This is a thought leadership article by PrimeGlobal member firm Smith Schafer & Associates to help you assess if your business is ready to outsource its accounting functions.
Managing your business accounting needs can be time consuming, stressful and costly. Many growing businesses struggle to create a well-tuned accounting process, especially as certain systems and processes need to change to support increased activity.
Outsourcing this part of your business helps you gain the confidence and tools you need to be successful. Outsourced accounting provides you with:
- A better understanding of your financial condition
- More free time to focus on your business and craft
- Expert guidance towards your financial goals
Take a look at the questions below to find out if your business is ready to outsource its accounting function.
1. DO YOU HAVE ADEQUATE TIME TO WORK ON YOUR CRAFT OR SERVICE?
For most business owners, accounting is not part of their core competency. You should be spending your valuable time growing your company and where your true passions lie.
2. DO YOU NEED HELP WITH FINANCIAL DECISIONS?
The biggest benefit from outsourced accounting is access to a team of knowledgeable professionals. Maintaining compliance for your business is not only overwhelming, but it can be stressful. With ever changing rules and regulations, it is important you are relaying on someone who truly understands the financial part of your business.
3. DO YOU NEED TIMELY FINANCIALS TO MAKE REAL-TIME DECISIONS?
Better data allows for better decisions. Monthly financial statements can help you answer questions such as:
- Do I have enough cash to make payroll?
- Am I pricing my jobs right?
- Can I afford to hire another employee?
Financials give you a monthly snapshot of how your business is doing from a financial standpoint and if the business is able to keep up with costs.
4. DO YOU LACK A SEGREGATION OF DUTIES?
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports “the most common fraudster is the trusted employee.” It takes an average of 18 months to identify fraud after the fact! Internal controls and segregation of duties can prevent employee theft.
5. IS IT A STRUGGLE TO FIND AN EFFICIENT, LONG-TERM, IN-HOUSE ACCOUNTING TEAM?
Outsourced accounting eliminates the time and expense associated with recruiting, training and managing additional staff. You will not have to budget for the variable cost of an employee rather a fixed cost for the month. In addition, you will be mitigating risk for any Human Resource compliance issues.
6. DO YOU NEED TO IMPROVE AND UPDATE YOUR BUSINESS PROCESSES?
An outside accounting team can work with you to increase operational efficiencies for your business. The team can design a system of automation and integration to deliver greater financial reporting. In addition, automation of billing and collection processes can save time, lower mistakes from human error and decrease risk of fraud by providing better transparency and workflows.
7. DO YOU KEEP REPEATING THE SAME MISTAKES?
If you are not using an experienced accounting professional, mistakes are likely to happen. There are numerous accounting mistakes that are difficult to track and identify.
Example of a Common Mistake We See – Using the invoicing function in QuickBooks, and duplicating revenue by entering the deposits from the bank directly, as well as using the “Un-deposited Funds” account. As a result, you may think your sales are high for the month but in reality sales are at breakeven.
8. DO YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR FINANCES PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL?
An area often overlooked, is the security and privacy of sensitive information within the workplace. With an outsourced accounting department, internal employees are not in direct contact with business finances. Therefore, it limits them to discussing the business finances with anyone.
9. DO YOU NEED TO UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE?
Most software systems are updated every 3-5 years. If you have not updated your software in years, you may be missing out on key features and reporting options. An outsourced accounting firm have the most updated systems, at a fraction of your cost. An outsourced accounting team can also provide training on how to use the technology.
10. DO YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
As your business grows, so do the accounting needs. While invoicing, accounts payable and payroll often suffer first, improper or delayed accounting also stifles future growth by limiting the necessary data for strategic decisions. Business owners typically try to manage it themselves while balancing their many other duties or hire accounting staff to remedy the problem. However, this not only ties up additional resources, but it can be ineffective without the proper expertise and day-to-day guidance.
According to a client accounting services survey conducted by Bill.com, 80 percent of business owners said they have more time to focus on their business and 50 percent said they worry less about mistakes when they switched to outsourced account.
If you answered yes to a majority of the above questions, you should consider outsourcing your accounting department.
Smith Schafer & Associates, Ltd.
Update overall summary - Smith Schafer is a community-oriented public accounting and business consulting firm offering a thoughtful advisory relationship to business and individual clients since 1971. Our deep bench of local, experienced professionals in Rochester, the Twin Cities and Red Wing, Minnesota, result in high-value results and loyal relationships. Our client satisfaction is exceptional, as demonstrated by our 95% satisfaction rate.Learn more