sure you also guide them through how to use any tools (e.g. project management or communication software) relevant to your business.

2. Be clear about your expectations

Every outsourced team has different ways of working, and you must find a balance with them by making clear any expectations or requirements you have.

For instance, if you expect them to dial into the company-wide weekly catch-up, let them know in advance so that they can work it into their schedule.

It would help if you also shared expectations about the frequency at which you need the accounts to be updated and any formatting requirements you have.

3. Schedule regular reviews

It is always a good idea to keep your accounts updated in real-time rather than waiting until the end of the quarter. To help your outsourced team do this, have regular reviews where they bring you to speed on what they are doing and can raise any questions they may have.

This is also an excellent opportunity to get to know them better and to ask them if they have any recommendations on how accounting procedures at your company can be improved.

4. Keep communication channels open

Communication is critical to efficient remote work – even one misinterpretation can have costly consequences. There are many legal requirements including tax returns, payroll, annual accounts and VAT returns which need a skilful hand.

Therefore, reach out to the team whenever you need updates on a particular tax law or additional understanding on the paperwork they have submitted to the HMRC. At the same time, ensure that you are not micro-managing them with unnecessary calls or messages.

Also, please encourage your outsourced bookkeeping team to get in touch with you whenever they need to, whether it is to clarify a point in a previous conversation or to request extra sets of records, and to promptly respond to your queries.

Since you have hired them based on their merit, you must trust them with your books of accounts and enable them to do their job in peace.

5. Agree on a procedures document

Your outsourced bookkeeping team may be used to slightly different ways of working than the rest of your organisation. To avoid any confusion, take the time out beforehand to agree on a set of procedures that both of you will follow.

This could include office timings, available time slots for calls, any particular formatting for your books of accounts, any relevant deadlines, what to do in case of emergency requirements and so on.

This way, the team knows what to do at every step and can operate more efficiently on their own without bothering you or your team for every little thing.

6. Set up a virtual shared workspace

Instead of relying on emails to share documents and communications, use a smart virtual workspace that lets you collaborate effectively. Tools like Slack and Trello are easy to use and make collaborations much more manageable.

You can also opt for something more comprehensive, like Amazon Workspace, if that suits your business better. But please make sure that the team is comfortable using the tool you have deployed across the company.

In case they are not, consider having a training session with them first or taking their suggestions on other tools to use.

7. Introduce them to your in-house employees

All too often, outsourced teams tend to stay disconnected from the in-house office team. Make an effort to introduce both the teams to each other and to involve the outsourced team in informal catch-ups and social activities.

Given that everyone is working from home nowadays, physical distance should no longer be a factor in workplace camaraderie. By treating your outsourced bookkeeping team as you do your in-house team, you foster loyalty and thus motivate them to be even more productive.

Summing it up

Onboarding plays an integral role in boosting employee satisfaction and productivity. In outsourcing, it is even more critical as your in-house team and outsourced bookkeeping team don’t enjoy the privilege of physical acclimatisation.

You will want your outsourced bookkeeper to help you reap the maximum benefits of a transparent and reliable accounting function. In that case, you must educate them on the company’s ethos, vision and expectations.

If you are looking for an outsourced bookkeeping team that can help you thrive remotely, contact us! Our online bookkeeping services are compliant and will enable you to get on with what you love doing, i.e., growing your business.

Why You Should Move Your Bookkeeping Onto The Cloud

Why You Should Move Your Bookkeeping Onto The Cloud


Why You Should Move Your Bookkeeping Onto The Cloud

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled a rapid shift into a digital-only mode for companies of all sizes and in all lines of business. Moreover, meeting tight deadlines and providing high-quality services are more important than ever to build trust in these uncertain times. 

In this context, moving the bookkeeping function onto the cloud is a cost-effective, time-saving and future-ready move for companies to make. Here are some reasons why cloud-based bookkeeping is not just a nice-to-have for your small business, but a must:


Cost-saving is a priority for small and medium businesses in particular, and moving the bookkeeping function to the cloud can help your company better manage cash flow.

For example, instead of paying a substantial one-off fee, you can spread the cost of the bookkeeping software by paying monthly. 

On the cloud, everything is paperless, and the software streamlines all the accounting processes without human intervention needed, which also leads to significant time savings.  


Cloud technology comes with the significant advantage of scalability. If a small business starts growing rapidly, or if one company acquires or merges with another, cloud services can be scaled up as needed.

