Accounting Articles

How to Run a More Efficient Business in New Jersey by Outsourcing your Bookkeeping and Payroll Functions

Two key ways to run a more efficient business in New Jersey is by outsourcing your bookkeeping and payroll functions. If you and your employees focus on the facets of your business that drive sales, the efficiency and profits of your business will increase correspondingly. As a business owner you may be handling the bookkeeping and payroll functions yourself, using an in-house employee or having your CPA do it. Here are a few reasons why outsourcing bookkeeping and payroll may dramatically improve the way your business operates.

Every moment that you spend on your bookkeeping and payroll is time that could be spent on another aspect of your business. If you have no professional experience with bookkeeping and payroll, you are probably spending far more time on it than you should just because you are unfamiliar with the process. Outsourced bookkeeping and payroll allows you to simply review the books and make good decisions based on good numbers.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping, allows a professional to look over your expense and  profit centers to determine where you may be able to see improvements in your business. A good bookkeeper can then competently organize and present the data so you can make the changes needed to improve your efficiency. A professional bookkeepers detailed reports can free your mind to focus on the more important aspects of the business.

The author: Dawn Contardi ,owner of Sharp Bookkeeping Service, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers with 25 years of experience can be reached at 732-458-3800 or


Should You Outsource Your Payroll to a New Jersey Payroll Service?

If you have a business with employees, you inevitably have to take care of payroll. This is one of the most tedious but necessary tasks of management. Did you know that you actually have the option to outsource this time consuming and non-profitable task to a New Jersey Payroll Service? Indeed, if you let a professional outsource payroll service handle the preparation of your payroll and the payment of your Federal and State taxes, you will be able to concentrate your time on the profit making aspects of your business.

The concept of outsourcing your payroll may seem counterproductive because you do have to pay the New Jersey Payroll Service. However, the benefits become fairly obvious when you realize how valuable your time (estimated low end for owners $100/ hour) is compared to the actual cost of outsourcing your payroll (depending on the # of employees prices can be as low as $40/month). Some payroll services will charge more money than others, so make sure you seek out competitive prices. The bottom line is a professional payroll service can do the work in less time and save you money because the economies of scale allow them to focus on what they can do more efficiently than you or your employee.

Every small and medium size business should consider outsourcing this costly, non-productive task to a New Jersey Payroll Service. There is no better way to ensure that your payroll is being handled properly. If you do not have the right software or knowledge to do your payroll properly, you may be paying and filing inaccurate Federal and State reports that could result in fines, penalties and increased taxes at the end of the year. A third party professional outsource payroll service will alleviate such concerns.

The key to locating and hiring a professional outsource payroll service is to research and verify their credentials, designations and work experience. Such an organization should have a thorough knowledge of programs like QuickBooks which is commonly used to manage and prepare payroll for small and medium size businesses. Professional payroll services are also able to take care of other accounting services for you as well, like tax preparation and bookkeeping. Most payroll services offer a free, no obligation consultation and price estimate so you should be able to find the help you need right away.

The author, Dawn Contardi, the owner of Sharp Bookkeeping Service, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers with 25 years of experience can be reached at 732-458-3800 or


Serious Shortage of Skilled Bookkeepers in New Jersey means Outsoucing to a Professional Bookkeeping Service may be the Answer


For business owners it’s sad to say but true, finding an individual who claims to be a bookkeeper is not difficult, getting a competent one that fully understands bookkeeping is another story. It’s not just the general concepts of bookkeeping that a potential employee needs to know, they also need to be well versed in the QuickBooks Program which is almost universally used by small and medium size businesses. Potential employees will claim to know the program but the reality is the work load at most small businesses doesn’t require their bookkeepers to know and understand the entire QuickBooks Program. If you are lucky enough to find that, “ACE Bookkeeper,” can your business afford the $25 per hour compensation, plus benefits (i.e. Pension, Health Ins. Vacations, Holidays, Sick Days, Personal Days, Soc. Sec., Unemployment Ins., and Disability Ins.) this individual will command?


