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Posted: September 03, 2014

Six questions about outsourced accounting

How to determine if it might work for you

Greg Osborn

In today’s market, organizations of all sizes are finding that outsourcing various aspects of their business can be a valuable and cost-effective strategy. The outsourcing of accounting functions in particular can be a good strategy to cut costs, maximize profitability and accurately budget and staff your business. 

Outsourced accounting solutions are almost always unique to each organization and must be tailored with the organization’s success in mind. The functions that can be outsourced are critical for any business operations, but they are good candidates for outsourcing because it isn’t always cost-effective to have experts on staff who can manage each of these areas:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial accounting and reporting
  • Controllership/CFO expertise and analysis
  • Accounting policies and procedures
  • Cost accounting
  • Cash management
  • Bill pay
  • Invoicing
  • Internal control analysis
  • Dashboard reporting, trend reporting, and additional analytics
  • Payroll
  • 1099s
  • Sales tax
  • Use tax
  • Personal property declarations
  • Tax planning and preparation

Questions to Ask

Outsourced accounting allows organizations of all shapes and sizes to focus on what they do best and outsource the rest. Below are six questions to help in determining if your organization might be a good fit for outsourced accounting:

  1. Does your staff have the proper skill sets, expertise, and experience to do the various functions required for seamless accurate accounting?
  2. Do you spend an excessive amount of time performing various accounting tasks?
  3. What is my time worth to this organization and could I grow my organization if I outsourced my accounting process?
  4. Does the organization have the proper oversight on the various accounting processes?
  5. Am I receiving the best management information possible to make informed, sound, and appropriate management decisions?
  6. Is my organization too small to implement sound internal controls by itself?

Organizations should examine their various accounting processes to determine what expertise their current staff has and what they can do efficiently (before hiring additional experts to add to your workforce).

Outsourcing accounting also frees up time for management to grow the business instead of handling remedial tasks, and allows organizations to budget for all accounting functions using a fixed fee arrangement to lock down previously variable costs. Depending on your current staff expertise and where your key leaders are spending their time, outsourcing accounting functions can be a valuable and cost-effective business strategy.

Greg Osborn, CPA is the managing partner of RubinBrown’s Denver Office.  RubinBrown is one of Denver’s largest accounting and consulting firms. Greg can be reached at 303.952.1250 or at greg.osborn@rubinbrown.com.

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