Accessing accounting and bookkeeping services can be tremendously helpful when it comes to managing your business’s expenses, earnings, and invoices. Though many entrepreneurs may start off balancing their business’s books themselves, eventually they need professional help. That’s where an accountant or bookkeeper comes in. Hiring a staff accountant or contracting the services of an accountant can substantially lower your margin of error. In addition, it’s more efficient and often more cost-effective, as it frees up your time for other business-related tasks.
Merchant services are another type of financial service accessed by businesses. Merchant services usually refer to processing services that allow a business to accept payments for services, products, or goods through secure channels using a payment method that is convenient for the consumer, such as credit or debit. In a general sense, merchant services may also include:
- The processing of credit and debit payments
- The use of check guarantee and conversion services
- Payment gateways
- Gift cards and loyalty or rewards programs
- Automated Clearing House check drafting and payment services
- Online transaction processing
- Point of sale (POS) systems
- Electronic benefits transfer programs, such as ration stamps
Businesses that consist of one or more employees require payroll services. Payroll services can be done in-house by an employee, or outsourced to a company that provides payroll services. If you have minimal knowledge of accounting and payroll tax laws, you will need to either hire an individual or company that does. Online payroll services operate in the cloud. They allow you to manage and run your payroll remotely. Be sure to do a thorough examination of all features offered before signing up. You’ll want to know that the payroll service is appropriate for the size of your business and your business’s needs.
Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, involves selling products or services online. If you have a business and you want to sell your goods or services online, whether through your own website or another, third-party marketplace, you need to ensure that you have the right tools. E-commerce services allow you to develop a strategy for selling goods and products online. You will also need to set up a retail site where customers can browse goods and products offered. Finally, e-commerce services require a secure payment portal which allows customers to pay with one or more common web commerce payment methods, such as Interac e-transfer, credit card, or PayPal.
Billing services are mostly targeted towards the medical and healthcare industries. Since medical billing services are complex, many doctors choose to outsource their billing to a third-party. Billing services involve coding and processing claims, liaising with insurance companies, and closing patient accounts. Though medical billing services come at a cost, usually a percentage of payments or a monthly or annual subscription fee, they can help individuals, particularly those in the medical industry, to stay on top of their billing.
General IT Service
Most businesses require some kind of technological support, whether in-house or external. Information technology (IT) services may include:
- Around-the-clock managing and monitoring of desktops, servers, and networks
- Installation, management, and updating of virus and anti-malware software for security purposes
- Installing and managing firewalls
- Installing and managing software updates and patches
- Backing up servers and employee workstations
- Hosting email
- Providing remote access to email
- Providing employee support