By Chris ONeal, CPA, MBA
You may have recently switched your business from an in-house accountant to an outsourced business consulting and accounting service like the Nealson Group, or you may be considering such a move for the cost savings and efficiency that it comes with.
Having your accounting department turned over to a professional, third-party service provider is likely to give you confidence that you have access to accountants who are continually trained and kept up-to-date on the latest technologies. How do you make sure that you are able to make the best of your outsourced accounting, however? What follows are tips.
Be clear about your requirements
During initial onboarding, when you first familiarize your outsourced accountants with your organization and its inner workings, it’s important to give them ready access to all the information that they could need to make intelligent, informed decisions.
You need to be completely transparent and forthcoming about the condition your books are in, to begin with; if you are not sure yourself about the information they need, you will need to point the team toward someone who is. The onboarding process is a good time to explain to your outsourced accountant what your expectations are and get them aligned with your company’s work culture. In general, you should expect it to take about three months for the onboarding process to complete and for your accounting to go on autopilot.
Understand the steps involved in onboarding your newly outsourced accountant
It can help to understand what to expect during the onboarding process.
The first time you call your newly outsourced accounting team, they are likely to present you with a checklist of all the documents they need — bank statements, payroll returns, income tax papers, equity schedules, and so on — and give you a timeline for how they expect the onboarding to progress.
Once your outsourced team has access to all the records and documentation it needs, they get to work preparing your books and integrating them into their software, and designing your accounting system. They take your current numbers, and begin to prepare reports that help you streamline inefficiencies out of your system, as well. In addition, they design a schedule of weekly and monthly reporting to help make sure you always have access to the latest information with which to make your business decisions. Members of your staff are trained to smoothly use the outsourced accounting service, as well.
Keep in touch with your financials
Outsourcing your accounting, you do manage to relieve yourself of a great deal of the burden of being responsible for the work in-house, but it’s important to understand that it’s still up to you to make use of the outsourced business services to improve decisions made by management. You have continually updated financial intelligence provided by the Nealson Group now available at your fingertips; management needs to create an internal system by which to regularly consult all financial and management reports available to improve their knowledge of the business. For example, with weekly reporting available, management should be better able to forecast cash flow, and make sure that problems are fixed before they become significant.
The outsourcing of business consulting and accounting work has become prevalent among small businesses. Using these ideas to gain insight into how the process works can help you prepare to make the most of the service.
At the Nealson Group, it is our privilege to help our clients achieve the best version of themselves, financially.