ISSUE | 05 | OCTOBER 2022
How Outbooks helped an accounting firm with more time to focus on business growth
An accounting firm based in South port town centre, they offer accountancy service like bookkeeping, limited company accounts, sole trader and partnership annual
accounts and management accounts.
As one of the most successful accountancy practices in the North West, they have an extensive portfolio of clients. This means working with a lot of data. Account owners were spending so much time entering data. Bookkeeping was not upto the mark. They were taking a lot of time to prepare for year-end. This was leading to leaks in profit ability and a weakening of customer service.
They learned about Outbooks and decided to get in touch.
After learning the details of the situation, the Outbooks team proposed a custom solution that would take care of the multiple problems mentioned below:
- They did not update bookkeeping software with ﬁnal accounts.
- Other outsourcing agencies did no proper working papers for year-end accounts.
- Most of the jobs needed reconciliation and much time was spent on this, leading to revenue leakage for the accounting ﬁrm.
- The client did not provide a valid Hire Purchase statement/agreement for interest and instalment calculations. Sometimes, inappropriate statements lead to the misrepresentation of data.
- They were using an inappropriate accounting solution, making it impossible for the Outbooks team to make super deductions on capital items.
Outbooks team sprang into action and applied various approaches to solving the issues. The redesigned and simpliﬁed strategy started using the standard format of excel to prepare schedules and make reconciliations. The team began to attach Transaction Trial Balance (TT) to the worksheet, which helps in checking whether the transactions are correct and balanced. To get rid of manual entry, the team started to provide links to the amount. Also, attaching the reallocation tab in the working paper was an excellent step as it enables more options for how to set up allocations for a company, and the possibility of adding notes will add value for documenting changes to allocation cycles.
The accounting ﬁrm has saved time on detailed reviews and cross-checking of documents as the Outbooks team supported them with relevant documents and calculations. It is a win-win situation for the accounting ﬁrm and Outbooks as we are getting more accounts to ﬁnalise while the ﬁrm concentrates on business growth.
Outsourcing works. You've got to do your research to ﬁnd a trusted provider.
Nikita Sharma, Assistant Manager
What are you most proud of during your journey with Outbooks?
Though the time I have spent in Outbooks is not significant, I have learned skills of great significance here. I joined as a fresher almost a year ago and now lead my team, handling a few clients on my own. If someone had told me this was possible a year ago, I would have brushed it off as a joke.
What would you like to say to your leadership team?
I have constantly acknowledged the support received from my seniors since day one. I will always be thankful to them for bringing the faith in me to push my limits and continue appreciating my work which has contributed to growth in my career along with an opportunity to learn new things each day.
What would you say to someone considering a career with Outbooks?
Outbooks is a great organisation to work with. The way you can connect so quickly, even with the senior-level managers, gives you conﬁdence that you belong here and are already taken care of.
Where do you see yourself in the next four years?
In the next four years, I see myself holding a leading and responsible position with more knowledge, skills and conﬁdence. I would love to invest my next few years in upskilling myself according to company requirements and contributing to the company's growth with a better version of myself.
Three things an accounting ﬁrm can do to grapple with inﬂation
Most UK businesses, including accounting ﬁrms, are struggling. As inﬂation climbs to a 30-year high, the costs of running a business are also rising.
Accounting ﬁrms are grappling with several challenges, including rising electricity bills and increasing salaries, which are causing a massive impact on many ﬁrms' proﬁtability and cash ﬂow.
Businesses can take various actions to mitigate the impact of inﬂationary pressures and protect margins by focusing on revenues and expenses. But that is not happening.
When costs rise faster than expenses, the most common way out for ﬁrms is to increase their pricing. Getting the price right is essential and would require accounting ﬁrms to design an eﬀective pricing strategy based on their customers' willingness to pay.
On the other hand, managing costs in this environment is equally important. One can start with hedging strategies to avoid cost swings, extending contracts, or ﬁnding alternative suppliers where possible.
Accounting ﬁrms can consider automation of repetitive and monotonous tasks. This will help their people focus on more value-added activities.
It is generally a good practice to enhance spending visibility and better understand where money is being spent and by whom it is being spent.
If you have been considering increasing your prices but are scared, try talking to external stakeholders about how pricing impacts the business.
One must review prices regularly. After all, circumstances change. Here are a few changes you can make:
Try oﬀering clients diﬀerent packages to evaluate what was the most the client would pay. You can increase your prices with your existing and new clients by providing multiple packages.
A lot of accountants and bookkeepers worry about losing clients through the process of repricing. Try communicating with your clients why you are repricing. If you are conﬁdent about your work, there is no reason you should be worried.
Before you increase the prices, it is essential to ensure that internal systems and processes are in place to handle the growth.
Also, your existing clients and prospects should be able to distinguish between you
Another cost-saving approach for accounting ﬁrms can be outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting services to Indian entities. Not only can you save massive amounts, but you will also be saving up on the infrastructure costs it takes to enhance the core business.
It is a challenging time for all businesses. Brexit, trade wars, the pandemic, and now high inﬂation- the troubles don't seem to be ending. Let's put our best foot forward and wait for better days.
Training & Growth
The third quarter of 2022 at Outbooks witnessed 6093 aggregate training hours. The training department is growing with the number of employees increasing every month.
We hired and trained ACCA aﬃliates and CA intermediate candidates to onboard with us as accounts ﬁnalisation executives.
Also, we encourage employees to upskill to generate growth opportunities internally.
We emphasise software knowledge so that the employees possess the knowledge and skills needed to serve clients.
Outbooks will be present at two major accounting events in October.