As every small business owner learns within the first few weeks or months of being open for business, you can’t do it all yourself.
Sometimes you have to when there simply isn’t enough revenue coming in to hire anyone else. But at some point, you’ve got to start handing tasks over to other people or you’ll burn out from exhaustion.
To build a company that goes the distance, you’ve got to have some help. That’s where taking advantage of outsourced accounting services could be one of the smartest things you ever do.
In this post, we’ll dive into what professional accounting services provide and how they can go way beyond basic bookkeeping to help you grow your business.
Professional Accounting Services
Money is the lifeblood of your company. If it’s not coming in, you won’t stay in business. If it’s not being spent wisely, you won’t survive that either. Since accounting is a part of every single thing you do in your small business, you absolutely need to make sure you’re staying on top of it every single day.
You can do quite a bit of it yourself (recording transactions, balancing accounts, creating financial statements, etc.). However, the busier you get the more likely you are to get sloppy with your record-keeping or make simple accounting mistakes. And those little things can end up costing you a lot of money.
Professional accounting services exist to help busy business owners like you keep their books from becoming a financial mess. 1800accountant.com created a helpful infographic on “what do accounting services include?” that gives you a good at-a-glance idea of what a good accountant can do for you.
Among the services a professional accountant provides, they list:
- Maintaining thorough records
- Financial statements
- Accounts payable and receivable
- Tax preparation and consulting
Beyond just handling mundane calculations for you, a good professional accounting service will help you keep an eye on the financial health of your company. Ideally, they’ll be as interested in your success as you are.
Their expertise in finances, complicated tax regulations, and compliance issues will help you breathe easier. And by keeping a sharp eye on your financial situation, they can help you avoid pitfalls and take advantage of great opportunities at just the right time.
(For further reading: Be sure to take a look at another post we did on how much you should pay for bookkeeping services for your small business.)
Outsourced Accounting Services
Once you decide that you are ready to trust your financial management to a pro, there’s something important that you need to keep in mind. You don’t have to hire in-house or go sit in an office somewhere anymore.
There was a time (not that long ago) that you would have to physically meet with your accountant in order for things to get done. They might work on your staff full-time, or come to your place of business. OIr you might even have to haul boxes of records and receipts to their office. But, thankfully, those days are over!
Technology and cloud computing make it so easy to have outsourced accounting services now. It’s a wonder why anyone does it any other way!
Here are 4 quick benefits of outsourcing your accounting:
- Accurate numbers
You can’t afford to operate with bad information. Even the smallest accounting mistake could end up costing you significant amounts of money. It is absolutely essential that you have numbers you can trust when you’re making business decisions.
- Expert Advice
An outsourced accountant working for you has likely been in the profession for a long time. They also have several other clients with businesses like yours. This experience puts them in a great position to provide you with excellent advice as you process the accurate numbers they deliver.
- Timely Custom Reports
When you’ve got an outsourced accountant on your side, you can call on them to provide exactly the reports you need. That way, you can know your actual financial situation at any given time.
Who among us enjoys overpaying for anything? Or not feeling like we’ve gotten our money’s worth?
Most small businesses don’t need an accountant for 40+ hours each week. In fact, a lot of people only need someone to close out their books at the end of the month. Instead of paying someone to sit around when they aren’t being productive, hiring an outsourced accountant allows you the flexibility of only paying for what you need when you need it.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping and payroll is one of the solutions we recommend to the 4 simple accounting mistakes that are costing your business money.
We regularly tell our clients that they deserve to “expect more from your CPA.” Far too many small business owners are struggling to succeed because of inexperienced or sloppy accountants.
They know they need a bookkeeper to help them keep track of financial data entry, so they hire the first person they find who doesn’t charge very much. And since anyone can be a bookkeeper (no certification is required), they may or may not be getting someone who actually knows what they’re doing!
That’s why you should look to partner with an accounting firm that goes beyond bookkeeping. Find certified CPAs who have a track record of helping small businesses win and take advantage of all the services that a team of real accounting professionals can deliver.
Here are just a few ways that a good accounting firm can go beyond bookkeeping for you:
Financial Reporting and Analysis
If your bookkeeper or accountant is only creating reports from data they’ve entered into your accounting software, you’re not getting your money’s worth from them. A good accounting service should be able to also help you understand what the numbers represent.
By providing a comprehensive financial analysis of your data, your accountant’s insights can become a valuable part of your decision-making process. Without it, though, you’re just guessing…and potentially making expensive mistakes.
Avoid These 9 Common (and Costly) Accounting Mistakes
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Budgeting and Forecasting Services
As financial guru, Dave Ramsey is fond of saying, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
A good accounting service is able to work with you to create a realistic budget that is based on the real-world operation of your business. It’s something that takes time, which is why a lot of basic bookkeeping services don’t bother to offer it.
A good accounting firm understands the value of getting to know you and your business so they can help you build a budget that maximizes every dollar. Then you’ll be able to begin forecasting your business growth better and better.
(Budgeting and forecasting are just a couple of the many part-time CFO services we provide, and they’ve been a game-changer for many of our clients.)
Strategic Financial Management
Once your money is under control and headed in the right direction, you’ll want to be sure that your accounting service is able to help you with strategic financial management which will ensure the longevity of the company you’ve been working so hard to build.
Larger companies have a full-time CFO on staff whose primary role is to manage the financial risks and financial management of the business. Small business owners, however, don’t have the resources to hire someone like that…yet.
For that reason, we decided years ago to start providing “as needed” CFO consulting as part of what we offer our clients. Now, small businesses can benefit from the experienced support of a professional financial manager at a fraction of the cost.
Payroll & HR Services
Managing payroll well is one of the biggest ongoing struggles that small business owners face. Every couple of weeks they’ve got to stop what they’re doing to be absolutely certain that their staff is paid accurately, on time, and with the proper taxes withheld and reported.
(It’s something we wrote about recently in a post titled [insert 7/12 final title]. You’ll want to check that out if you’re ready to hand your payroll headaches over to someone else.)
In order to get to where payroll is necessary, though, you’ve got to have employees. Finding and hiring quality workers can be its own unique challenge.
So whatever HR-related issue you’re facing, be sure the accounting firm you work with is able to help you
- Use your staff more efficiently and reduce overhead by removing the need for specialized employees.
- Eliminate the need for endless data entry and staying on top of legal updates.
- Remove the risks associated with calculating and filing your own payroll taxes.
- Focus on your core competencies.
That’s what our payroll and HR support pros do for our clients every day.
Comprehensive Financial Solutions
In fact, providing comprehensive financial solutions for our clients is the core of our business. We go way beyond bookkeeping to becoming a key part of their small business success team. It’s something we’ve been doing well for over 40 years now, so schedule a call today to find out how our accounting and business experts can help you grow your company and win the day.