Does your business have 40 hours per week of skilled bookkeeping work or can a lower cost clerk handle the bulk of the work? If you don’t have enough work for a full time qualified bookkeeper it makes economic sense to save money by sub-contracting your bookkeeping functions to Professional Outsource Bookkeeping Service. An outsource bookkeeping service will get the work done quickly, efficiently and at a fraction of the cost of an in house bookkeeper. Just as important as saving money an outsource bookkeeping service will provide you with the accurate financial reports you need to make sound business decisions.


The author: Dawn Contardi, owner of Sharp Bookkeeping Service, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers with 25 years of experience can be reached at 732-458-3800 or

QuickBooks Support in Ocean County – Job Costing in QuickBooks

Accurate job costing is a very important aspect of any business. This process involves ascertaining the income and expenses for a particular job and determining the profit or loss. QuickBooks provides a great way for businesses to calculate job costing however, if you have no experience with the program it can be difficult to work with. You may want to seek out   QuickBooks support in Ocean County on how to use the software most effectively. Here is a look at some of the services QuickBooks support in Ocean County may be able to provide.

QuickBooks has a training program that individuals can go through to get certified in how to use their software but like most owners you probably do not have the time or the inclination to go through the complete training program. So utilizing a support team for learning how to properly use the QuickBooks’ job costing function makes sense.

You can take this one step further by outsourcing your bookkeeping to a QuickBooks support specialists to actually do your job costing for you. A professional will have in depth understanding of how to use QuickBooks to your advantage, and take the hassle out of your bookkeeping. This will free up more time for you to focus on making money for your business.

Since proper job costing is such an important component of any company’s financial analysis, locating a qualified Ocean County QuickBooks support team is critical to your success. Go online to find bookkeeping services and arrange interviews to verify credentials, experience and comfort levels.

The author: Dawn Contardi, owner of Sharp Bookkeeping Service, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers with 25 years of experience can be reached at 732-458-3800 or

Experienced NJ Accounting Services Give Tips to Jump Start Your Business

Running a business can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, no matter how much you know about your industry. The fact is you never know just how difficult it is to be a business owner until you actually have your own business to run. There are some steps you can take to get  your business on the best possible footing. Read on to find out how experienced NJ accounting services can be a resource to help you jump start your business.

Using an experienced NJ accounting service can provide you with a professional at your side to point out where to make improvements. A good accounting specialist (not necessarily an “accountant“) can help you devise a business plan that will efficiently allocate your available funds, manage your books and show you where to cut costs. The net result will be greater efficiency and higher profits for your business.

Formulating a good business plan, with the advice of an experienced NJ accounting service, will help you stick to clearly delineated goals for your company. Having a clear overall mission statement will facilitate your decision making process as you strive to achieve your short term and long term goals. Knowing where you want your business to go is the key ingredient to sustained long term success.

It’s a cliché but never underestimate your competition. To be successful you must thoroughly analyze the way your competition operates, improve upon it and use it. Intimately working with your customers will help establish the reputation needed for regular quality referrals. Finally remaining passionate about your business is the pathway to staying on track and achieving your goals.

The author: Dawn Contardi, owner of Sharp Bookkeeping Service, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers with 25 years of experience can be reached at 732-458-3800 or

New Jersey Accounting Service Gives Advice on How to Outsource to Independent Contractors

If you run your own business, you may not realize that a lot of the work you do could actually be outsourced to Independent Contractors. Outsourcing is a simple process where you turn over specific tasks to qualified professionals that have expertise in different business functions. The most common tasks businesses can outsource to independent contractors are payroll, accounting services and bookkeeping.  Here are some tips that can help you use independent contractors to your advantage.

The first step is to identify outsourcing professionals that are experienced and certified in the areas you need assistance. A New Jersey Accounting Service with expertise in bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparation should be qualified to work with “QuickBooks.” QuickBooks is the program that 83% of all small and medium size businesses utilize.  An accounting service should have QuickBooks experts on hand to provide vital financial information about your business and answer your questions in a timely basis.

 Some accounting services can be more helpful than others, depending on where their strengths lie. So make sure during the interview process that in addition to checking out experience and certification qualifications you also obtain referrals. Verifying the results other business owners have had with their accounting service will help confirm your decision making process. The  initial consultations should be free, with a no obligation price quote to help you determine how cost effective their help will be. In making a decision don’t forget to calculate how much time you free up to devote to the profit drivers of your business.

