LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
Frequently Asked Questions About Outsourcing Your Accounting
SCOTT MILLER, CLIENT ADVISORY SERVICES DIRECTOR
When you first launched your company, you may have been wearing a lot of hats. If you needed to drum up business and start building your brand, you were your own sales and marketing department. You ordered your own supplies. You were responsible for providing services and/or ensuring you had products to sell. You crunched numbers, sent invoices, and balanced the books.
If you’ve grown to the point where you simply don’t have time for financial bookkeeping anymore, you have two choices: Hire an employee to take it over or outsource it. Here are some of the questions small businesses often have about outsourcing their accounting.
What is outsourcing?
You probably already outsource some functions of your business. You might get outside expert help in areas like graphic design and IT services. Accounting is no different. It’s the practice of hiring an accounting firm to handle some or all of your bookkeeping.
I don’t want to give up control of my company’s finances. Wouldn’t outsourcing distance me from them?
No. You still handle some of the day-to-day accounting work, like sending invoices and receiving payments. You still make the major decisions, and your accounting firm keeps you constantly in the loop on your financial health.
What accounting tasks could I outsource?
As much or as little as you want. Your team could, for example:
- Keep accounts reconciled.
- Generate financial reports.
- Streamline your in-house bookkeeping work by helping you use technology better.
- Provide specialized accounting guidance.
- Analyze your company’s financial information so you have a clearer path to decision-making.
- Help with income tax planning throughout the year and prepare your returns.
- Alert you to potential problems.
I already use QuickBooks. Would I have to start over with new accounting software?
No. Your team will be able to access your QuickBooks company file and can work with you on keeping it updated and accurate.
Is it cost-effective?
Think about how expensive and sometimes inconvenient a new employee would be. You’d have to provide salary and benefits, as well as office space, supplies, and equipment. What happens if the worker has a prolonged absence or even a vacation? Who would step in to take over the accounting?
When you outsource, you don’t have any of those costs. And there’s generally more than one person who’s familiar with your needs, so there shouldn’t be any breaks in service.
How do I know when it’s time to outsource my accounting?
Outsourcing your accounting frees you up to do the work that only you as a manager can do, all of the planning and strategizing and troubleshooting and interacting with employees and external contacts. When you find yourself unable to handle those responsibilities as you should, it’s time. Maybe even before it gets to that point.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SCOTT MILLER + CLIENT ADVISORY SERVICES DIRECTOR
Scott Miller is a Client Advisory Services Director at Lutz with over 16 years of related experience. He specializes in business consulting for closely held companies and outsourced accounting replacement services.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Outsourced Accounting Replacement Services
- Business Consulting
- Operational Analysis
- Provider Compensation
- Financial Benchmarking
- Strategic Planning
- Professional Services Industry
- Private Practice Healthcare Industry
- Dental Practices
- Construction Industry
- Restaurant Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Certified Public Accountant
- BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE
- Creighton Prep Alumni Board of Trustees, Past Member
- Ridgefield Homeowners Association, Treasurer
- Omaha Suburban Baseball Association, Board Member
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