In-House Accounting vs. Outsourced Accounting

In-House Accounting vs. Outsourced Accounting

When a business is in growth mode, executives need to make more difficult decisions that are efficient and cost-effective for their organization. The foundation of these decisions is a firm grasp of the financial health of the organization. That is why business owners need professional assistance with core business operations like accounting and financial management. Organizations, however, have the choice to have that professional accounting assistance in-house or hire an outsourced accounting firm

While in-house accounting staff performs specific business operations such as accounting and financial reporting, outsourced accounting staff can conserve costs and optimize performance through tailored solutions. Businesses get to conserve time and focus primarily on core operations through outsourcing tedious functions. Reviewing the pros and cons of both options will help your business choose which is right for you. 


What is In-House Accounting

Hiring employees and paying them a fixed payroll to perform specific business operations such as accounting, financial reporting, strategic planning, and HR management is referred to as an in-house resource. In-house accounting teams provide budgeting for the company, as well as bookkeeping, and accounting services.  

Pros of In-House Accounting

  • Dedicated workforce is aligned to the business goals making teams efficient with specific accounting needs
  • Dedicated teams provide quick solutions as they know the organization inside out 
  • In-house professionals can be trained for other in-house operations
  • Sensitive financial information remains undisclosed

Cons of In-House Accounting

  • Teams become a financial burden when workflow is limited
  • Hiring dedicated resources have a huge retention cost, including state taxes, benefits, training, and employee office supplies and equipment
  • Owning licensed accounting software for each employee is an added cost
  • There is a huge time burden for replacing employees that quit, plus you have to train a new employee from the ground-up

What is Outsourced Accounting?

Seeking professional assistance with accounting from certified firms rather than hiring dedicated in-house resources is referred to as outsourced accounting. Outsourcing projects to skilled firms equipped with resources to perform specific accounting tasks saves businesses from various managerial challenges. Business owners can also make calculated decisions based on information from finance experts.  THis is because many outsourced accounting firms offer more robust reporting, insights, and software. 

Pros of Outsourced Accounting

  • Outsourcing ensures you only pay for the workload you need to get done 
  • Proactive businesses outsource and get the job done helping in house employees focus on other pertinent tasks
  • Vulnerability to fraud is higher in small and medium-sized businesses, which businesses can avoid by working with a team of skilled experts
  • Access to top-level professionals who understand the latest trends in accounting and can apply their skills to your company’s finances 

Cons of Outsourced Accounting

  • Instructions and communication between a company and an outsourced account firm must be very clear for getting desired results within the approved budget 
  • Business owners have limited control over the processes of outsourced teams
  • In some cases, outsourced accounting teams are not as responsive as you would want them to be

In-House vs. Outsourced Accounting

It is vital to consider your business’ particular needs when looking for an accounting solution. Here is a list of things to consider when deciding between the two:

Cost Factor

Businesses need to calculate whether they have enough workload to justify hiring a full accounting team. A dedicated in-house accounting team can provide a lot of value but can be expensive when you consider the employee costs (salaries, benefits, overhead). Outsourced accounting can be a more cost-effective option, especially for seasonal work or big projects. 


While in-house teams can do the same tasks assigned to outsourced teams, the latter can be more efficient. That is because an outsourced accounting firm’s sole focus is the accounting tasks at hand, whereas your in-house staff may have other responsibilities that require their focus and attention.   


While it is unfortunate, there are instances where employee fraud can happen. Companies sometimes prefer outsourcing finances to avoid these situations. Non-disclosure agreements signed between the business owners and outsourced firms ensure protection against fraud. On the other hand, companies that deal with sensitive information may be more comfortable working with an in-house team.

Working Hours

Dedicated employees generally work regular office hours. However, accounting firms operate round the clock and deliver immediately if required. The nature of business is once again a factor of consideration that determines efficiency. 

In House Vs Outsourced Accounting – Which One Should You Choose

Both, in-house accounting and outsourcing accounting operations are viable solutions. Once again, business owners must review their business models and decide accordingly. The outsourcing industry is progressing rapidly as businesses are opting for outsourced services in different fields to simplify their operations. 

