Bookkeeping. Financial reporting. Financial analysis and planning. Tax compliance. Industry regulations. Audit support. These are just a few of the responsibilities your business’s finance and accounting function face. Especially for small or growing businesses without a fully staffed finance department, there can be gaps in capabilities and expertise or simply not enough time for all the complex tasks that need to get done.
Sometimes, the answer is to hire internally. Other times, growing your internal team might be cost prohibitive, or won’t necessarily address your specific challenges. As a solution, more and more businesses are outsourcing some or all of their accounting services to fill internal skills gaps, deliver supplementary support during a busy season, or provide assistance as the business scales. Some of the reasons your business may outsource finance and accounting services include:
· Cost effectiveness: Rather than hiring internally for all of the finance and accounting skills a growing business needs, it can be more cost effective to outsource some or all of these services as you grow your team over time.
· Access to tools and expertise: Outside accounting firms are in the business of finance and accounting. They have a range of expertise and tools at their disposal to support you as needed—expertise and tools that may be too expensive for you to hire for or maintain internally.
· Flexibility: Using a third-party accounting firm gives you flexibility to get the services and consultation you need, when you need it, as well as to increase or decrease their level of support as your business ebbs and flows.
· More focus on your mission: Outsourcing your accounting services to accounting experts frees up more time and resources to focus on your own expertise—your business’s work and mission—without getting bogged down by the complexities of bookkeeping and accounting.
Despite the many benefits of outsourcing, it can be challenging to convince your stakeholders it’s the right move. Here are 5 straightforward tips to help you discuss outsourcing accounting services to get the buy-in you need:
1. Clearly articulate the challenge outsourcing your accounting services will solve.
First, pinpoint what you need help with. Is there a skills gap on your current team? Do you need to augment internal resources during a busy season? Do you need guidance with tax compliance or an upcoming audit? Clearly articulate the challenge outsourcing will solve.
2. Provide evidence of how outsourcing accounting services will solve your challenge.
In building your case that outsourcing accounting services is right for your business, be prepared to present your stakeholders with evidence that outsourcing will solve your challenge. This evidence can take the form of case studies or testimonials demonstrating how other businesses solved similar challenges through outsourcing. You may also provide statistics showing the prevalence of outsourcing in your industry.
3. Consider your stakeholders’ concerns and be sure to address them.
Before talking to your stakeholders about outsourcing, think about the concerns they may have that could be a barrier to their buy-in. Are they concerned about cost? Do they have a negative perception of outsourcing? Are they worried about the time it may take to onboard and interface with a third-party provider? Anticipate these potential barriers and be prepared to address them head-on.
4. Be clear about what your accounting services provider will and won’t do.
Outsourcing your accounting services isn’t all or nothing. If you engage outsourced services, what tasks will they be responsible for, and what tasks will they not do? Prepare a list of “will do” and “won’t do” items so that your stakeholders have clear expectations from the start.
5. Back up your request with the expected ROI of hiring an outside accounting firm.
Prior to your conversation with your stakeholders, perform a cost-benefit analysis of outsourcing accounting services. Gather a few quotes from third-party accounting firms, and compare the numbers against the cost of using existing personnel or hiring internally to cover those services. Estimate the return on investment of outsourcing, and present this to your stakeholders as proof that outsourcing makes sense for your business.
There are many ways a third-party finance and accounting services firm can support your business. While talking to your stakeholders about outsourcing such an important function and convincing them it’s the right choice may seem intimidating, going into the conversation prepared will help generate buy-in.
Outsourcing finance and accounting services is cost-effective, reduces risk, and gives your business experts to tap into when needed. Far from detracting from your core business, outsourcing is a great resource to help your business achieve its goals.
Are you ready to have an experienced accounting team on your side? Learn how outsourcing with Scrubbed can benefit your business by solving capacity issues, improving efficiency, scaling effectively, providing support with tax planning, navigating risks, and more. Scrubbed provides full-service accounting, corporate finance, tax planning and compliance, and other financial services to support growing businesses across the globe, with solutions that are scalable, practical, cost-effective, and technology-driven. Contact us to get started.