For many small businesses, obtaining needed secretarial services through an outside firm makes good financial sense. By contracting with professional secretarial firms or temporary services, many smaller employers can avoid the expenses associated with health and life insurance while ensuring that the secretarial services they require are available when they are needed. Filing, light bookkeeping, typing, dictation and transcription services are among the most common requirements for small businesses. These secretarial services can often be managed more conveniently by contracting with private firms rather than hiring a full or part-time employee to handle these tasks.
- Filing. Generally, filing should be done at least once per month and requires on-site assistance. Temporary firms can often provide the manpower to complete these tasks quickly and with minimal fuss or expense.
- Light bookkeeping. While accounting tasks should be left in the hands of a qualified accountancy firm, light bookkeeping can often be outsourced to a temporary agency or a firm specializing in secretarial services. Ideally, the individual tasked with these responsibilities will have a clear understanding of double-entry accounting as well as general mathematics and should have at minimum a high school diploma.
- Typing. For companies that require occasional mailings or letters, engaging the services of a professional secretary with superior typing skills on a once-weekly basis can often prove adequate to stay current with the demands of the business. Most receptionists have some degree of typing skill and may be enlisted to manage these tasks as part of their regular job duties if the workload is not exceptionally heavy. For mission-critical tasks, however, it’s generally preferable to obtain the services of a professional secretary with experience in proofreading and formatting business documents correctly.
- Dictation and transcription services. One of the most complex and crucial areas of secretarial services, taking dictation and providing clear, accurate transcription of audio materials, is best left to professional firms that specialize in this particular area. Most temporary firms cannot provide professional transcription services since taking dictation from tapes, podcasts or other audio materials requires a specific combination of typing speed, rapid comprehension and linguistic fluency that typically takes years to obtain. Professional dictation and transcription firms specialize in these jobs and can offer superior results for small businesses on an as-needed basis, reducing costs and ensuring quality for these periodic requirements. By outsourcing dictation and audio transcription to a professional firm, small businesses can ensure that their transcripts are accurate and properly formatted, creating a positive image of their business in the online marketplace.