Founders create businesses because they have a passion or expertise in providing particular goods or services to market and often get caught up on focusing on items outside of their expertise. Being a startup means there’s always more work to do, and not enough time to do it. It is easy to get caught in numerous non-value add tasks that take anyway from working on the business. That’s why most success startups outsource certain tasks to companies or individuals who specialize in providing valuable time-saving services for a fee.
With all the advancements in technology, it’s easier and more convenient than ever to outsource. Here are five things you should consider outsourcing to experts.
1. Accounting & Finance
Most entrepreneurs are not Accountants. However, understanding cash flows or analyzing profitability of a business is vital to its success. Too often startups neglect building an accounting process until profits go downhill or cash slowly drains away. Setting up an accounting process for your startup is critical to the long-term success. An accounting process is also important because it allows your business to look forward. Startups or small businesses that that don’t have an accounting process in place find themselves trapped by past actions or constantly worried about having enough money to pay bills.
In addition to accounting process, setting up an accounting system is important for your startup as it will allow you to see how your business is doing and allow you to make decisions to strategically position your business for growth.
Look for a firm that does more than just bookkeeping. Partnering with someone that goes beyond debits and credits and gives advice on such things as cashflow will help set you up for success. Technology is vital to help provide necessary insights.
2. Graphic Design and Web Development.
Coming up with a brand-defining logo, an attractive website, and print materials can be extremely time consuming and difficult to get right. Using a professional graphic designer will help your business look its best. They understand a lot of things that you may overlook. Whatever your goals, there’s a graphic designer with the talent, aesthetic sensibilities, and visual skills to fulfill your vision and enhance your company brand.
Look for a graphic designer that offers web development to help streamline the process and provide a unified message.
3. Web Research.
Prospecting for new business and keeping up with the latest developments in your industry can be time consuming and daunting. A web researcher can research information you, whether it’s gathering information and statistics for an upcoming presentation or looking up the names of companies and contacts for a leads list. They can also organize this material in a form that’s easy to use and read.
4. Administrative Assistance.
If half your day is spent sifting through your overflowing email inbox, returning call and making travel arrangement, a virtual administrative assistant (VA) may be just what you need to streamline that frustrating process and keep you from being inundated by a constant stream of on administrative tasks that keep you from more value-added items.
Before you waste your time on something that is not in your expertise, consider outsourcing. This will make your to-do list shorter and free you up to focus on the things you’re best at and that generate the most income for your business.
Are you a startup and are considering hiring accounting and finance personal?
Having the right finance and accounting policy, procedures and technology in place could be critical to your success. Lots of startups outsource many of the tasks not related to your company’s core competency, including accounting & finance. Should you invest the money in hiring FTEs and purchase software or use an outsourced firm? Let’s look at four ways hiring an outsourced firm can help your startup business.
Select the right accounting package.
Too many startup businesses purchase off the shelf accounting packages that do not provide proper visibility into their business. As a result, they either spend a lot of time with Excel spreadsheets to try and gain necessary information or they simply neglect items that inhibit growth and put the business at risk.
With the proper technology you have visibility into your business from anywhere, enabling you to spevd more time on the business instead of in the business.
Help with investment capital.
Whether you’re applying for a business loan or seeking outside funding from angel investors or venture capital firms, accurate and up-to-date financials are essential.
Professional services firms will provide you with the up-to-date financial statements, along with explanations of the data in those financial statements, which can help your company standout amidst all those other businesses.
Be audit, partner and/or investor ready from day one.
CFO guidance including advice, counsel and insight — providing you with financial statements, budgets, forecasts and dashboards to monitor all your financial data. It’s one thing to have all the financial data you need to run your business. But the real benefit is to have someone to explain exactly what the financial statements mean, and help you to make the decisions that will steer your company toward growth.
4 . Scale with your company.
With outsourced services your variable cost become a scalable fixed cost. Why add non-revenue generating cost when you can gain resources, technology, quality and support all tailored to your needs? When your company grows the outsourced services company grows with you.
Lavoie CPA provides accounting & finance, technology and human resources support all as a service.
Effective Virtual or Fractional CFOs Rely on Technology
Whether your CFO is full-time or fractional, CFOs are a pivotal part of your company leadership, helping you make crucial financial decisions and leading the execution of those decisions. What makes an effective CFO? Effective CFO’s excel at:
Capitalizing on opportunities while avoiding ricks
Strategic modeling driven by accurate data
Speed and accuracy for fast decisions
Data analysis and insight
No matter how qualified the individual is, without the right technology the job becomes extremely difficult. Speed and accuracy drive much of their effectiveness and is almost impossible without the right tools in place.
