Rapidly increasing in popularity amongst SMEs and corporates, Outsourced Accounting is all the rage, but there are still a lot of commonly held misconceptions about it and how it works... In theory, Outsourced Accounting can work with any kind of a business from smallest start-ups, to established SMEs through to some of the biggest international organisations.
However, people often misunderstand what it is and how it works, and think that it won't work for them. Here are some of the objections that we hear to a company outsourcing its accounting operations, and why they are wrong!
We're going to recruit our own in-house accounting team
Really? Good accounting people can earn large salaries and even larger bonuses, simply because accounting is very skilful, hard work and not many people have the aptitude for it. Top accounting people naturally gravitate towards the top jobs on offer from the big corporates where they can earn six and even seven figure sums. However, working at that level is very stressful and every year some of those top people step away from the 'front line' for family or 'work life balance' reasons. A good outsourcer will recruit from this pool of people and so offer you a top notch accounting person with a proven track record that you can have working for you from as little as a day at a time. Trying to recruit these kind of people directly is nigh on impossible, and the alternative is to employ a person with less experience who is still likely to cost you a hefty salary plus 25% on top for recruitment fees ... not to mention that six months down the line you might find that even after all your training and efforts, they are not actually performing that well, and you have made an expensive mistake.
I already have my own accounting team
It's common for an SME to have a couple of accounting people who are expected to do all the accounting related work. This can be a moderately successful model, if you have found good people to work for you, but typically don't assume outsourcing won't work for you. Adding some "virtual" talent can help transform your accounting and bookkeeping.
I want to build my brand and not the brand of the Outsourcer.
A good outsourcer will help to build your brand. They will take time and trouble to get to know your company and the products and services that you need promoting. They will also assume your corporate identity, and introduce themselves as being part of the company ... they will even have a company email address. The service should fit seamlessly into your company activity, and the prospective client will have no idea that they are not actually sitting in your offices at all.
I don't want to lose control over the accounting function, and surely this is inevitable with Outsourcing.
Good communication lies at the heart of a good outsourcing service, and when you are in discussions, this should be one of the core issues that you should investigate. Our philosophy is that we would rather over communicate! All our clients are advised at the beginning of the project when the caller will be working and they will receive regular feedbacks by phone, email and spreadsheet to show what progress has been made in a day.
We don't need someone full-time
One of the main advantages of Outsourced Accounting is its flexibility. You might start off needing as little as one day a week ... but then you might want to launch a new project, and suddenly want a lot more resource. This can be arranged with very little notice, and reduced back down again afterwards. This kind of flexibility simply isn't possible with staff and you certainly don't get the correct level of skill with a temp.