Should you outsource your accounting?

By Stacey Gorowitz, CPA, MBA

shutterstock_90912185Has your business needs outgrown the capabilities of your bookkeeper? Do you spend more time that you’d like supervising her? Were you surprised (and unprepared) by unexpected CPA fees and expensive surprises at tax time because your books weren’t in the shape you thought they were?

When you are running a business, it’s often tempting to keep a tight rein on your operations by keeping services like accounting in-house. After all, you’re one smart cookie and should be able to handle a few simple debits and credits, right? Not so fast.

What often gets owners and managers in hot water at tax time is that, unfortunately, business accounting isn’t always straightforward and very rarely is it simple. For many, outsourcing their internal accounting can be a great way to keep their books balanced and in order while allowing them to focus on providing the best products and services to their clients.

Call it leading with your strengths, sticking to your knitting or simply doing what you do best, but there are distinct advantages to hiring an outside expert to handle these tasks so you can focus on bringing in revenue. There are a few cons too…

PROS

  • Having an expert do it right the first time
  • Expert advisory and consultation to identify money-saving opportunities
  • Allows owners/managers to focus on the primary business
  • Value of expertise and potential tax savings often outweigh the expense
  • No need to hire additional staff and incur expenses of training, benefits and salary
  • Added confidence and less stress surrounding record-keeping and taxes

CONS

  • Your financial information is known by an outside entity
  • Can be a learning curve if accountant isn’t familiar with your industry
  • Accountant is not based in your office

Often, many of the cons can be avoided as long as you’ve properly vetted your outsourcing options. Reputable firms that provide these services will know and understand your industry. And while there will always be somewhat of a lag in communication since they aren’t in an office just down the hall, most are very responsive and quick to provide answers to your questions.

Admittedly we are a bit biased when it comes to outsourced accounting, but we don’t just talk the talk; we also walk the walk. For needs that don’t fall within our primary focus area but are necessary for running our own firm, we work with outsourced vendors too. We find the value of their expertise and the overall time and effort saved on our end is definitely justified.

Ultimately, it’s important to view outsourcing your accounting not as an expense, but as an investment in helping your business grow. Curious how it could work for your company? Give us a call!

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