Lavoie has had numerous conversations over the years with companies of all sizes regarding outsourcing or what we refer to as AaaS (Accounting as a Service). AaaS is a form of outsourcing that combines people, process and technology to help companies gain a strategic advantage. Some companies think they are too big to outsource any function. Others think they aren’t big enough. So, what is the right answer? They are both wrong!
FAO (finance and accounting outsourcing) started nearly 20 years with BP outsourcing its accounting functions to Accenture. FAO has traditionally been a horizontal offering with a value proposition driven by cost reduction and efficiency gains targeted at large organizations. So clearly the argument of an organization being too big has its flaws.
Smaller companies have been outsourcing payroll for years so they are already participating in a form of FAO outsourcing. The next concern we hear from clients is that they will outgrow services. This is certainly a possibility if you select the wrong partner that does not have the technology or staff to grow with you. For example, if a company is only providing bookkeeping services, it is certainly likely you would outgrow them. However, if a strategic partner is selected they will be able to grow with you and help you scale faster.
Large organizations are most often driven to outsourcing for cost reduction. However, as market requirements intensify, FAO solutions are increasingly becoming more industry-specific to provide strategic advantages and not strictly cost reduction. In smaller companies outsourcing can also reduce costs, but more importantly it enables them access to a full finance and accounting team that leverages economies of scale. Most SMBs can’t afford to hire an entire F&A department. So, what often happens is the company may only have a senior level person and they are stuck doing daily tactical activities or they may only have a junior level person and they are responsible for critical items such as cashflow analysis. Both have obvious weaknesses that prevent a company from reaching its potential.
AaaS solves this dilemma for SMBs. Companies don’t have to worry about daily tactical items that keep them from focusing on the company. In addition, they are provided with senior level advisory. To further maximize efficiencies, Lavoie services also include access to the leading cloud technologies. By combines people, process and technology we know AaaS can benefit companies of all sizes. email@example.com
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.
Outsourced accounting continues to be an alternative that businesses chose to pursue instead of doing the work in-house. In 2016,Deloittefound that outsourcing of financial functions was projected to increase by 27% globally. However, whether you’ve been considering outsourcing or not, you may still be hesitant to take the leap due to some myths that exist. Many of these beliefs are based on outdated information, misunderstandings and misconceptions. Because of this, we wanted to share the top 5 myths and truths about outsourced accounting.
1. Outsource = Overseas
The mere definition of “outsource” is that you obtain goods or services from an outside source; however, many make the mistake of thinking that outsource directly means that you obtain work from overseas. You can outsource your services to a local firm in your own city. The term does not mean that you have to hire someone offshore to complete the work.
2. Losing Control
While many may believe that outsourcing your accounting procedures is risky and makes you feel like you’re losing control – it is quite the opposite. Allowing another company to control and manage your business actually enhances your control. Outsourcing gives you real-time data that offers you better control over your cash flow and other performance indicators. Additionally, you set the guidelines and expectations for the provider to meet your needs.
3. It’s Expensive
Contrary to beliefs; outsourcing will most likely save you money. InDeloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, a majority of surveyed companies said the main reason they choose to outsource was because it is a cost cutting tool and allows them to focus on their core business. Instead of having to hire someone that you have to pay wages and benefits, you can spend your valuable time on growing your business. This allows you to focus on your core competencies and essentially grow your business while reducing cost.
4. My Business is Too Small
Small businesses may actually enjoy more benefits with outsourcing their accounting than larger firms. Outsourcing removes overhead costs that lets you shift more revenue to operational growth, while also freeing up your own time. Economy of scale usually leads to lower costs than if your small business does accounting in-house.
Sending sensitive information to a third-party can be concerning, but there are some questions you can ask your outsourcing agent to make sure your data is secure and safe. First of all, make sure you know whether the third-party is using a secured network for its business. Secondly, ask the provider what they do once they are finished with your files (do they destroy, store or keep them on hand?). Finally, if your outsourced accountant gives you access to data via cloud storage, you might want to ask them what security measures they use for data protection. Outsourced accounting can be done in a secure and safe matter; however, you need to make sure that whomever you choose can be trusted and is willing to answer your concerns and questions along the process.
What do you think about outsourced accounting? Have you been reluctant to take the leap on outsourcing due to common myths?
As you may have noticed, we recently launched a new website in addition to a new brand look in the form of an updated logo, colors and tagline. We embarked on this re-branding journey a few months ago because we wanted our brand to better represent our unique position in the market as a nontraditional accounting firm that also focuses on cloud-based software solutions. We believe that our new brand better displays our role as a strategic and innovative partner to our clients.
Since 2009, our main focus has been to help our clients in accounting and technology solutions; however, our old logo did not tell this story. Therefore, we are very excited with our new logo that has specifically incorporated design elements from accounting and technology. The “o” in Lavoie is interestingly based on the design of an abacus; a counting frame that was used as a calculating tool before the Hindu-Arabic numeral system was adopted.
New Tagline – “Efficiency Reimagined”
“We are very excited to reveal our new and fresh look and tagline, which speaks toward our innovation and ability to help clients reimagine new ways to accomplish their goals,” said Sharai Lavoie, CEO and Managing Member.
Needless to say, we are excited for our new look and hope you enjoy browsing our new site!