You've Hired An Outsourced Accounting Firm, Now What Happens?
August 30, 2022 •ROARK
Finding the right outsourced accounting firm to outsource your financial operations takes time and a fair amount of research. We understand the process can seem overwhelming if you’re not familiar with which services you actually need or the expectations of outsourcing – we’re here to help!
While you’ve likely discussed the benefits of outsourcing services to an accounting and finance firm with your team, and weighed the cost of hiring an outsourcing firm vs. hiring an in-house accountant, some still might have questions about how the whole thing will work and what to expect from the partnership.
Once you’ve decided on which accounting firm you’re going to bring into your organization, it’s also essential to communicate to your team what happens next. Clarifying expectations about what happens after bringing the firm on and services begin will ensure everyone is on the same page.
You’re in luck! Here we’ll go over all of the answers to the most common questions about what happens after you’ve hired an accounting firm to help with your business.
Outsourced Accounting Firms Will Conduct A Finance & Accounting Assessment.
First, a finance & accounting assessment will help outsourced providers understand your business more thoroughly and help identify key areas where your business can benefit from improved finance and accounting.
During the assessment, expect firms to review your business and current processes, including:
- Business Objectives & Issues
- Understand Your Business - business plans, strategy, culture, and how you manage financial information currently
- Identify Compliance Needs
- Financial Planning & Reporting
- Period End Financial Close
- Accounting Accounts Payable/Receivables
- Treasury & Cash Management
Upon completion of the assessment, an outsourced finance and accounting firm can provide recommendations for any immediate needs you may have in terms of projects to be onboarded or recommend finance and accounting packages best for your business.
This assessment allows a business owner:
- Get a clear understanding of your business' finance and accounting needs.
- Receive tailored recommendations for improvement in these areas.
- Transform your business and achieve your goals.
- Feel confident that you're making the most of your finances and accounting.
Everything Else Accounting Firms Can Do for Your Business
With an outsourced accounting firm, you can trust that your actual revenue and expenses are accurate. An accounting firm employs accountants and finance professionals with years of education and experience. They can accurately calculate revenues and expenses while making specific recommendations. Outsourced firms are also skilled at consulting if there is ambiguity in your financial operations – but the functions don’t stop there.
1. Manage Accounts
In addition to accurately processing transactions, an outsourced accounting firm can manage your accounts entirely. For example, they can create and maintain an aging schedule, so you’ll know if customers are slipping on payments or fraudulent activity is occurring. In addition, an outsourced accounting firm can help you collect overdue payments or pass them to third-party debt collectors.
2. Keep Current
Outsourced financial firms can also ensure invoices are reviewed and paid on time, ensuring your account payables are accurate and current. Lastly, the firm can oversee payroll. Their experts can review employee tax forms and payroll taxes and ensure that paychecks are processed accurately and delivered on time.
3. Increase Efficiency
Outsourcing accounting services save you precious time and resources that are better spent focusing on the parts of your business that need your full attention. In addition, when you let the accounting team use their specialized skills, you can work towards achieving maximum productivity and increasing your business income.
4. Provide Security
Outsourcing your accounting services can provide security with:
- Two Factor Authentication
- Single Sign-On
- Standard Operating Procedures
- Access to Data in Secure Environments
- Administrative Controls.
Most outsourcers are actually using the client's company tools (like an ERP system) or providing access to data, so it's not only available to one employee. This is a common issue with firms that only have a single accountant or controller on staff - when they leave, sometimes all the data goes with them, or is lost in emails, etc.
At ROARK, we understand these problems because we have had many clients come to us in the past worried because their controller left and the business owner can’t find any of the vital information since it was left somewhere like an unknown file on a desktop or buried in old emails.
5. Access Resources
Outsourced financial firms employ more than just accountants. They have multiple financial experts on hand to review, analyze, and manage clients’ diverse needs. Where you may not see minute issues with your accounting, they identify and immediately take measures to prevent them from becoming a big enough problem for any layperson to recognize.
6. Offer Flexibility
When working with a finance and accounting outsourcing firm, you get a customized solution for your needs. For example, you can add additional financial operations as your business grows. And if you hit a slow time, you can delete functions you would instead handle yourself. This is far more economical and thoughtful than downsizing a person or position with the same approach to budget cuts.
7. Advance Technology
With increased training and improved advances in tech, an outsourced financial firm can access cutting-edge resources and software to stay competitive. However, these technologies are expensive and frequently change, requiring upgrades that cost additional money. Investing in certain technologies doesn't make sense unless your business is specifically in the financial sector.
While many companies will need to purchase their own license to use cloud-based technologies, the outsource accounting agency can provide a list of recommendations on great cloud-based software that:
- Integrate with their systems
- Meet their needs
- They are not as expensive as enterprise tools
What Are the Basic Services Provided by an Outsourced Finance and Accounting Firm?
While different firms offer a wide variety of different services, many businesses choose similar services or packages simply because businesses share similar needs. However, to be sure that your specific needs will be met, schedule a consultation before outsourcing services.
1. Financial Protection
It’s no secret that economic conditions consistently change, and an accounting firm can help eliminate or minimize the impacts of decreasing your workforce. In addition, because the accounting firm manages its own team of professionals, you can feel confident that you won’t lose financial protection with staff reductions to meet any necessary budget cuts.
Just like with data security, accounting firms are duty-bound to keep your information confidential. Accounting and finance are their core functions, and they understand that your financial information is strictly between only the firm and you. However, if you need an extra layer of protection, request the firm sign a nondisclosure agreement and get all the details in writing.
3. Financial Reports & Forecasting
An outsourced accounting firm uses reporting software to provide critical financial information to keep your business running smoothly. This information helps you to be proactive and talk with other stakeholders or your financial institution about a line of credit or to find areas to cut expenses. Accounting firms offer information on essential systems for successful operation:
- Which KPIs are important in your company and industry
- Breakdown of your customer acquisition cost
- Budget improvements based on specific tracking reports
- Cash flow projections to notify you of any emergencies
4. Fraud Detection/Internal Controls
Whenever you sell products or services, you’re susceptible to fraud. From fraudulent returns, defaulting on payments, or illegally accessing information, fraud can hurt your business significantly. An accounting firm consistently tracks your finances, investigates inaccuracies, and has software in place to detect fraud. From there, the firm can advise on fraud prevention processes to help avoid it from ever happening or recover after the fact.
Choose Confidently – Choose ROARK
Partnering with the right outsourced accounting firm is critical to your business success. ROARK has both the expertise and experience to help your business take advantage of all the benefits of financial management while giving you the peace of mind that your finances are in good hands.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help your business outsource to be more successful now and in the future, schedule a no-risk consultation with us today. We can’t wait to talk with you about whether outsourcing your accounting and finances is the right fit for your business.