After hiring an accounting service, a routine will developed over time that will enable your financial information to be prepared, presented and analyzed on a regular basis. The regular analysis of your business and the resulting wise business decisions is where the benefits of outsourcing will be made manifest in improvements to efficiency and profits. No matter how big or small, the right independent contractors can do wonders for your business.

The author: Dawn Contardi ,owner of Sharp Bookkeeping Service, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers with 25 years of experience can be reached at 732-458-3800 or

New Jersey Bookkeeping Firm Gives Advice on How to Use QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the best bookkeeping software solution for small and medium size  businesses  because it allows for paper less document management. It is the premier accounting program for 83% of all businesses and is the most cost effective at the same time. However, QuickBooks can be a difficult program to operate if you are unfamiliar with how it works. Fortunately, there are QuickBooks Professionals that can handle your bookkeeping and keep your business running smoothly.

A firm providing bookkeeping services should have the certification, experience and the knowledge of the QuickBooks Program to do the work at hand. This means that the firm should have qualified personnel that went through a comprehensive QuickBooks training program to learn what specific features QuickBooks has to offer. An accounting degree is not necessary, but they need to know what it takes to input and keep track of your payroll, sales, expenses, accounts receivable and payables for your business.  

Finding and hiring a qualified in house bookkeeper is difficult if not impossible and do you really need the expense of a professional bookkeeper 40 hours per week? CPA typically charge $150+ an hour just to do basic bookkeeping. So engaging the services of an New Jersey Outsource Bookkeeping Service that is certified in QuickBooks can easily cut your overhead and make your business more efficient. They can point out areas of your business where you may be paying too much money, and offer solutions to overspending that you may not be able to see.

Before you begin to search for a New Jersey bookkeeping firm, review what areas you need help, what functions are you comfortable outsourcing and which ones do you want to keep in house. Then arrange for consultations with several firms that provide FREE no obligation price quotes, check out their credentials, ask for referrals and make your decision.

The author: Dawn Contardi, owner of Sharp Bookkeeping Service, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers with 25 years of experience can be reached at 732-458-3800 or


NJ Accounting Service gives Advice for Loan Packaging

One of the most important steps to the successful launch of a new business is to find a source of initial funding. Sometimes a single loan is not enough to actually get your business up and running. This is where loan packaging can come into play. Loan packaging can involve using multiple forms of collateral to get a loan or using one form of collateral to get multiple loans. Whatever the case may be, finding the right loan for your business is not an easy task. Seeking advice for loan packaging from a professional accounting service will facilitate your search for the perfect loan arrangement.

Locating and hiring a qualified accounting service is vital to the success of your business. Besides the assistance in your search for funding, an experienced accounting service can improve your profits by providing accurate and actionable financial reports. You should look for a firm both experienced and certified in your areas of need.

In addition to doing your own research on available loan packaging, engaging the services of an accounting firm will open up sources of loan packaging not available through your own efforts. An established accounting service will have more contacts and experience with lending institutions, private lenders and investors. Every dollar counts when starting a new business, so shopping for the best rates and terms on loans is critical to your success.

A professional accounting service will not only be able to help you locate a source of funding but if you outsource your bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparation tasks to the firm you will have access to good numbers to both efficiently manage your business and present to your loan providers.

The authors: Dawn Contardi, owner of Sharp Bookkeeping Service, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers with 25 years of experience can be reached at 732-458-3800 or  John Florentino Jr., EA, Enrolled Agent, owner Sharp Tax and Accounting focuses on advising, representing, tax planning, tax compliance and tax return preparation for individuals, partnerships (LLC’s), corporations, estates, and trusts and any entities with tax reporting requirements. Both can be reached at 732-458-3800 or

Warning Signs: When It’s Time To Change Your Accountant. Article

Are you considering firing your current accountant in favor of a new one? If so, you’re probably not sure if you’re overreacting or if you have just cause. The following warning signs will help you decide if it is time for you to change accountants:

Your accountant does not return your phone calls in a timely manner, if at all.
The bottom line here is you have hired your accountant to work for you. If he/she is not returning your telephone calls, or waits until you’ve left several messages before calling you back, take this seriously. A few incidents here and there are not something to worry about, as your accountant likely has many other clients and may not be in the office for days at a time. However, if not returning phone calls are the normal state of affairs, you should  change.

