When Is It Time for Small Businesses to Outsource Accounting?

Small businesses tend to keep their accounting efforts in-house. This makes sense. When you have a smaller revenue, accounting services take up a larger percentage of your budget, seemingly limiting how much you have to reinvest back into your business. Only considering the cost, however, is a mistake that can limit your immediate growth.

Time is Greater Than Money

Don’t limit your view to the immediate monetary cost. If you had that mentality when beginning your business, you would never have made the initial investment. Rather, outsourcing your accounting will free up more time for you to use in other ways.

Team Building

Hiring new employees costs a lot of money. Creating a sense of community between your employees can help reduce turnover. Whether company sailing trips or office Nerf gun battles are more appropriate for your office, shaping an environment people want to be part of building enthusiasm.

Learn Management Skills

Building your company you knew what you wanted. To make it a reality you approached each job with a sharp eye for detail and countless hours at the grind putting the pieces together. These skills, which you used to build your startup are all essential, but management and leadership skills are a different animal altogether, one that you can improve on from studying different seminars, attending classes, and reading books on the subject.

Networking

Spend that time building stronger relationships with your customers. Check in with them personally to see how things are going from their perspective. Ask what they appreciate the most about your services, and what they believe you can improve at. If they are your client already, showing that you are proactive about improving your services for them can only be a boon to their confidence in your growth and ability to help them.

No Bookkeeper? No Problem

If you have been depending on your own in-house bookkeeper, you have a different set of issues to tackle. What’s going to happen if your bookkeeper is too sick to work, goes on vacation, or quits?
If you are in this position and wait too long, stress will likely push you into outsourcing. You’ll lose your bookkeeper and feel lost, looking for assurance that your books are accurate and on time, never being 100% confident that all of your documents are accurate and following the letter of the law. Should either of these spring up to bite you, you’ll be dealing with a mixture of overdue data entry, inaccurate reports, and outdated financial processes. Each of these is a costly problem on its own, but when combined, you need to break out the financial life support.

Outsourcing to an established accounting and consultation agency completely eliminates these problems.

Beyond “Bean Counting”

Whether you are still working through the startup phase or are plowing ahead with 10 years of experience, outsourcing your accounting offers the following benefits.

Resource Networks

Beyond accounting services and keeping you tax compliant, we are able to connect you with our client network to provide you other services as well. Graphic design, legal help, and tech support are all available to our clients through our network of affiliates and clients working together to support one another.

Growth Consultation

When growing your business, you need to be prepared with an infrastructure strong enough to bear the expansion. This includes having the right technology, tax planning, IT infrastructure, and business growth strategies. Growing pains can turn forward progress into a stagger for any business. Having professional consultation on how to prepare for those pains, however, can make them seem non-existent. No two companies are the same, however, and that is why you should have an accounting firm apply a personalized consultation instead of a one-size-fits-all generalized approach.

What to Look For

When you do start browsing options for outsourced accounting, there are a few things to look for that will ensure reliable service.

Check the vendor’s pool of qualifications. This will include certifications from organizations such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB), Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA), and the (Association of Accounting Technicians).

Next, interview your CPA. Determine if you trust them. Three questions to begin with include:

  • How can the CPA help you make more money?
    • Can they answer the question without throwing a bunch of jargon around? Direct questions deserve direct answers, and if they can’t provide that, they likely don’t know what they’re doing.
  • Do the same people always service your account?
    • Ideally you want to work with the same person  over time instead of whoever has time to pick up your account. This way, you can build a relationship with the CPA servicing your account. When you each understand how the other works you can streamline the process between one-another.
  • How are your other clients?
    • Different industries have to adhere to different regulations. They should have specific knowledge and experience to your industry, or a vested interest in making your industry a niche for them to work in. A CPA that has only ever worked with wealthy individuals before would not be able to adequately support a smaller business. Make sure that’s not the case.