Outsourced accounting teams focus on the particular tasks provided by their clients. While in-house teams can also be highly effective, sometimes they don’t have the experience that some outsourced teams have. For some businesses, hiring outsourced talent is cheaper. At the end of the day, your business needs a professional touch to tackle laborious operations so that you can focus primarily on business development. 

Outsourcing projects can significantly reduce various hassles for your business that in-house teams may not be ready to handle. If you require assistance with accounting management services, financial reporting, strategic planning, as well as HR services, consider contacting Lavoie. We also provide cloud-based corporate performance management, accounting, and financial management software solutions that accurately meet the specific needs of small and medium-sized businesses. 

How Outsourced Accounting Saves Businesses Money

How Outsourced Accounting Saves Businesses Money

One of the biggest benefits of outsourced accounting is that it can save businesses money. In fact, businesses can save 30-40% by using an outsourced accounting partner. How? In this article, we dive deeper into the ways outsourced accounting can save companies money. 


Prevent Missed Opportunity Costs

Businesses often miss out on revenue-generating opportunities when their employees are too focused on tasks that are outside of their core competencies, especially accounting tasks. By bringing in an outsourced accounting firm to focus on the accounting, your teams can concentrate on what they do best. This can include things like:

  • Engaging with new or existing clients
  • Improving your products or services
  • Creating new marketing strategies 

Eliminate Risk and Internal Fraud

Businesses lose an average of 5% (about $164,000) of their annual revenue due to internal fraud. Why? Many businesses lack the internal talent or resources to properly implement internal controls and sound accounting processes. 

With outsourced accounting, you can streamline your system of internal control over accounting and financial data, mitigating the risk of errors, omissions, or misstatements in financial statements. In turn, this reduces the threat of data security breaches and the misappropriation of assets. It also enhances the strength of accounting systems benefiting all stakeholders in a business.

Avoid Costly Fees 

When businesses don’t have the accounting skills or manpower in-house to adequately manage their accounting systems, they frequently encounter fees, penalties, and bank charges as a result. An outsourced accounting partner can eliminate these charges by streamlining cash disbursement, for example, or finding new ways to pay bills online to avoid traditional processing fees and delays in cash flow. By creating accurate processes and systems, outsourced account firms can eliminate costly fees. 

Sidestep Costly Business Decisions

In order to make smart business decisions, business leaders need a clear understanding of their current financial position. Without this clarity, leaders can make unprofitable decisions that can result in debt refinancing. Outsourced accounting firms help businesses have a clear understanding of the current financial position. This picture is painted with services like customized reports, accurate financial statements, and real-time access to software data. This enhanced financial visibility helps business leaders make smarter decisions that can save the company money, or even earn them new streams of revenue. 

Effectively Manage Payables & Receivables 

When businesses don’t effectively manage their payables and receivables, they can encounter costly interest charges and service fees. And they may lose valuable and cost-effective vendor relationships. An outsourced account firm can help businesses avoid cash flow issues and the need for additional financing by implementing secure and reliable accounting systems. Outsourced accounting firms can also make sure that customers are paying their bills on time, improving your cash flow. 

Take Advantage of New Opportunities With Smart Insights

Outsourced accounting firms offer businesses a team of experts with a broad skill-set, a skill-set that many businesses could not afford otherwise. With the help of an outsourced accounting firm, businesses can leverage timely, accurate financial reports and projections to seize on opportunities to scale their business, secure financing, or buy new equipment. By delivering accurate financial reports, outsourced accounting firms help instill businesses with the confidence to make strategic asset allocation decisions.

Pay for Services You Need 

Businesses may only need additional accounting support or expertise during certain times of the year or with short-term projects. Instead of hiring a full-time employee that you’d have to pay indefinitely, businesses can instead pay for additional accounting expertise when they need it if they hire an outsourced accounting firm. These firms help businesses save money by reducing their payroll and overhead expenses.

Cost of In-House Accounting vs. Outsourced Accounting

Many businesses struggle to justify the cost of outsourced accounting. If you are thinking of hiring an in-house accounting team (because you need a team, not one person, to effectively run your accounting), consider the associated costs: 

  • Salaries and Benefits
  • Training Costs
  • Recruitment Costs
  • Incentives/Bonuses
  • Fringe Benefits
  • Company Resources
  • Hiring and training
  • Managing

When you hire an outsourced accounting firm, you pay for the same services that an employee would deliver without having to pay all those other employee costs. 