Your accountant is never in the office.
This could mean he or she is very busy and out with other clients the majority of the time. It could also mean they do not take their business, or your business, very seriously. Regardless, if you have a difficult time connecting with your accountant, it may be time to look for someone who has more time in their schedule to see to your needs.

Your accountant never delivers your financials, taxes, or other forms to you on time.
This is not a good scenario! You have hired your accountant to be on top of the financial aspects of your business. If they are not able to get your forms to you on time, you need to first ask yourself if it is your fault. If you are late getting them the material they need, then it probably has little to do with them, but if they have everything they require from you with ample time – and are still consistently late, you will probably want to consider changing accountants.

Your accountant does not take the time to discuss your financial reports with you.
This is your business. You have the right to understand your financial reports, and if your accountant is unwilling to schedule the time to go over them with you, this is a warning sign you shouldn’t ignore. Think of it this way – if you don’t understand your reports, then you can’t feel confident that the IRS is getting correct information. It is essential to your peace of mind, and to your business, that you understand all of yourr financial reports.

The staff member assigned to your account does not seem competent.
If staff is unable to answer your questions, or if you seem to know more about the accounting aspects of your business than they do, you may want to consider switching accountants.

You begin to receive a lot of IRS notices in the mail.
This is a serious warning sign. If the IRS is sending you repeated notices, then your business’s financial affairs are not being taken care of correctly. Too many of these notices, and your business will be red-flagged by the IRS, which could lead to years of issues every time a form is filed. Speak with your accountant and demand to know what the problem is. If you are unsatisfied with the answers, it is time to search for a new accountant.

Often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. If your instincts are telling you something isn’t right, pay attention. With any of the above warning signs you may need to move on. Changing accountants isn’t easy, but if you feel it is the right decision, Trust your instincts!

Why Outsourcing Payroll to a Local NJ Payroll Service Makes Sense


The Business Times

Article: June 1, 2011

Author: John Hildebrand

Change remains a challenge for NJ business owners. Considering outsourcing payroll is no exception. Here are some of the most common reasons business owners and managers choose to outsource payroll.

Consistency. As business owners are well aware, “in-house” bookkeepers tend to come and go. When you outsource payroll processing, you give yourself a “safety net.” Of all the bookkeeping and accounting functions that have to be performed by a business, payroll and payroll taxes are the ones that are absolutely inflexible. If something happens to your in-house person — sickness, accident, a family matter or they just walk out — you can put off your basic bookkeeping until next week. Payroll, however, won’t wait. Our friendly taxing agencies aren’t very forgiving if you miss a payroll tax payment, either. In many cases, a single tax penalty will exceed the cost of outsourcing payroll for an entire year.

Expertise. Here’s a good question to ask about payroll: Are the people who process my payroll up to date on compliance issues? This is a very different question from: Can my person print a paycheck? Federal and State governments enact new labor and payroll laws with great frequency. Between May and June 2010, six new federal laws became effective. There were at least that many State laws in 2010 that affected employers. The cycle of new laws has continued in 2011. Do you know what they are? Do you have the means to find out? They might not apply to your business. But as the old saying goes, “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.” You should know what laws apply or at least have an easy-to use-tool that gives you access to changing labor and tax laws. Wouldn’t you like to know you’re compliant rather than just hope you are?

Saving time and money. While cost is seldom the first question asked in conversations about outsourcing, it’s an important one. In many cases, when all the costs a business incurs in processing payroll are tallied, outsourcing can save money. The other thing that happens is that the time spent in the payroll process is greatly reduced. This frees up employees for more valuable tasks.

Help when you need it. Do you remember the television commercial a couple of years ago that showed a guy trying to get his taxes done. He was pulling his hair out trying to figure out a problem and the “box” didn’t have the answers. His wife, who had wanted him to use a tax preparer, picks up the box and knocks him on the head with it, saying “Talk to the box, honey.” The advantage of outsourcing locally is that when you have a question or problem, you can call a real person or even visit with them in person. Considering the various reasons to outsource payroll, it could make sense for your business.

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