Every business needs reliable financial reporting and management in order to make sound company decisions. That means every company needs an accounting team that’s skilled in financial processes, reporting, and compliance. For the highest quality accounting, many businesses, including those with in-house accounting departments, turn to outsourced accounting firms. These firms are a tremendous resource for companies, helping them overcome some of the biggest accounting challenges.
So what are some of the accounting challenges that outsourced accounting firms can help solve?
- Keeping Up with Technology
- Cash Flow Management
- Recruiting and Hiring Talent
- Diversifying Accounting Skills
- Managing Compliance and Regulations
- Managing the Customer Experience
Keeping Up with Technology
IT literacy is no longer a nice-to-have competency. Accountants and their firms can no longer provide client write ups as their sole activity. They need to embrace a host of new technologies brought on by the digital transformation that has changed the way companies conduct business and how consumers interact with them for at least the past decade.
An outsourced accounting firm, like Lavoie, can ensure that your company is using the most up-to-date CPA software and that you’re maximizing the tools and efficiencies within that software.
CPA software automatically categorizes incoming data and uses that data to create a personalized and automated experience. This streamlining of information allows accountants to spend less time on manual data crunching and more time on interpreting the data to make savvy business recommendations to clients.
Cash Flow Management
Accounting clients expect their accountants to advise them on many issues, and one of the most important is successfully managing cash flow. Freeing up cash flow is particularly important during times of economic uncertainty or hardship. Small business owners realize cash management is crucial, but many don’t know how to accurately estimate future levels of cash on hand.
An outsourced accounting team can focus on improving cash flow, identifying cost-cutting measures, and creating processes to streamline accounts receivable and accounts payable, all while keeping a close eye on expenses, overdue invoices, and other cash flow metrics.
Furthermore, because outsourced accounting utilizes cloud-based software, critical cash flow data can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Further, because the client’s data is hosted in the cloud, people don’t have to pass it around via emailed spreadsheets. Security is enhanced.
Recruiting and Hiring Talent
One of the biggest burdens of managing accounting in-house is that when employees leave the company, they often take their knowledge of the company’s accounting practices with them. That leaves the company with the task of finding a replacement. Plus, the company has to patiently wait as new hires learn the ropes before becoming proficient in their role.
The benefit of an outsourced accounting firm is that you can skip the hassle of finding and retaining talent. And you don’t have to endure periods of onboarding new employees when new hires are prone to making mistakes. With an outsourced accounting firm, there are no disruptions to your financial capabilities due to employee turnover.
Diversifying Accounting Skills
An accounting team is only as good as its employees. Meaning, if a company is confined to a small accounting team, they can only benefit from the skills of a handful of employees. That can make it difficult to adopt emerging trends, software, and efficiencies.
If your in-house accounting team is struggling to stay ahead of your clients, offering services reactively upon client request versus proactively, an outsourced accounting firm can help. Outsourced accounting firms are solely dedicated to one thing: accounting. These firms are made up of leading experts that bring a broad range of skills to the table. They possess the technical and accounting knowledge to create better forecasting and analytics, as well as the insight to interpret the data accurately.
Managing Compliance and Regulations
Changing accounting standards have long been a challenge for in-house teams. Many in-house accounting teams have experienced the ever-changing rules, and penalties, within the accounting industry.
The benefit of an outsourced accounting firm is that they are at the forefront of accounting changes. It’s their job to be in the know. An outsourced accounting partner can therefore help your company stay ahead of changing regulations, avoiding costly fines and time delays.
Managing the Customer Experience
Virtually every company has rethought and adjusted its focus toward customers over the last decade. While companies used to sell products and services based upon price, features, value, and other factors, companies today focus on customer satisfaction and the customer experience, which they consider to be key competitive differentiators.
An accounting practice, like every other business, wants satisfied clients. Highly satisfied customers buy more than those who are dissatisfied. They become unpaid word-of-mouth advertisers when they recommend the company or its offerings to others. Achieving high customer satisfaction ratings reduces the cost of sales and marketing and helps a company grow. But by how much?
Forbes points out that “Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience. Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.”
Accounting services traditionally focused on monthly client writeup, which gave business owners a monthly snapshot of how the business is doing.
Now though, with the advanced features offered by outsourced accounting firms, accountants and their teams can recapture the time it takes to produce financial reports and use it to deliver a broader range of services that help a business grow.
According to Accountancy Age, clients want their accountants to feel confident that their company’s financial performance is under control. When an accountant gives clients that peace of mind, business owners regain time and the focus needed to get on with running their companies.
And when the client’s business is focused and growing, the accounting firm receives its payoff in the form of high customer satisfaction scores and the resulting growth that Forbes and others have documented.
Outsourced accounting firms, with their broad range of skills and experience, help businesses and in-house accounting teams overcome some of today’s most pressing financial challenges. If you think your team can benefit from an outsourced accounting partner, contact Lavoie today.