In Summary

Whether you want to optimize your systems, reduce operating costs, or improve the accuracy and timeliness of financial reporting processes, an outsourced accounting firm can help. Outsourcing can also be the catalyst for growth and new levels of success. To learn more about Lavoie and the services offered, please contact us today. We are ready to tailor an engagement to meet your requirements.

Women’s Enterprise USA Magazine Salutes Top WBE CEOs of 2021

Women’s Enterprise USA Magazine Salutes Top WBE CEOs of 2021

DALLAS — Women’s Enterprise USA has released its list of Top Women-owned Business Enterprise CEOs of 2021 — a group of visionary women business leaders who demonstrate the best and brightest of women-owned business enterprises. Women’s Enterprise is an award-winning print and digital publication focused on the development and accomplishments of women-owned businesses.

“These CEOs are leading the way for other female entrepreneurs to bring competitive, collaborative and innovation solutions to a marketplace in motion,” said Kristin Schneider, publisher of Women’s Enterprise. “Our Top WBE CEOs of 2021 have not only built successful companies, they are changing the way the world does business.”

To determine the top CEOs, WE USA’s team of advisors and editors reached out to the regional partner organizations of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and business leaders throughout the country to identify women business owners who have achieved measurable success, advanced innovation in their industries, become role models and contributed substantial time and effort to helping other WBEs. The following are the WBE CEOs ― in alphabetical order ― who most strongly exemplify these characteristics.

 Juuhi Ahuja, Founder, CEO and President, Wise Men Consultants, Houston, Texas
Imelda Alejandrino, CEO/Creative Director, AP42 Marketing and Technology, San Ramon, California
Dana C. Arnett, CEO, Wicked Bionic LLC, Los Angeles, California
Camille Austin, Owner, Elite Roofing Services Inc., Tampa, Florida
Michelle Aristeo Barton, President, Aristeo Construction Co., Livonia, Michigan
Debra Berry, CEO, Berry Industrial Group Inc., Nyack, New York
Donna Brin, Founder & CEO, bFIVE40, Little River, South Carolina
Gabrielle Christman, President and CEO, Hunter International Inc., Avon, Ohio
Donna Cole, President/CEO, Cole Chemical & Distributing Inc., Houston, Texas
Jacqueline Darna, CEO, Darna & Co. LLC dba NoMo Bands, Tampa, Florida
Iyabo Dedmon, President, ThriveOn Concepts, North Kansas City, Missouri
Dana Donofree, Founder and CEO, AnaOno LLC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nathalie Doobin, Owner, President and CEO, Harvard Services Group Inc., Miami, Florida
Leanne Duong-Ma, President/Owner, Direct Source Procurement, Las Vegas, Nevada
Pamela Feld, Founder and CEO, Triumph Technology Group, Tustin, California
Jill Frey, President and CEO, Cummins Facility Services LLC, Prospect, Ohio
Nenette Gray, Founder and CEO, Lemonade Creative Marketing LLC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lili Hall, Founder, CEO and President, KNOCK Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Linda Hamilton, CPA, CEPA, SYSTEMologist®, Linda A Hamilton CPA PLLC, New York, New York
Kyra Hardwick, MBA, Managing Consultant, The Kyra Co. LLC, Houston, Texas
Jodi Cannon Hohman, CEO, Lagarda Security, Burton, Michigan
Kate Holby, Co-Founder, Ajiri Tea Co., Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania
Porcha Johnson, Founder and Publisher, Black Girl Health, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Hannah Kain, President and CEO, ALOM Technologies Corp., Fremont, California
Sharai Lavoie, CEO/Managing Member, Lavoie CPA PLLC, Charlotte, North Carolina
Mary Lawrence, President, Richards Graphic Communications Inc., Bellwood, Illinois
Elizabeth Ledoux, Founder and Head Strategist, The Transition Strategists, Ft. Collins, Colorado
Sandy Lish, Principal & Co-Founder, The Castle Group Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
Betty Manetta, President and CEO, Argent Associates, Plano, Texas
Michelle Manire, CMM, Founder and President, Coast to Coast Conferences & Events, Long Beach, California
Dee C. Marshall, CEO, Diverse & Engaged LLC, Newark, New Jersey
Carol Muszynski, President, Eighth Day Design Inc., Falls Church, Virginia
Carmen Nazario, President/CEO, ELYON International Inc., Vancouver, Washington
Mary Parker, CEO, ALL N ONE Security Enterprise, Atlanta, GA
Lauren Rakolta, President & CEO, DFM Solutions Inc., Detroit, Michigan
Ann Ramakumaran – will send responses, CEO and Founder, Ampcus Inc., Chantilly, Virginia
Angelica Rivera, President and CEO, Colmex Construction LLC, New Orleans, Louisiana
Silvana Rosero, President & CEO, Laguna Media Group, Grand Prairie, Texas
Jenell Ross, President, Bob Ross Auto Group,
Molly Sandlin, Founder and President, CAET Project Management Consultants LLC, Keller, Texas
Rosa Santana, Founder and CEO, Santana Group, San Antonio, Texas
Billie Bryant Schultz, CEO, CESCO Inc., Dallas, Texas
Wendy Spivak, Principal & Co-Founder, The Castle Group Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
Debra Stevens, Principal, The Stevens Group/International Tenant Representative Alliance Global, Boston, Massachusetts
Liora Stone, President, Precision Engineering Inc., Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Amy Tiller, CEO and Co-Founder, Inspired Results Inc., Portland, Oregon
Andrea Tsakanikas, President, LLC, Austin, Texas
Nina Vaca, CEO, Pinnacle Group, Dallas, Texas
Biddie Webb, Partner, Limb Design LLC, Houston, Texas
Liz Whitehead, CEO, 12PointFive LLC, Silver Spring, Maryland


