Why should you outsource your accounting? Here are 4 good reasons!

I recently learned that even companies as large as $50M in revenue outsource their accounting department. Here are 4 compelling benefits of outsourcing your accounting for any size business.

  1. Turnover/Downtime – Accounting is an extremely important function of your business.  When you lose an accounting person it puts your company in a volatile situation, especially if your accounting team is a one man show.   Who’s going to do it if that person walks? A two-week notice is not enough to get someone else in that chair. The cost of turnover is another problem, studies have shown it costs 1.5 – 2.0 times that persons salary to replace them in down time, employee morale, recruiting costs and so on.  Even worse, an employee leaving without notice, I’ve heard this story too many times how a part-time bookkeeper decides one day to get a full-time job and leaves your company in the lurch. Yikes, what then? Imagine never having to worry about this potential disaster, what a relief that would be, right!
  2. Confidentiality – this is a big one.  There is at least one employee in your company that, if you don’t keep them happy, they could take you down, seriously.  They know everything, what everyone makes, including you. How the company spends their money. They can see if the company is taking a downturn.  With their knowledge they even have the power to make all your employees go running for the hills if they wanted to. Is it wise to give one person inside your company this much knowledge and power?  Outsourcing your accounting can solve this problem and you’ll never have to be up at night worrying, well at least about this problem anyway.
  3. Access to several levels of expertise – Outsourcing your accounting you don’t need to hire a full-time CFO/Controller and a full-time Staff Accountant/Bookkeeper.  You can have access to both levels on a part-time basis for a flat fixed monthly fee less than what you would pay for a Full-time Controller/CFO.  Again, not worrying about finding the right person with the right personality to fit in with your staff who would be OK with doing whatever needs to be done.  Paying an outsourced accounting firm, you get all you need at the levels you need at the price you need.
  4. Less office space and equipment – All office employees need a desk, a computer and space.  Your accounting person is no different. This costs your company money that they could save hiring an outsourced accounting firm.  With today’s technology, accounting is quite an easy department to outsource. Have your accounting done remotely and save that precious office space.

Looking for accounting solutions and recognize the value of outsourcing your accounting, contact us or schedule an appointment to discuss your needs. I’d love to chat about how Controller onDemand can help you and your company. 

Are Your Financial Blind Spots Preventing Business Growth?

What is your financial data telling you?  As a business owner you need to be able to extract helpful and useful information from your accounting data.  Without an accounting degree, this it is often hard to do. This article from inc.com shares the top three financial insights that every entrepreneur should know about his or her business—otherwise it could be hindering your growth.

Attention business owners…10 Tips for finding the right CPA

CPA firms come in many shapes and sizes and not every firm is right for every business. You need to do your homework to find a firm that will take an interest in your business and its growth.  The right CPA firm will support you and your business, offering the right services you need.

So how do you decide? Both large and small firms have their advantages and disadvantages.  Large firms have a plethora of options and services to offer your business.  Does your business need to have a compilation prepared?  Not all of the smaller firms can offer this service.

Small CPA firms, on the other hand, are typically ideal for small businesses.  They will most likely cater to the small businesses specific needs.  They are most often more cost effective too. However smaller firms, may only have themselves to handle everything which, can make it challenging  to get a hold of them when you need them at times.

Also, that doesn’t mean as you business grows you may grow out of your current CPA firm.  That happens quite often too. If you are no longer getting what you and your business wants and needs don’t be afraid to change, just do your homework first.

Here are some questions to ask when interviewing your next CPA firm

    1. What services do you offer?  CPA firms sometimes offer many different services other than just tax preparation.  Some offer asset management, auditing, basic bookkeeping and consulting services. They are also a very good reference point for these types of services if they do not do them in house.  
    2. What are your fees? Larger CPA firms often have more substantial fees.  Get them to quote you a price based on your previous year’s return.
    3. Do you specialize in any specific industry?  Some CPA firms will specialize in specific industries.  It’s often advantageous to go with an accountant that does, especially if it’s an industry like manufacturing or non-profit.  There are different rules and loopholes for these different industries.
    4. How conservative are you?  Some small business owners like to push the envelope while others are much more conservative.  Make sure your CPA aligns with your own views. This is very important.
    5. How and when do you communicate tax law changes?  This is essential.  There are so many tax law changes for 2018, has you CPA communicated any of these to you?  You should be aware of them as soon as 2018 starts, not after it’s over. It will affect how you do business in the current year.  Advice — if your CPA has not sent out any communications on the changes — email them now and ask for them.
    6. How do you handle audits? Some CPA firms will refer you to an audit specialist.  There is nothing wrong with this, it actually may be advantageous to get sent to a CPA that specializes in audits.  It’s something you should know up front.

