There are times when bookkeeping for a business can be relatively simple. And, there are times when the bookkeeping and accounting you have are not up to the challenges of a growing business. In fact, inadequate accounting can often be a drag on the growth of your business. What we want to look at is when should your growing business outsource its accounting? And, for that matter, what should you expect from your accounting at any stage of your company’s growth?
When you hire someone to do your books it is an act of trust. You are inviting a stranger into your business and into your life. So, you will require professionalism and if that is lacking you will find another bookkeeper or accountant. At a minimum, your accountant will tally up the numbers, provide summaries to you, and do your tax returns. Beyond that what should you expect and how will your choice of accountant affect your business?
Just crunching the numbers is not enough. A good accountant acts like a partner in furthering the goals of your business. At Exigo Business Solutions in the Kansas City area, we commonly note that your profits are our passion. The goal of good accounting goes far beyond accurate and timely keeping the books. The goal of good accounting is to optimize the functioning of your business through reports that provide actionable insights.
In order for this to work most efficiently, your accountant needs to deal closely with key people in your business, be made aware of expansion plans, perceived problems, and any other issues. You will want to work with someone who has your best interests at heart and sees their success tied to yours. To the extent that you want your business to prosper and grow, you may wish to outsource your accounting to find the correct fit.
When you run a business, you need to deal with many issues both large and small. A big reason for having a competent accountant is to have someone who takes the initiative to identify both problems and opportunities in your finances. Is your budgeting effective? Is your cash flow efficient or are you leaving money to lie stagnant when it could be used to make more money? Are the business opportunities that are hiding in your books? And, are you taking the most profitable work or doing too much work essentially for free while not having the time to take on other tasks? A proactive accountant armed with business intelligence software like QBAR or Microsoft Power BI can help you spot opportunities that were hidden in columns of figures. A proactive accountant is integral to the success of a growing business in their role as a finder of problems and identifier of opportunities.
Your accountant is not the person whom you want to leave you waiting for a reply to an important question. Although a competent accountant will have many clients, you need someone who is sufficiently organized and diligent so that your questions and your problems don’t languish in the “inbox.”
Likewise, you want someone who acts on what you tell them or ask them. Many times the answer to an accounting problem requires a bit of effort to find. If you want your business to prosper and grow, you need someone who finds answers to your questions instead of giving you an indifferent reply.
A common opinion of accountants is that they are rigid types who are locked into adding and subtracting columns of numbers. While this may be true at times, it must never be true with your accounting. If you are getting rigid accounting and thinking in house, it is time to outsource your accounting and it will pay for itself in new and fresh ideas and the tracking down and stamping out of hidden business costs. Innovation thrives in flexible environments. Your accountant needs to be part of this picture in a growing business.
This is really the key issue when you decide to outsource your accounting. You are looking for someone whose advice is as important as their accounting skills. At a minimum, your accountant should always be accurate and on time. But, when you have someone who recognizes when QuickBooks Online is a better choice than QuickBooks desktop or when your business in several locations needs Gravity Software, you have someone who is routinely adding value to your business as it grows.
As businesses grow and especially as they work out of multiple locations, have employees roaming the country or the world look for clients, or simply have a boss who likes to work while on the go, a cloud-based accounting solution is critical. At Exigo Business Solutions we recommend QuickBooks Online for many of our clients. This robust accounting software works where you work and allows employees to collaborate in real time from anywhere there are internet connections.
When you use QuickBooks Online you are always using the most up to date version. Having an accountant who is up to date with a cloud-based approach to accounting is critical to success and growth in this day and age.
Answer this question by going through this article and treating each section as part of a checklist. If you find yourself checking off two or ever one section as an issue for you, you should consider outsourcing.
For more insights on this issue feel free to contact us at Exigo Business Solutions in the Kansas City Area.