For questions, please contact:

Kristin Schneider, Publisher


About WE USA magazine

Now close to celebrating its 30th anniversary, WE USA magazine is America’s award-winning resource for information on women’s business enterprise and diversity. Reaching an audience of women business owners, corporate procurement managers and executives, education professionals and government representatives, WE USA focuses on value for the readers, advertisers and communities it serves. For more information, visit

    The 3 Financial Strategies You Want To Remember in 2021

    The 3 Financial Strategies You Want To Remember in 2021

    An organization’s financial strategy is critical to the health and success of the business. A well-crafted financial strategy enables an organization to optimize operations and can present additional opportunities for growth. In contrast, a poor financial plan can hinder an organization’s operations and drive even a profitable company out of business.

    Despite the importance of financial planning, the process of building a robust financial plan does not have to be complicated. By following a few simple strategies, an organization can avoid many of the common pitfalls that result in a flawed financial plan and hamper the growth of the business.

    Three Important Financial Strategies for 2021

    1. Remember That Cash Is Still King

    It is vital to remember that a company’s money (revenue) is not the same as the money that a company has been paid (cash inflow).  While an organization may be profitable on paper, it could be broke in reality based upon the ratio of revenue to expenses.

    Bills can only be paid with the money that a company actually has on-hand, making cash management an essential component of an organization’s financial strategy. 

    This includes setting the terms of contracts to ensure that they are paid promptly and taking advantage of opportunities to minimize expenses, such as the use of automation to reduce payroll expenses.

    2.Keep It Simple

    Overcomplicating its financial strategy is a common mistake that businesses make.  To optimize its operations, an organization may break expenses into many buckets and independently monitor and analyze each.

    While this is intended to increase visibility and optimize expenditures, it can end up costing an organization more money in the long term.  Additional complexity and analysis require additional headcount to complete.  Since payroll is typically one of a company’s largest expenses, up to 70% of the total, the potential gains made due to increased visibility and optimization are likely to be overwhelmed by the corresponding analysis cost.

    A better approach to expense management is to apply the Pareto Principle: 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes.  Identify those few things that make up 80% of your expenses (likely payroll, marketing, and rent) and focus optimization efforts on those for maximum impact.

    Financial analysis can also be simplified and optimized by the use of automation.  By transitioning manual accounting processes to automated ones, an organization can achieve the same level of analysis while minimizing the associated costs.