With infinite storage available on the cloud, there are no limits to the number of functions, departments, accounts or business acquisitions that your company can add. For the same reason, the costs of scaling up are negligible. 


Manual bookkeeping is highly prone to error, as accountants are likely to miss out or incorrectly read a few entries while analysing hundreds of them at a time. Spreadsheets rely on correct formulas which can easily become corrupted giving incorrect data and go undetected for months – if ever.

By contrast, cloud accounting software can quickly scan as many receipts and statements as needed and do the necessary calculations in a fraction of the time.

Automation also reduces errors, especially with built-in checks to ensure that nothing is missed out or wrongly entered. Using a cloud bookkeeping software, you can generate invoices and set reminders to avoid manually tracking debtors. 

4. Real-time information on your fingertips

Cloud-based bookkeeping services come with tools that allow you to stay up-to-date with real-time information, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world and on any android or Apple device.

For instance, some services can automatically compile all bills and financial statements under one hub, pull critical data from each of them and publish the data securely on the cloud.

That allows you to reconcile the company accounts daily and close all the books within a day or so of the month’s end, thus saving time and resources.

Moreover, automated bank feeds, available for most UK banks, enable you to track the business’ balance sheet in real-time. You can view various reports to get an up-to-date snap of your company’s finances.

5. Outsourced talent acquisition

While the pandemic has made remote work a necessity, it makes sense in normal times as well. Moving bookkeeping to the cloud allows your small business to maintain an outsourced bookkeeping team that can log in from anywhere – irrespective of their geographies.

An experienced bookkeeper would not only ensure accurate, quality work and give you peace of mind but also save costs on in-house staffing and infrastructure. 

6. Disaster recovery

Sadly, your business is under constant threat of data loss or cyber attack. A recent cybersecurity report showed that the UK incurs about £190,000 worth of cybercrime losses daily.

Moreover, in an on-premise setting, threats like vandalism or natural disasters could lead to hardware damage or data being compromised. Data protection in such an unfortunate setting can be time-consuming, resource-intensive and inefficient for your business.

Unlike traditional disaster management, cloud disaster recovery solutions are simple to initiate by the cloud provider. And apart from the automated data backups, most cloud providers retain backed-up copies of client data for a while, which is useful in case auto-backups don’t happen. 


Cloud-based bookkeeping allows for secure integrations with other applications and software that your small business may be using, such as HR and payroll tools, CRM systems, loyalty management programmes, and email marketing platforms.

For instance, if you combine your bookkeeping software with HR and payroll apps, you can also automatically generate payslips and other HMRC documents. That helps to streamline overall business operations and work smoothly and efficiently. 


When bookkeeping is moved to the cloud, your small business no longer has to worry about mundane tasks such as entering costs into Excel sheets. This frees you up to focus on critical tasks such as building client relations or charting the strategic growth of your company.

Moreover, cloud services can be equipped to collect and compile data about your financial history, which can give you essential insights into what the company is doing with its money and how finances can be managed more efficiently. Our bookkeepers in Edinburgh know this very well!

Summing it up

Migrating your existing bookkeeping system is an easy process depending on which cloud software you choose. We recommend Xero to our clients as it is an excellent platform to automate daily business tasks and get an updated overview of financials, on-the-go.

The best part is that Xero integrates with many small business CRMs, productivity apps and customer service platforms. If you are interested in moving your bookkeeping on Xero, we can do it for you for free.

Complete the contact form, and we will get back to you for an initial, no-obligation chat.





It is not surprising to see many businesses struggling to thrive in this challenging landscape. Today, due to the pandemic, they feel more uncertain about their prospects compared to a year ago. Business owners need to focus on business development and not be distracted by looking after their financial record. We discuss eight reasons why outsourcing bookkeeping can make your business more profitable:

1. High-quality, timely bookkeeping services

Bookkeeping is a fairly routine task, but it still requires in-depth attention for accuracy. An employed bookkeeper will almost certainly not be skilled in all the tasks which can be undertaken by an external bookkeeping team, for instance, credit control, business planning and budgeting.

Due to this, they may end up having to look for additional resources to undertake these tasks. When your business signs up with a bookkeeping company, you benefit from the services of a team that not only has varied experience but also follows strict quality control processes to deliver timely results.

This saves you from the trouble of having to search for, recruit, and train bookkeeping professionals for your business. Outsourced bookkeeping services assure a quicker turnaround time since the focus of such service providers is on bookkeeping and nothing else.

