Companies need accountants to ensure a skilled professional is handling their accounting and bookkeeping functions at all times. However, hiring a suitable accountant isn’t always a simple task. As your accounting practice begins to expand, you may need the support of qualified accountants to handle the specialised accounting requirements of your clients or to unburden your accounting workload. Outsourcing accounting for small businesses might sound like a nerve-racking decision, as the company would have to share sensitive financial information with external accounting professionals, but it is not always so. By delegating accounting responsibilities, bookkeeping services and tax returns, accountants can eliminate unnecessary workloads and concentrate on more pressing business matters. They can benefit from hiring skilled professionals who will take care of complex accounting functions, right from filing tax returns to advising on various decisions.
Here are 5 important facts accountants must take cognisance of before taking the plunge.
- Value for money: Outsourcing the accounting function can help budding accounting practices complete numerous challenging tasks, such as bookkeeping and tax auditing. Accountants can advise the practice in crafting new business strategies as well as assist in estimating financial projections to secure business loans without much difficulty. All these tasks can be navigated smoothly and reasonably, as outsourcing costs are significantly low compared with in-house hiring. Outsourcing is a long-term investment that a growing accounting practice can make to establish a profitable accounting business.
- Hire qualified professionals: A certified public accountant is an accounting professional who has a college degree, has passed a specific accounting exam and possesses a state license. Depending on the complexities of your clients’ accounting needs, you may hire accounting professionals that are capable of handling the tasks at hand. ACA, ACCA and CIMA-qualified accountants are authorised to take on complex responsibilities, such as representing taxpaying individuals in HMRC audits. Clients that feel more comfortable having their accounts handled by certified professionals or require specialised services can opt for these qualified professionals. Clients on a budget or with basic accounting requirements can opt for AAT-qualified accountants, who usually cost less.
- Check references: Accountants who wish to outsource should take time to look around or find accountants or accounting firms before selecting the best of the lot and as per their budget. It is safe and advisable to seek client references from potential accountants to understand their previous performance. You should ask the right questions about the firms, such as their areas of specialisation, years of experience in the industry, location and pricing specifications. After considering these factors, you can choose an accountant who best fits your needs.
- Fixing rates: As a growing practice, you must be clear right from the beginning about the rates that you can offer and intimate the hired accountant about the same. The rates agreed on should be fair and reasonable. Estimates for monthly expenditure and accumulated savings should be decided at the onset of the agreement. This makes it easier to develop a financial rapport and build a streamlined and systematic workflow.
- Understand the business environment: The financial health of your practice and entrusting accounting responsibilities to an outsourced accountant are two sides of the same coin. As a business, you should be aware of your business requirements and limitations before making the crucial decision of outsourcing. It is important to understand the work environment, analyse the problems to be addressed and seek out the best professionals for completing the job.
Planned and structured decisions will go a long way for your accounting practice. If you take the wise decision of hiring skilled and experienced manpower for your accounting practice, then you will build a strong growth trajectory for your accounting business.