Nearly half of all small businesses don’t employ an accountant or a bookkeeper. In an attempt to be more effective and more cost efficient, many organizations—specifically those with a small staff—often assign ownership of accounting functions to an employee who has other administrative duties instead of delegating those projects to a professional accountant. While this is a common occurrence among small and medium-sized organizations, there are obvious dangers; even though this tactic is often implemented as a cost-saving measure, the side effects may be even more expensive to resolve.
Because they often do not have a thorough background and context in accounting, these employees who have been assigned accounting functions de facto may be more likely to make a technical error, which may cost your business much more to remediate in the long run. And, if you are utilizing an employee who is not an accountant to complete accounting duties on top of their other responsibilities, they are also not being utilized to their fullest potential and to your business’s advantage, which can also be an expensive danger concerning time and retention costs. If you as a business owner are managing your company’s accounting functions, the hazard becomes even more tangible and alarming. Quality of work, time and cost are all at stake.
Savvy Businesses Demand Trained Accountants
The bottom line is that businesses that seek to be financially savvy and compliant need a professionally-trained accountant to conduct their accounting. This not only skyrockets the probability that your company’s financial projects will be completed without a serious technical error, but it also increases the overall efficiency of your business’s operations, boosts productivity and allows your employees to focus on their responsibilities and your business’s growth.
If you don’t have the resources to employ your business’s own full-time, in-house accountant, there are still viable options to keep your finances and functions on the right course. Consider bringing an accountant onto your staff part time or outsourcing your accounting functions altogether. A recent survey by Clutch determined that 22% of small businesses that do have a professional accountant either have a part-time one or an outsourced one. Outsourcing accounting is a particularly practical option for those organizations that can’t justify the cost of making a new accounting hire but that still understand the importance of increasing the efficiency of their business operations. Outsourcing provides the same assurance and quality as hiring an accountant for your business at a fraction of the cost.
Outsourced Accounting is a Viable Option for Many Businesses
Outsourcing accounting can be a huge benefit for many organizations, though it can be hard to know how to find the right fit in an accounting firm. In order to ensure success with the accounting firm you choose to outsource your accounting functions, we have outlined a few tips to keep in mind:
1) Evaluate Your Outsourced Accountant like You Would an Employee
When you’re looking for the right accounting firm, evaluate them the same way you would a potential employee. Think carefully about their experience, the number of years they’ve been in business, and what their references and past clients are saying about them. And, finding a firm with a dedicated team that specializes in offering these types of outsourced services will likely provide you with personnel who are more experienced and familiar with providing them.
2) Keep in Touch with Your Outsourced Accountant
Outsourcing doesn’t mean sacrificing all control and never checking in with your accounting firm. The best way to ensure that everything is being handled properly is to check in periodically and communicate with the accountants who are handling things for you. If you’ve picked a reputable firm, chances are that their team members will strive to maintain contact with you in the first place. This also opens the window for your outsourced accountants to provide insight into ways your company may be able to improve what you are already doing.
3) Consider the Information Transfer Process Your Outsourced Accountant Uses
When you’re considering working with a particular accounting firm, be sure to consider the procedure they use for sharing information. There are two aspects of information sharing to consider: responsiveness and security. How are you going to communicate with them? What communication procedures do they have in place? What is their average response time? How do they protect the information that you share? Having this knowledge allows you the luxury of knowing that your data is secure and that communication processes are in line with the way your own business operates.
Outsourcing Your Accounting Services
By delegating your business’s accounting functions to an accountant, you’ll likely see improvements in your office’s efficiency, and you’ll have more time to focus on other aspects of your business. Outsourcing in particular is an effective way to increase your business’s efficiency without jeopardizing quality. In order to experience the benefits of outsourcing, though, you need to make sure you’re outsourcing to the right accounting firm.
Warren Averett has the expertise to provide outsourced accounting, payroll and CFO/Controller services, which allows our clients the freedom to focus on other needs of their business while knowing that their accounting and financial operations are being maintained by knowledgeable accountants.