2. Flexibility to take on more clients

As a business owner, if you are capable of doing your own bookkeeping, how long do you think you spend on it each week? 5 hours? 10 hours? Now imagine if you could utilise this time in improving your services and in client building relationships.

We are sure if given an option, you would outsource it to an expert and do what you know best, i.e, run your business. By taking help from an external bookkeeping service provider, you have free time on your hands which can be invested in value-added jobs.

3. Higher cost savings

When you work with a bookkeeping company, you no longer have to incur the costs of maintaining an in-house bookkeeper. That translates into considerable financial savings for your business as you don’t need to take care of the salaries, equipment, and training expenses of the bookkeeper. The bookkeeping company manages it all.

The money saved can not only be re-invested in expanding your business but also help in improving the quality of your existing offerings. Moreover, additional money can assist in offering more competitive prices to your clients.

4. Time saved by leaps and bounds

Just because you run a business does not mean you are a trained bookkeeper. In which case, you could be spending double (or triple) the hours to bring your books of accounts up-to-date. That is time poorly invested.

A bookkeeping company, on the other hand, ensures the job is done quickly, without any distractions or confusion, because of their expertise on and use of the latest, time-saving technology, such as Xero and KashFlow.

In the end, you not only have the satisfaction of putting your financials in the hands of qualified professionals but also are able to gain insights into your business operations – all through bookkeeping. Outsourcing helps save time and frees you up for more critical tasks.

5. Transparent communication with the team

An external bookkeeping expert could be based anywhere – in your neighbourhood, city, country, or in a different part of the world. But that should not stop them from maintaining close contact with you through email and online communication apps.

The flexibility enables them to reach out to you on an immediate basis should there be a need. If you ensure that your bookkeeping company is registered with a professional body, for example, the International Association of Bookkeepers or the AAT, you can be certain that they will comply with all legislation and keep your data safe.

6. Zero loss of control

While many businesses fear that by outsourcing, they will lose control over their books of accounts, this is not true. A reliable bookkeeper will provide regular updates on how the tasks are coming along.

They also have stringent processes in place to ensure that the data is secure throughout the project. That will allow you to retain control over everything and oversee each stage of the bookkeeping process as the team completes it.

7. Accurate information on your fingertips

Bookkeeping mistakes are common and could have massive repercussions. For instance, many small UK businesses often under- or over-claim VAT. This could lead to penalties, potential cash flow problems, or worse, an HMRC investigation.

Similarly, expenses can get wrongfully coded to the balance sheet code rather than to the profit-and-loss sheet. This can impact the profit figures, which could further lead to flawed business forecasting.

An experienced bookkeeper would not only ensure accurate, quality work but also use tools such as QuickBooks, KashFlow, FreeAgent and Xero, so that you have access to accurate business data online – 24/7.

8. Seamless access to tax planning and advice

Unfortunately, the HMRC is always watching, which is why you should ensure your books of accounts are properly managed. Bookkeeping professionals prepare financials that will keep your business compliance with the HMRC regulations.

Depending upon the expertise of your bookkeeping company, you can even get their support on tax planning and advice.

Good bookkeepers will keep a record of your receipts and expenses, track accounts payable and receivable, and also produce a balance sheet – all of which will help you plan an efficient tax strategy and ensure your business management is based on accurate financials.

Summing it up

Without a doubt, you should outsource your bookkeeping to experts. This will enable you to offer more value-added services to your clients. Expanding the service portfolio not just drives more revenues but also strengthens client relationships.

Thankfully, Agility Bookkeeping is fully equipped to help you transition to modern, paperless and outsourced systems and let go of routine bookkeeping jobs. Do you want to hop on a call to discuss this? We would love to chat with you!

Just email us on sales@agilitybookkeeping.com, or complete our contact form on the website and we will call you for an initial, no-obligation chat.



nine qualities your business should look for when hiring a bookkeeper



As the owner of a fast-growing business, you might be handling many different tasks on your own, including managing clients, monitoring sales, contacting your vendors, and marketing your products or services. You might even handle bookkeeping on your own.

However, if not done right, mismanagement of books can do more harm than good to your business. For starters, it is not easy to track cash flow statements and projections. Your financing options become limited. Payroll problems start to arise. The list goes on.

That is why it is vital to have a professional bookkeeper in your team or a bookkeeping company working for you from the outside. Either way, they will accurately track and report the flow of money in and out of your accounts by way of salaries, sales and expenses, and also ensure your business complies with legal requirements.

