Have you wondered why your business has become flat or stagnant despite your sales accomplishments? Have you considered your accounting team or accounting solution may be the cause? Many businesses struggle with little to no growth due to their internal accounting. According to The Kauffman Early Stage Entrepreneurship Index, www.kauffman.org, entrepreneurial activity is at a twenty- year high. With the increase of entrepreneurs, today’s market can be more challenging than ever. Often, businesses try to grow with little success. Many small and mid-market business owners are misinformed or uninformed about outsourced accounting options. With the evolution of the business market, shouldn’t your approach to accounting evolve?
Business.com published an article discussing eight challenges small business owners face daily, www.business.com. Of the eight challenges, six were related to accounting. Accounting can either elevate your organization or destroy it. Managing cash flow, payroll challenges, reconciling accounts, staying current on taxes, and financial analysis can be overwhelming to many business owners. When you are trying to grow your business, often, these things get pushed to the back burner. Solid accounting is often what determines whether you can obtain financing, or whether you are compliant with loan covenants and regulations. As an outsourced controller, I often hear business owners say they cannot afford to outsource or to have an accounting department. The bigger question is can you afford not to? Can you afford to have a key staff member leave without notice during your busiest time of year, while invoicing needs to go out to keep cash coming in, while you go out and sell? Chances are you cannot afford these curve balls. I have helped many clients gain an understanding of where they are, and reach their goals, all with accounting. It is the foundation of a strong business.
In house accounting and finance professionals can be costly to a business. The cost of salaries, insurance, taxes, and risk of exposure can often be reduced with outsourced accounting services. Outsourced accounting services, with the right firm, can not only save you as a business owner in overhead and insurance, but can also provide a higher level of advisory service not often available from in house staff. Ask yourself what you could do with reduced costs, increased bottom line, and increased visibility into your financial performance. Would you expect to see an increase in your net income? Outsourced accounting professionals often provide controller and CFO services along with the transaction processing of day to day business. By taking advantage of these service offerings you could elevate your business with budgets, cash forecasting, key performance indicators, succession planning, business planning, and many other options. The greatest benefit of a proper outsourced accounting solution is redundancy. With redundancy your organization is not impacted by vacation, illness, maternity leave, transitional employment or any other situation with accounting staff
When considering the option of outsourcing, do your due diligence. Determine if you need a bookkeeper or a controller. Discuss your wants with firms. If they don’t know your goals, they can’t help you reach them. Ensure that the firm has a proven success record as well as an effective business model. Verify redundancies are in place to protect you and your organization. Ask for testimonials from their current or prior clients. Ensure their model and technology solutions will fit your needs. Be sure that their software platforms are compatible with yours. Request regular, recurring meetings with your devoted team. Some firms offer on-site support while others work completely remotely, make sure you are comfortable with their offerings. It is your businesses, you want to know who is working on your account. Ask for resumes of the staff working assigned to your account. You wouldn’t hire an individual without a resume. Most importantly obtain a scope of work and fee structure. You need to set clear expectations to ensure you receive the services you want and or need.
Don’t let yourself be limited by the idea that your accounting department must be on site. Times have changed as have the resources available to your organization. Regardless of the path you choose, be sure the one in the driver’s seat of your accounting supports your business goals and growth. Their position is to successfully manage all things accounting and allow you to do what you do best, grow your business.