Every business owner has been there, the tipping point when you cannot concentrate on growing your business because you are too caught up in the tasks of payroll, bookkeeping and accounting functions – the good news is that outsourced accounting is a very real solution.
When growing businesses are in the ‘sweet spot’, it is relatively easy to keep up with incomings and outgoings and things such as payroll, because there is not that much of it to do.
But what happens when you start getting large repeat orders and you add more staff? Headaches happen as you find yourself buried in the books, dealing with payroll, incomings and outgoings, tax returns and other tasks.
Outsourced accounting and bookkeeping is one of the easiest ways to reduce costs and give yourself much needed time to concentrate on innovative ways growing your business. Here are some six terrific reasons to delegate accounting and booking functions to an expert third party and what you should expect from them.
1 – You can focus on what matters
When you opt for outsourced accounting functions, you can allocate more manpower, resources and most critically time, to focus on core business and growth.
Small and medium-sized operations can often get bogged down when handling accounting functions in-house when compared to larger competitors simply because they have fewer resources.
You can regain that competitive edge by outsourcing these functions, securing a scalable and competitive package that suits your business needs.
By freeing your business of these tasks, you and your team can concentrate on what really matters, growing your business, making new contacts, developing new leads and having the time to come up with innovative new products and services.
2 – Accountants are experts
Would you service your big delivery van with a DIY toolbox? Even if you had a bit of University of Life experience about cars and engines, you would leave a service to check essential components such as the brakes in the hands of a mechanic.
The same holds true for accounting function. In small companies, people who tend to bookkeeping, payroll and accounting often have other tasks to do. Sometimes, they may not have even had formal training. One of the biggest dangers of in-house attempts at accounting and bookkeeping functions is making mistakes. This can be crippling if it happens at tax return stage and fines are issued.
When you choose outsourced accounting, you put your business in the safe hands of trained professionals who live for crunching numbers on a daily basis.
3 – Checks and balances
Reputation is of paramount importance to accountancy firms and as a result, they put plenty of fail-safes and safety nets in place to make sure that no errors are paid.
Accountancy firms check and double check all transactions, reports and payments to make sure that no errors are made and that all lodgments are made in a correct and timely manner.
There will always be more than one set of eyes going over all accounts at an accountancy firm. With outsourced accounting and bookkeeping functions, you are safe in the knowledge that senior accountants will always perform a second and even third check of an account to make sure that everything is in order.
If an accountancy firm is serious about the way it does things, a team leader will always perform a final check of things to be absolutely certain that everything is correct.
4 – The advantages on the cloud and modern technology
The blistering speed of development of software and cloud-based accounting over the past few years has left some businesses languishing.
Because of the speed of development, staying up to date with cloud-based accounting software can often be an extra expense.
Because of this situation, some businesses may find themselves using obsolete software or even spreadsheets to try and get the job done.
Modern accountancy firms invest in cloud-based technology. Engaging a dedicated accountancy firm to manage your affairs through the cloud means that you will be given direct access to the software so you can monitor what happens in real time, regardless of your location.
All you need to do is simply log into your account and will be able to check exactly where you stand in real time. Modern cloud technology also provides accounting firms the tools to organise all your records and documentation for future use with ease of access, rather than rifling through filing cabinets to find folders.
If your business is ever selected for auditing, cloud-based records are a lifesaver.
5 – Gaining business insights through outsourced accounting
Cloud-based accounting is not just about real-time data, numbers and online record keeping. Modern accounting software packages include features which can identify business trends, excess expenditure, budgeting, forecasting, cash flow projections and much more.
If you outsource your accounting and bookkeeping function to an accounting firm that subscribes to cloud-based solutions packages, you can take advantage of the many opportunities that these invaluable insights can give you.
Commissioning such reports from a third party would cost you a lot of money, but because modern accountancy firms have the data at hand, they can easily generate simple reports for your business.
Because most of them offer scalable packages, you can also choose whether you want a monthly, or a twice-yearly business insights report. These reports can really give your business an edge.
6 – Save on expenses
Outsourced accounting and bookkeeping to a third party can, in fact, be cheaper than hiring in-house.Employees, especially those dedicated to a single function such as accountants and bookkeepers are expensive. You have to pay their wages and salaries, as well as paying payroll tax, benefits and more.
By outsourcing these functions, you will not have to these expenses to think of. You will also save money on hardware and software to get the job done.
Choosing an accountant or bookkeeper
So you have decided to take the plunge and opt for outsourced accounting functions. You won’t regret it, but you should always keep a few things in mind before making your choice.
Experience and track record
Experience in the relevant field is something you should always give emphasis to, irrelevant of the service your require.
The internet is a treasure trove of information. Look up some firms online, check out the testimonials, contact their clients and ask about their experience.
If you think you have found a firm that matches your needs, call them and tell them what your business is about. Ask them if they have experience with similar businesses. It’s always good to match a firm’s experience to your needs.
Migrating to the cloud can be a very big step for any business and reassurance of data protection is essential. You should always make enquiries about what software the accounting firm uses. You should also ask them about their internet connection and seek assurances about data protection.
Always ask about security arrangements for your data and crucially, ask them about disaster recovery and secondary data backup.
Businesses outsource accounting and bookkeeping to save money. You should always make sure that potential providers are upfront about what they are offering and how much it will cost you.
Third party firms are aware that businesses want to save money, so they should give you a good value offer with cost benefits.
Avoid any providers that try to tie you into a restrictive contract and discuss termination terms and additional fees.
When you engage a third party accountant, you will be paying them a fee, and you should expect value for money.
The firm you choose should always be ready to help and happy to pick up the phone or answer an email if you need assistance.
You should feel comfortable working with them. Just like any other purchasing decision, go on instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, then it’s probably a good idea to speak to someone else.