Things to do first:

  1. Communication test— See if the CPA communicates to you in a responsive, timely and professional manner that you are satisfied with.
  2. Warm and fuzzies — Whether it’s a vendor or a client you need to get a good feeling when you speak to them.  Make sure this person aligns with you and who you are. Everyone relates to everyone else differently.   It is important you feel a connection to your CPA and know you will enjoy working with them.
  3. Get a referral — Ask fellow business owners who they work with, and more importantly do they like their CPA and why.  If there is a CPA or two you are leaning towards, venture out on social media to see what clients are saying about them.
  4. Pick 2 & compare — Pick two and compare apples to apples.  Do a pro/con list for both and see which one offers you everything you are looking for.  Will they be able to support your business and its growth needs in the future?

Your CPA firm  is one of the most critical relationships a small business can build. Choose wisely.

Female Entrepreneurs Are the Next Wave of Business Success

It has been declared that 2018 is the “Year of the Woman”.  This makes it very fitting that female investors and startup entrepreneurs are on the rise, although still very understated compared to men. Are women getting frustrated with the corporate world and deciding to do it on their own? This article from inc.com touches on some of the challenges women face as an entrepreneur–and strategies to navigate around them.

Attention women business owners……..4 Tips for you!

I’m taking a different angle on this week’s blog because I wanted to share an amazing  experience with you. I have recently completed a coaching program with Kelly Ruta Kelly strictly works with female entrepreneurs on mindset coaching.  If you are not familiar with what that is, it’s basically changing the way you think.  As females we are programmed to think a certain way, different from our male counterparts.   It’s mostly how we are taught from a very early age in our lives. Because your subconscious is formed early on in life and directs most of your thinking, it is just how you are. However, the good news is you can change it if you want, you just need to work on thinking differently.

Here are 4 things I learned from Kelly that can transform the way you, as a women, think.

  1. Learn to celebrate more  There is always something to celebrate each and every week or even day.  Find it and celebrate it. As women, we tend to not want to be the center of attention or seem boastful.  However we need to learn from our male counterparts who are often great at this. Please write below this post what you want to celebrate today? I  don’t care how small it is, post it and let’s celebrate it together!
  2. Ask for what you want  As women we tend not to do this.  We just accept what we get and don’t ask for more.  “If you don’t ask for what you want, the answer is always no” — Nora Roberts.  Go ask for what you want today!
  3. Alignment is key — Make sure what you are doing and who you are working with is aligned with your soul and makes you happy.  If the people you are working with/for don’t appreciate and value you, move on to let the universe bring you the right alignment.  I believe as women we always want to try to make things better and not let go. Just let go, your heart and soul will thank you for it and make room for what you truly need.
  4. Stamp out fear and negative thinking — As women and especially as mothers we are taught to search for danger and be protective.  Instead of taking your mind down the rabbit hole and trending to all the bad things that could happen if you took this leap or risk, try to reverse it and think of what amazing awesome things could happen.  That sure feels so much better, doesn’t it?

As Chief Controller at Controller onDemand, I enjoy working with fellow women entrepreneurs and small business owners.  I find it extremely inspiring and motivating.

4 Ways a Good Controller Helps Grow Your Company

Good news…your company is growing. Is it time for a controller? Hiring a controller is an important step that can prepare your business for growth. Be sure to read the tips in this article from entrepreneur.com to learn 4 ways a good controller looks after the company’s money and facilitates growth. If you need someone like this in your organization but can’t afford one on a full-time basis, consider hiring a part-time controller – and reach out to Controller onDemand to see if we can be of assistance.

Controller or a Bookkeeper — What does my business need?

It’s time to hire a bookkeeper. Or does the company really need a controller? Your business is growing and tracking finances takes time and expertise. Many Controller onDemand clients ask me the difference between a Bookkeeper and a Controller. Understanding the difference is important for managing your growth and profitability or it could be costing you money.

Here are 5 key points to help you recognize what you need:

  1. Tasks Bookkeeper just does the data entry.  Controllers do much more. Controllers manage your accounting and finances.  Controllers manage the cash flow, create budgets, work with your bank for financing and much more.  Controllers are able to give you a higher level of services and support much more than your average bookkeeper.
  2. Education A Controller has at least an Accounting degree, if not more education.  Most bookkeepers do not have an Accounting degree. Why does this make a difference?  Having an Accounting degree you have been educated on the back end of the bookkeeping.  Software products such as QuickBooks do most of the work these days, but you need to know when something on your Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss or Cash Flow statement looks wrong and how to fix it.  Without being properly educated on what everything should look like it’s hard to know when something is wrong
  3. Financials Bookkeepers don’t do financials.  Although some can run financials, most cannot review or analyze them.  If you’re looking to review monthly financials with a knowledge professional, a Controller would be a better fit.
  4. Growth Bookkeeper cannot help your business grow.  Controllers on the other hand can make recommendations on tracking revenue or expenses differently to help you facilitate growth in the right areas.  Not only can a Controller help your company grow, they can prepare you for future endeavors.
  5. Acquisitions Bookkeeper’s skills are also limited here.  A Controller can help your business prepare for an acquisition or merger of your companies financials.   

Bottom line, the skill and capabilities of a Controller over a Bookkeeper are tremendously higher.  Make sure you hire the right experienced professional for your company’s specific needs.