So, if you are interested in hiring a bookkeeper and need a bit of help, here are nine factors to consider:

1. Their accreditations and experience

Bookkeeping can be a tedious function as it involves recording transactions of your business. And since they are responsible for giving you a complete, up-to-date view of your current financial situation, it is vital not to make a mistake.

Therefore, your bookkeeper should have relevant qualifications and experience to handle this function. They should preferably have an IAB or ICB bookkeeping qualification, so you can be assured they meet specified quality standards.

Ideally, they should also have experience managing books of accounts of businesses working in the same industry as yours. For instance, if you are in healthcare, hiring a bookkeeping company who has previously worked in a similar set up can add more value.

2. The software they use

Using a bookkeeping software solution automates various time-consuming tasks. Suppose your bookkeeper is comfortable using tools such as Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent and KashFlow. In that case, using it too means your business data gets securely stored online, and you also don’t have to email your ledger to them – you can both log-in online!

It is easy for a tech-savvy bookkeeping company to deliver a high-quality set of books, ensure real-time reporting, and find ways to improve accounting workflows – all of which adds value and helps your business grow.

3. Their security systems

This is an incredibly vital component to focus on if you are planning to hire a bookkeeping company for your business. When you outsource financial data, you are entrusting highly sensitive information to a third-party service provider.

While bookkeeping software protects data with multiple layers of security, you must ensure your information is private and only used for agreed purposes. It is thus crucial to verify that their security systems are well-suited to avoid data breaches.

4. What their clients say

Reviews from clients are essential for an understanding of how well your bookkeeping company delivers on its promises. Search online for reviews or ask among your circle of industry peers for information.

Check whether the team is known for clear communication, on-time delivery, and accurate results. You can also ask the bookkeeping company for references to their past and existing clients for a greater understanding of their work ethics.

5. Their infrastructure

Your bookkeeping company should have suitably advanced and secure technological resources in place. Some of the primary resources they have must include high-speed broadband and remote access to desktops along with the facility of landlines.

Besides, if they use communication tools such as Skype, Zoom, and Slack, that will make it easier for you to connect with them, irrespective of where they are based in the UK. Accessibility is an essential factor to note when finalising a bookkeeper.

6. The internal training they undergo

Although bookkeeping is a distinct process, it quickly becomes more complicated with the introduction of loans, taxes, assets, and investments. As your business grows, the function also expands, therefore demanding more attention-to-detail.

Therefore, it is necessary your bookkeeper provides rigorous and regular training to its employees not only on the function but also for the use of various software such as Xero, KashFlow and QuickBooks.

The employees should also have access to online classroom training sessions to update their skills. If your bookkeeping company does not emphasise training and development, you might want to take a step back and find someone else.

7. Their work culture

How a company treats its employees says a lot about the kind of values they endorse. And your bookkeeping company is no exception. Before signing them up, search online or on social media for what their employees say about them.

If their work culture is fair and inclusive, employees are sure to talk about it on LinkedIn. Similarly, if the company has an unpopular reputation amongst its employees, they will voice their frustrations on channels such as Glassdoor.

8. Their price points

Any bookkeeping company with a track record of quality results will price its services accordingly. Check their website for pricing information, and then consult them directly and get their point of view.

Ask what their different service packages are priced as and whether they have any special discounts for bulk commissions. This way, you can consider them for a long-term association if their bulk prices match your budget.

9. Their hiring processes

How a bookkeeping company hires its employees matters. Therefore, talk to the company representatives and ask around about the selection criteria they employ when selecting candidates.

Some bookkeeping companies even allow their clients to have a say in regards to the kind of bookkeepers they want to handle their accounts. This is important because the bookkeepers you work with will be like an extension of your team.

It is thus imperative that you know their abilities and work ethic before signing them on. Therefore, make sure you do the groundwork when you finalise your bookkeeping support.

Wrapping it up

A weak bookkeeping function is one of the most common reasons why businesses fail. However, that can be completely avoidable – by hiring a bookkeeping company that can handle the function efficiently for you.

So, why not request your free 30-minute consultation with us and sort it all out today? Whether you are a limited company or sole trader, an IT specialist or a plumber, Agility Bookkeeping will make your life easier, save you money and reduce stress by providing bookkeeping services in Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow areas!

Remember, bookkeeping is the only way to fully understand your business operations so that you can make better financial decisions. Contact us today!