Many businesses are divesting themselves of their in-house accounting function and transitioning to Outsourced Accounting Services. There are many reasons for this. Smaller businesses can become overwhelmed with all the taxation and payroll requirements, new reporting laws, and so on, whilst larger SMB's find they get a larger talent pool with a diverse range of skill sets when they outsource. The only business owners who like doing their accounts are probably accountants – all others prefer to spend time on other aspects of business where their talents lie.
More and more businesses are looking to outsourcing accounting
More than a third of small businesses currently outsource at least some of their operations. Post-Covid, businesses are assessing their future and outsourcing their accounting could make a lot of sense. If your business is one of them, there are some great benefits if you choose to divesting your accounting role/s to an expert. It will free up staff to work on what they do best and free up office space, not to mention the benefits that tapping into a source of expertise that is currently not available in the business.
One huge advantage is that instead of paying a staff member to do your accounts (with its related costs of super contributions, OH&S and other entitlements), you might merely pay a flat monthly fee to have it all done for you.
Related: How to get the most out of your Accountant
Outsourcing your Accounting & Payroll function
Outsourcing your accounts, however, can feel like stepping into the unknown. The transition period can be awkward so here are our main tips for a smooth and successful process.
1. Do your research
Research many accounting services before making a decision. Different accountants specialise in different types of accounting. For instance, some accounting firms focus on large-scale businesses and they may have their outsourced centres overseas – that may be of no use to you if you are an SMB (small- to medium-sized business). You need to be able to identify your business needs to know exactly what you want from their services. Be honest with them, set long- and short-term goals and check that they are not only efficient but effective. The transition period should be stress-free and streamlined. If not, that could be a sign you need to choose another accounting business to work with. It is much better to try a few to get the right one than settle for the first you contact because it’s ‘easier’ and saves you time.
Related: Why its time to outsource your Payroll function
2. Plan ahead
The process of transitioning from in-house to outsourced accounting can be lengthy, so you need to plan well ahead and factor in enough time. Ask your accountant for an estimated time for transition. Depending on the nature of your accounts and the time of year (EOFY, Christmas), this could be anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. If at all possible, it’s a good idea to choose a time to transition when your business is a bit quieter.
3. Communicate well
Communication is probably the most important element when it comes to transitioning from in-house to outsourced accounting. Be sure to set clear boundaries and guidelines from the start with your new accountant. Let them know of any obstacles your business may be facing as this will enable your new accountants to resolve these from the start. Articulate all your business and financial goals well so that they can work towards them straightaway and you can see greater results sooner. Make sure your whole team is on board, and keep open communication flowing between your business and your new accountants, not only during the transition period, but as a standard practice for the future.
4. Don’t hesitate to ask questions
Never be afraid to ask your accountants questions. Even though you are hiring an expert in accounting, you can’t leave everything to them. You still need to have an understanding of what’s going on within your business and ensure that that the accountant’s and your teams are happy and working towards the same goal.
Here are our 5 questions to ask before you commit to outsourcing your Accounting function:
- Does the outsourced accounting match your companies' needs?
- Does the outsourcing accounting service have a traceable track record?
- How much will you save?
- Can outsourced accounting service provider can meet your demands without delay?
- Are the outsourced accountants good at their job & what is their expertise in your industry? Are they located in Australia or overseas?
Why Azure Group as your outsourced service provider?
If you’re thinking of making the switch from in-house to outsourced accounting, seek advice and get in touch with us. We are here to help and to make this process as smooth and comfortable as possible. You’re outsourcing to save money, not to save on quality – we guarantee both.
Azure Group have a specialist Business Accounting team, all located in Australia who manage the outsourced accounting function for a myriad of businesses. Our team consists of highly talented and experienced accountants led by senior finance executives who each have substantial commercial background and have worked with various sizes businesses across a wide range of industries.
We believe in delivering remarkable outcomes for our clients by taking the time to UNDERSTAND where they have been, where they are now and where they want to be.
Related: The benefits of Outsourcing your Payroll and how to choose the right Accounting Provider?
Have you noticed our #FridayExpertTips... here's one that relates to #BusinessAccounting
“Keep your records in order! Many accountants spend hours helping business owners dig for missing data. Clients are often surprised how much, basic disorganisation can cost.”