    3. Bring Management Together & Make It Meaningful

    One of the most common mistakes made by founders and entrepreneurs is maintaining too tight of control over a business’s operations.  By trying to do everything themselves, these leaders end up spending more time working “in” their company (day-to-day tasks, putting out fires, etc.) rather than working on their company (strategic planning, long-term goals, etc.).  As a result, the company can stagnate and fail because it lacks a clear path forward.

    This also applies to an organization’s financial planning.  A crucial part of building a successful business is hiring competent people and handing over control of the tasks they are more fit to manage.

    When developing a financial strategy, an organization’s management likely has a better view of the current state of the parts of the company under its direct control than the CEO.  Asking them about their departments’ current state, their needs, and potential opportunities to decrease expenses without sacrificing revenue can provide invaluable data for crafting an organization’s financial strategy.


    Preparing Your Financial Strategy for 2021

    The most effective financial strategies are based upon experience.  Optimizing cash flow requires knowledge of how to manage contracts best.  Simplifying financial analysis requires an understanding of what is and isn’t important.  Reducing expenses via automation requires the ability to select platforms that provide a tangible benefit and return on investment.  Crafting a strong financial strategy requires knowing the right questions to ask subordinates and take the right actions based on their answers. 

    A good starting point for acquiring some of this knowledge is reading Lavoie’s Guide to Strategic Financial Planning. 

    This ebook provides best practices and tips for developing an effective financial strategy.

    However, in many cases, there is no substitute for experience.  Lavoie has over 25 years of financial planning experience and can manage your accounting for you, allowing you to focus on running and building your business.

    The Most Common Financial Mistakes CEOs Make

    The Most Common Financial Mistakes CEOs Make

    Many CEOs don’t have a background in financial planning yet are expected to develop strategies and make decisions that dramatically impact an organization’s financial health. As a result, CEOs make several common mistakes that can dramatically impact their company’s financial health and success.

     Where CEOs Go Wrong

    Getting too comfortable with “how you do things.”

    Past performance is not indicative of future results.  While an organization’s strategies may have worked in the past, situations can evolve, forcing changes to “how you do things.”  CEOs must be ready and willing to adapt, not stuck in a rut.

    Denying that every decision a business makes has some financial implication

    Every decision that a business makes impacts its finances.  Everything that a company does affects its ability to operate in terms of additional or lost revenue, productivity, expenses, etc.  If nothing else, making the decision to do one thing means that the organization likely lacks the resources to do something else.  All business decisions should take into account the associated financial implications.

    Making every decision in a vacuum

    As the CEO, you will be called to the carpet for every choice you make, financial or otherwise, so it is vital that you justify the decisions you make.  Decisions should be made based upon the best data available and incorporate the input of all stakeholders and subject matter experts.  Making decisions in a vacuum increases the probability that a poor decision will be made based upon incorrect data or assumptions.

    Forecasting based on what is in the bank account at that time

    An organization’s current bank balance is a snapshot in time.  It can change rapidly and in unexpected ways.  For example, something as simple as a vendor depositing a check earlier or later than usual can result in a significant discrepancy between what an organization’s current bank balance is and what it “should” be.

    For this reason, an organization’s financial strategies should not be based on projections based on a current bank balance.  A range of different factors could affect this and render any projections based on it erroneous and unusable.

    No visibility into what you are owed and what you have to payout

    Visibility into an organization’s liabilities and receivables is essential for a CEO.  For example, do you have more liabilities than what you are expecting in your receivables? You could have 600k in receivables but 800k in liability.

    If this is the case, then a CEO needs to develop a strategy to decrease expenses and liability relative to receivables.  However, without visibility into the current state of liabilities and receivables, a CEO is unaware of the need to change.

    Ignoring investments that don’t show up on the P&L

    An organization’s profit and loss (P&L) statement summarizes its revenue, costs, and expenses during a specific period.  However, it is not necessarily comprehensive and should not be treated as such.

    Investments that do not show up on an organization’s P&L statement should still be incorporated into its financial strategy.  While they may not impact long-term revenue and expenses, they will show up in cash flow.  Failing to account for them could leave an organization looking financially healthy on paper but broke in reality.

    Not considering seasonality

    Many businesses have seasonal ebbs and flows. Such as an increase in work for construction workers in summer and increased e-commerce sales in the months approaching Christmas.

