Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose Breakwater?
Breakwater Accounting + Advisory Corp. was founded on the principle of bringing businesses into the future by breaking barriers through the use of cutting edge technology. Breakwater streamlines and updates processes to help companies and non-profits achieve their maximum potential.
We use a consultative, team-based approach to ensure that you are using best practices. Our knowledgeable Account Associates, Managers, and Specialists are available to ensure you have access to industry experts to keep you on track.
What makes Breakwater different?
Breakwater partners with accounting technology firms to stay on top of the latest software offerings to streamline the back office tasks. Our approach is very consultative and aims at updating your back office processes to simplify tasks and reduce time spent on the administrative and manual entry. Our goal is to get you your results more quickly so that you have the information you need to run your business.
What does outsourced bookkeeping and accounting mean?
Outsourcing is an alternative to hiring an employee. Most small and medium-sized businesses do not need a fulltime bookkeeper or controller. When you outsource these functions to Breakwater, we handle the recording of your financial activity (bookkeeping), manage closing your books and provide financial reporting and analysis (accounting/controller services). It is important to recognize that Breakwater is not a staffing firm. We provide trained staff employed and supervised by Breakwater to meet your needs.
Bookkeeping functions we provide include
Processing bills and payments
Preparing customer invoices and receiving payment
Running payroll and staying compliant with payroll tax filings
Reconciling bank accounts
Bookkeeping needs to be accurate and timely so that you can rely on the data to help you run your business or organization.
Accounting/Controller functions we provide include
Ensuring the full picture of your business financial activity is recorded properly in your accounting system ; this may include month-end entries such as
Review for proper classification of activity
Preparing reporting for the business/organization leadership
Providing guidance and input on what the reporting means
Leading budgeting & forecasting preparation and cash flow management
Acting as liaison with tax/audit/banking/insurance advisors.
Why should we outsource?
Outsourcing this role allows you to focus on core operations and provides an independent perspective and set of eyes on your financial activity details.
The key benefits of outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting services include
Technical Expertise Access
The costs to hire and train an employee are real, and employee turnover is disruptive and a drain of time and resources. In addition to the gross salary paid, employers must pay employer payroll taxes (FICA/FICM 7.65% of gross salary), state unemployment taxes, and local taxes as applicable. Employers must secure workers compensation insurance for each employee.
Outsourcing a role to a firm that specializes in the skill helps you recognize significant efficiency savings – time to perform the function is a fraction of that for an employee – and converts fixed costs of an employee to a variable cost that can be increased or decreased as needed. Bookkeeping/accounting is our industry and field of expertise. We stay current on the ever-changing requirements and technology tools. Your business benefits from our knowledge database of best practices and experience in a wide range of industries.
How does Breakwater ensure our information is secure?
As the world becomes more and more of an online marketplace, it is important to recognize the growing need for cybersecurity. File sharing and storage is the most crucial aspect of any type and size of business.
Breakwater shares and receives documents containing restricted and confidential information via our Breakwater Secure Portal.
What does it cost?
Every client is unique. At breakwater we excel at the individual service we can offer each client while providing an affordable option.
A breakwater professional will meet with you to identify your current needs and then discuss proposed options. Most breakwater clients receive a flat monthly rate. Any initial clean-up or set-up involved, is included in a one-time implementation fee. If at any point over the course of our partnership your needs change, breakwater will revisit and reassess the fee with you.
In addition to affordable service options, our partnerships with the technology firms allows us to get you discounted prices on subscription fees and access to the best service for the software.
It helps to have friends in the right places!
Do you prepare tax returns?
We do process your payroll taxes and reporting.
We do not prepare corporate tax returns, but we will prepare and deliver a clean set of books to your tax accountant should you choose to work with us.
We are happy to act as your liaison with a tax professional if you prefer.
Do you provide accounting services for individuals?
Breakwater launched a family office services group in early 2019. We provide a highly personalized, secure, and confidential service for our family office clients to manage bill pay, domestic payroll, bookkeeping, reconciliations, and reporting tailored to your specific needs.
Can I request a one time project?
If Breakwater has team members available we may be able to assist with your clean up project. However, our ongoing clients take priority.
How do I get started?
Contact our Business Development team to talk through your questions. We will set up a phone call or a meeting to talk throug your needs, pain points, and how we can help.
What happens once we sign?
Once you have approved and signed your contract, we will begin our onboarding process by reviewing and identifying how your workflow will integrate with Breakwater. We work with your existing accountant/bookkeeper to ensure that the transfer of responsibilities is smooth.
You will meet your Breakwater team which usually includes an Account Associate and an Account Manager or Specialist. We will identify and recommend process improvements to streamline your accounting workflow. This may include the immediate or eventual implementation of additional technology.