Lavoie CPA recognized this from the start and has always combined people, processes and technology. We provide the necessary tools to quickly digest accurate data and be able to make informed decisions to steer the business down the best path. With dashboards in place, companies can quickly see information in real-time and make changes were needed without waiting days, weeks or even months. Lavoie CPA also has the expertise to intercept the data and make impactful recommendations.
The core technology we utilize is Sage Intacct. Sage Intacct is an industry-leading financial management solution designed for the needs of strategic CFOs and their teams. In addition, we partner with other leading software providers that maximize our clients’ efficiencies. If you are looking for a virtual or fractional CFO also consider what technologies are being utilized so that you can fully maximize your investment.
Most companies that are thriving view accounting as a strategic function. Companies relying on bookkeeping have a hard time keeping up in today’s changing climate. Bookkeeping by itself does not provide opportunities. In a fiercely competitive work environment, companies that properly manage finance can grow and protect themselves from risk.
The opportunities are exciting for the future but it also comes with lots of challenges. Too many companies are stuck looking into the past because of lack of expertise and or technology. It is important to understand the past, but essential to have the knowledge and tools to be able to see in real-time and make educated predictions into the future. As companies grow, hiring and retaining qualified employees can be a difficult task with lots of uncertainty.
A growing number are relying on Accounting as a Service (AaaS) to gain a competitive advantage. AaaS combines tactical and strategic accounting and includes leading software.
Top 3 benefits of Accounting as a Service:
Focus on Core
Concentrate on growing the business
Eliminate staff turnover complexities
Ability to scale as you grow
Qualified controlled/CFO leading accounting and finance department
Improve cash flow
Reduce financial risk
Audit ready at all times
Real-time visibility into your business performance
Reduced IT headaches
Integration with other applications to eliminate information silos
Forward thinking companies put themselves a head of the curve. Interested in learning more about Accounting as a Service? Contact us.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often driven by a passion or cause – not spending hours on accounting and financial management.
SMBs face many financial challenges that affect cash flow including hiring new employees, increasing profits, employee healthcare, growing revenue and properly managing expenses.
Fortunately, technology has changed the game for SMBs. In the last decade, new technologies have enabled SMBs to compete with large enterprises.
Technology is only part of the equation. Accounting as a Service (AaaS) is a hybrid solution that combines services with software; thus, the client can enjoy the benefits of professional expertise and leading cloud technology. This lays a great foundation, allowing companies to focus on revenue generating activities. They are able to focus on future growth instead of being stuck analyzing the past.
10 Benefits of Accounting as a Service
Real-time visibility to your business performance via dashboards
Reduce financial risk
Be audit ready at all times
Improved process flow and automation
Eliminate staff turnover
Reduced IT headaches (upgrades and maintenance)
Integration with your other applications to eliminate information silos
Outsourced Accounting or Accounting as a Service (AaaS) provider can be the catalyst to take your organization to the next level. For some SMBs, accounting is not looked at as a strategic function of the organization, but it should be. It also shouldn’t take focus away from growing your core business. Lots of SMBs don’t consider Outsourcing. Here are 5 main reasons why.
1) They think it is too expensive
By using Accounting as a Service, you have access to shared service center. Providers have put a lot of investment, thought, and execution into their model and have staffed accordingly. With an AaaS provider you now have access to a full accounting department that often is less expensive than one full-time FTE. This doesn’t even figure in technology costs that come with the service.
2) It is the same as bookkeeping services
Bookkeepers are responsible for recording daily financial transactions. Controllers are responsible for financial reporting, internal audit and internal controls. CFO are responsible for financial planning, financial data analysis and strategic planning. By relying only upon a bookkeeper you are stuck looking in the past and cannot see into the future to effectively make critical decisions for your business. AaaS providers ensure daily transactions are done correctly but also greatly reduce risks and provide necessary forward-thinking strategy to help growth your business.
3) We can just do the same in-house
For most SMBs it is hard to justify the expense of having a bookkeeper, controller, VP of finance and CFO. All positions have importance. You don’t want to pay a senior level person to do daily transactions and you definitely don’t want to ask an entry level person to manage financial risks.
4) We cannot have any finance staff in-house
Often AaaS providers work with internal staff to fill voids. Yes, providers can function as the entire finance department but often work with existing staff to help maximize their production.
5) We have more control and stability by utilizing in-house staff
Employees turnover and training are always on the minds of companies. If you don’t have a defined professional develop plan for each employee, you are at risk of losing your top talent to other opportunities. By using an AaaS provider you eliminate the risk of employee turnover. You also will not miss a beat when people people are out sick, on vacation, or on leave.