Five Steps to Transform Financial Accounting from a Headache to a Competitive Advantage
Accurate and up-to-date financial information can be a powerful tool for growing businesses. With reliable financial information, business owners can make better strategic decisions, secure resources and increase profitability. While there is no doubt that financial information can be an important competitive advantage, for some business owners, the process of gathering, compiling and reporting financial information can be a serious drain on organizational resources.
So how can you get powerful financial information in your hands without slowing down your business to put it together? You might want to consider outsourcing your entire accounting function. The fact is many small-business owners struggle to find the right solution for their accounting needs. They need timely and accurate financial information, but they aren’t yet large enough to require a full time controller or chief financial officer. Many business owners struggle through their monthly accounting on their own, spending valuable time counting money when they could be making money, while others hire part-time bookkeepers and often fail to get consistent results and records.
If you find your organization struggling to get value from financial information, or you find yourself spending too much of your own time managing accounting processes, perhaps you should consider partnering with an accounting firm that specializes in providing outsourced accounting services. Here are a few tips that will help your organization benefit from outsourced accounting.
- Gain an understanding of available services and how they can integrate with your organization.
Having their financials and accounting processes evolve from a tedious and often overlooked burden to a streamlined solution can enable businesses to grow more quickly and profitability. From start-ups to thriving companies, more and more businesses are turning to outside firms to provide the additional accounting services that they need.It is very common for growing businesses to have one person with multiple responsibilities where day to day bookkeeping is completed by employees without significant experience in financial accounting. As the business expands, it also needs greater financial sophistication and expertise. Working with an outsourced accounting provider can allow the business to acquire expert services without the risk and investment of a new hire.Many accounting firms have assembled business service teams that provide tailored payroll, bookkeeping, accounting technology, financial reporting and even tax planning services. These teams work with businesses of all sizes; however, they are particularly useful for growing businesses that need help, but may not yet require an internal accounting department. Essentially, outsourced accounting partners can provide extremely high-level assistance, whether in bookkeeping or strategic financial planning, in just the amount needed by each client organization.
Many outsourced accounting teams also offer services such as project costing and accounting system design and implementation, and even point of sale system specification and integration. Finding the right outsourced accounting provider could save your business a lot of time and money, enabling you to capitalize on growth opportunities.
- Determine whether outsourced accounting can help your business.As a business owner, if you feel like you are making too many decisions without the information you need, or if you find yourself scrambling to compile financial information when an opportunity or decision arises, it is probably time to look for outside help.When accounting is distracting key employees and business owners from the core function of their business, bookkeeping has become a liability, rather than a value driver. When you are distracted from your core business practices, you run the risk of alienating customers or missing opportunities. In this case, outsourcing your accounting needs can not only provide much needed resources, but can actually help restore the focus of your organization.
- Expect a lot from your outsourced accounting partner.You don’t make the decision to outsource your accounting activities to get the same results you’ve been getting. Your outsourced accounting partner should help you do things more efficiently, leveraging the latest technology and tools to keep you efficient and informed. You future success requires you to act proactively. Your accounting partner should help you stay ahead of new technology and opportunities, while also helping you organize and analyze critical financial data.Insist that your accounting partner uses technology to make your organization more efficient. Cloud-based solutions can allow off-site personnel to provide the on-demand support that you need. If your outsourced accountant isn’t leading with technology, they are probably costing you time and money.
- Choose the right provider.Start by finding an accounting provider that has experience in your industry and has the resources of a full-service accounting advisory firm. Be sure to get referrals and check references as not all providers deliver what they promise. Firms that specialize in outsourced accounting and accounting technology are generally the best equipped to bring value. There are a lot of “bookkeeping” companies that claim to offer business services, but they often lack the expertise, infrastructure and technology to provide a differentiating service.Before choosing a provider, take the time to communicate your expectations. This will help you ensure that your new partner can handle both your current and future needs. Be clear about what you expect from the relationship – otherwise you may find yourself with a headache rather than a solution.
- Build a plan and a relationship.Always work with a partner that focuses on building long-term relationships with their clients. You want a partner that is invested in your success. If your provider is truly engaged, they will spend the time to get to know you before they implement a solution. A good accounting advisor can identify critical functions that will provide strategic value to your business. From there, you can develop a plan that will help you transform your financial accounting into a value creating business unit for your entire organization.If managing your organization’s accounting is providing more trouble than the value it creates, it might be time to look for help. At Presti & Naegele, we combine accounting experience and expertise with cutting edge accounting technology to help our clients stay informed and ahead. Contact Presti & Naegele at 212-736-0055 or firstname.lastname@example.org today to find out more about what our outsourced accounting team can do for you.