November-December 2015

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Page 40 of 47 PalletCentral • November-December 2015 41 be blindsided by a payroll service's unauthorized actions. Small companies may also want to outsource bookkeeping tasks to a bookkeeper or accountant. The outsider can keep books and records, reconcile bank statements and pay bills. This can be done with a bookkeeper or virtual assistant who handle bookkeeping activities. 2. To tap exper tise You can't know or do it all. It's best to rely on the services of experts to help you on a limited or regular basis. Trying to do something you aren't qualified to do not only takes up your time but may result in missteps that can cost you more money than if you'd outsourced the chore in the first place. Activities to outsource. There's no limit on the types of experts your company may need. Here are some to consider: • Accounting. It's always a good idea to work with a knowledgeable CPA or other financial advisor who can file the company's tax returns. Such person can also provide guidance on matters like inventory management, benefits plans and financing options. • IT help. Be sure the person or firm you use for this purpose is accessible 24/7. • Legal assistance. Use different attorneys for different functions. For example, use one experienced in real estate law to review your lease, another to handle contracts, and yet another to seek advice on employment law matters. You may find these experts within a single law firm. • Social media services. While it's great to manage a company's Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts in-house, this takes up the time of staff members handling postings. It may be better to use an outside company to handle social media or supplement your efforts. 3. To meet shor t-term needs Special projects or seasonal activities usually do not warrant taking on permanent staff, even on a part-time basis. Doing this can boost your unemployment insurance costs because you'll probably lay off these workers who will then claim benefits. There are a number of ways to handle this. Ways to outsource. Depending on your needs, you can find help through: • Freelancers and independent contractors. You can engage the person for the term of a project or task, such as for a website redesign. Then consider ongoing maintenance for your website to outsource compared to the cost of handling in-house. Be sure that the arrangement is really one of independent contractor and not employee. Check IRS resources ( Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent- Contractor-Self-Employed-or-Employee) on this topic to make sure you're not crossing the line and asking for trouble. • Temporary employment agencies. You pay the agency an hourly rate for each worker; the worker is the employee of the agency. Agencies include Elite Staffing (, Kelly Services (, and Select Staffing ( Conclusion Don't hesitate to seek online solutions to your people needs. If you require a logo or icon, use freelance sources such as Elance (, Fiverr (, or Freelancer ( for this purpose. PC T.L.B. FOREST PRODUCTS INC. Contact: Gaétan (Ext. 223) or Oliver (Ext. 226) E-mail: Tel: 450-492-5130 fax: 450-492-5918 1336, Chemin des Anglais Terrebonne QC J6X 4G3 The Canadian Birch Specialist Ready to Nail Pallet Components HARDWOOD LUMBER WHITE BIRCH & ASPEN CANTS AND PRECUT Barbara Weltman is an attorney, prolific author with such titles as J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes and Smooth Failing, and trusted professional advocate for small busi- nesses and entrepreneurs. She is also the publisher of Idea of the Day® and monthly e-newsletter Big Ideas for Small Business® at and host of Business Leader radio. She has been named one of the 100 Small Business Influencers four years in a row. Follow her on Twitter @BarbaraWeltman.

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