    For others, the reasons may be less obvious (such as having more sales in summer because customers have more money), but these cyclic changes will still occur and should be incorporated into a CEO’s financial strategy.  For example, building up cash reserves going into a dry season may be necessary to cover expenses while waiting for sales to trend upward again.

    Planning once and refusing to iterate as things change

    A business’s profitability is determined by a number of internal and external factors.  While the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts are a high-visibility example, businesses experience smaller changes much more frequently.

    Adaptability is a critical component of an organization’s financial strategy.  While the company may have certain goals and plans in place, if internal or external factors demand a change, it is essential to adapt rather than insisting on continuing with a course that isn’t working.


    Avoiding Common Financial Mistakes

     Understanding how financial planning can go wrong doesn’t tell you how to develop a financial strategy correctly.  To learn more about this, check out Lavoie’s CEO’s Guide to Strategic Financial Planning.

    Strategic Financial Planning In 2 Questions

    Strategic Financial Planning In 2 Questions

    Developing a strategic financial plan can seem daunting; however, it can be boiled down into two questions: what are you doing now and where do you want to be? This article walks you through the process of answering these two questions, providing a foundation for developing a financial strategy for your organization.

    Question 1: What Are You Doing Now?

    Every journey has a starting point and an ending point. Before you can implement a plan to achieve your financial goals, it is important to consider where you are now.

    Current State of the Numbers

    The current state of your organization’s numbers are a good starting point when determining your organization’s capability to meet its financial goals.  Some important questions to ask include:

    • Are you in a position of stability? Financial stability is vital to reaching “stretch” goals.  If the organization is not currently financially stable, it is important to identify this fact and develop a strategy for achieving stability as a first step in the planning process.
    • What is actually coming in/out the door? Knowing the size of the company’s cash reserves is not enough for financial planning.  How much revenue is coming into the organization and how much is going out again as expenses?
    • What is fueling the majority of your expenses? While increasing sales is one way of improving the organization’s financial footing, the ability to do so depends on the market and potential customers.  Identifying and minimizing expenses increases profits as well but is less impacted by external factors.


    Achieving financial goals requires the support of the entire organization.  Take a moment to consider your organization’s culture and if the company has the maturity and ability to meet its goals.

    • Do your decisions match your vision and mission? An organization’s goals and procedures are important, but actions are even more so.  Are your decisions, both recent and historical, helping to move the organization towards its goals?
    • Would your employees agree? Employees throughout the organization can have different perspectives, insights, and recommendations.  Ask those “down in the weeds” how well the company is following its vision and mission and how they believe things could do better.

    Question 2: Where Do You Want To Be?

    The effectiveness of a strategic plan can only be effectively measured if there are usable metrics.  Before starting to build a plan to improve the organization’s financial position, it is necessary to define success and failure.


    The first step in defining “success” for a financial strategy is defining concrete targets.  From there, the next question to ask is what do you need to achieve your targets?

    • Human Capital.  Does your organization have the human capital necessary to achieve its goals?  This not only includes headcount but access to the specific skill sets required now and in the future.
    • Acquisitions. Does your organization have the capabilities that it requires?  Are there areas of your business where things could be done more effectively or efficiently?
    • IT Investments. The IT landscape is evolving rapidly, and new solutions have the potential to dramatically improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.  Are there any IT investments that the organization should make that would help in reaching its targets?


    A failure to properly monitor and manage expenses is one of the most common ways that businesses fail to achieve their financial goals.  Gaining visibility into past, present, and future expenditures is an essential part of financial planning.

    • How can you gain more visibility into your expenditures? Visibility into expenditures is essential to identifying opportunities for optimizations and cost cutting.  How can you achieve a higher level of visibility into business operations?
    • Do you have an idea of your cash flow on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? What level of visibility do you currently have into your organization’s cash flows?  Examining cash flows at the daily, weekly, and monthly level can help to identify potential inefficiencies and opportunities.

    Beginning Your Strategic Financial Plan

    Answering the questions that were asked in this article enables you to lay the groundwork for developing your organization’s financial strategy.  To learn about the next steps in your financial planning process, download the CEO’s Guide to Strategic Financial Planning.