If you lead a successful CPA firm, you’re always pleased when existing clients hire you for more work and refer other companies your way. A growing client base is great news—until you hit capacity and you’re unable to manage the workload and still maintain a high level of service. Even if your client base is steady, the annual busy season can leave your staff stretched past its limits, jeopardizing the quality of your work.
Whether you lead a growing CPA firm or you’re continually overextended during peak periods, you might think the only way to handle the extra workload is to hire more staff. But planning for growth can be challenging, at best. And hiring staff for workload spikes—even on a temporary basis—can prove expensive and inefficient, resulting in seasonal turnover and continual retraining.
Luckily there is a better way to navigate growth spurts and the annual busy season: Outsource some of your finance and accounting* functions to a third-party provider. Businesses across many industries find that outsourcing certain functions helps them scale to meet customer needs cost effectively and augment their internal staff, while staying focused on their core capabilities. Yet, some CPA firms are hesitant to outsource their financing and accounting* functions because they believe one or more of these myths.
Myth #1: The provider’s services won’t measure up to our expectations.
When you hire a third party for outsourced services, proper due diligence is essential. Review the company’s services and capabilities and seek out references and testimonials to ensure the provider is the right fit, using questions like these as your guide:
- How long has the company been in business?
- What services does the company provide?
- Can the company scale as demands increase?
- What do other clients have to say about the company?
Once you’ve chosen the right provider to outsource your finance and accounting* functions to, establish your expectations upfront, in detail, to ensure the company works to your standards. For example, if you’re asking the third party to create financial reports, provide samples that illustrate how you want the reports to look and what they should include.
Myth #2: It’s too expensive to hire outsourced help, especially if we need a full team.
It’s a common misconception that outsourcing is always more expensive than hiring internal staff. But hiring staff is costly too, involving a big commitment of budget for salaries, benefits, and training. When you outsource some of your CPA firm’s finance and accounting* functions, you’re paying a provider only for the specific services you need, when you need them.
And if you outsource to a reputable offshore company, you’ll get the expertise of highly experienced, top-notch personnel, who can likely provide a wider spectrum of capabilities than an internal employee, at a competitive price. Since outsourced providers invest in keeping their resources trained and upskilled, the cost of professional development falls to them, not you.
Myth #3: We’ll waste too much time managing the outsourced provider.
Do you picture day one of an outsourced provider’s engagement filled with endless questions, mistakes, and frustration as you try to get them up to speed? Actually, that sounds a lot like what happens when you hire an internal employee. But there’s a difference between taking on a new hire and bringing on a third-party provider: It’s not the service provider’s first rodeo.
Once you establish a solid foundation by sharing detailed expectations, the third-party provider will take on the responsibility of managing the team assigned to your company—saving you the time (and money) it takes to train and manage a new hire.
Myth #4: Our current clients will find out and think less of us.
While you’re busy strategizing about a client’s financial structure or helping them maximize tax efficiencies, another company is busy doing some of your back-end math. If your clients found out, do you think they’d be concerned? Not likely!
Many businesses make the strategic decision to outsource functions that are outside their core capabilities because they recognize it’s an effective way to augment their staff and handle capacity overflow, without sacrificing quality. You might even let your clients know that a reliable partner is helping with some of the back-end work, so your internal team can focus where they can truly add value and achieve the best outcomes.
Myth #5: Our current clients will find out and take their business to the outsourced provider.
Outsourcing facets of your financing and accounting* in no way means handing over your clients. When you hire a third-party provider, you decide upfront which services they’ll provide and whether they’ll have direct contact with your clients. If you remain primarily client facing and focus on providing the more complex services, you won’t risk clients switching providers. In fact, you’ll be in better position to retain them because you’ll be focused on tasks that can make the biggest impact on their success.
Myth #6: Outsourcing finance and accounting* functions will take focus away from our core mission.
If you hire a third party to handle simpler tasks for your clients, like bookkeeping, so you can focus on more complex work, like developing their annual reports, you’re focusing more on your core mission, not less. Outsourcing some of your finance and accounting* tasks keeps you in line with your core mission because it focuses your team on the strategic tasks that can add the most value.
If your CPA firm is growing beyond your current capacity or continually having trouble managing the busy season workload, outsourcing to a third-party provider may be the right solution. Teaming up with a provider that specializes in outsourced finance and accounting*, like the experts at Scrubbed, enables you to deliver the highest quality client service during times of growth or peak periods by augmenting your staff cost-effectively. Contact us at [email protected] or 800-837-5160 to discuss your CPA firm’s needs for accounting*, reporting, or financial services on a project basis or ongoing.