Running a small business is never easy. There never seem to be enough hours in the day. You are always told that if you come up with a good idea and put the hours in, you will be rewarded with success. It’s a nice thought but not necessarily true in real life. There are plenty of examples of fine ideas, and dedicated owners who have worked themselves into the ground due to lack of investment, time or simply bad luck.
Much of the strain comes from having so much to do. Not only are you in charge of producing and selling your products or services, you also have to be head of HR, project manager and accountant. Each of these roles involves a very specific skill set that others train for years to accumulate and a lack of experience in any one of these areas can cost huge amounts of time and money – perhaps none more so than accounting.
Dealing with money – and all its implications such as payroll, tax, profit and loss – is incredibly complicated. That’s why people take degrees or undergo rigorous accounting exams to be able to handle it. And while it might seem like a luxury to outsource your accounts as a small business, it is very often money well spent. And here are just a few of the reasons why.
Start to finish support
As a small business you probably know well that it is easy to start many of the tasks you’re faced with but less easy to finish them. But if you outsource your accounts, then you have a guarantee that this job is going to be completed in its entirety. Professionals will take over the books and work with you until you are up to date. Imagine the release of stress knowing that this is possible. No more long hours spent pouring over page after page of numbers, only to have to get up early again simply to take care of business.
As your business grows there will come a time when you will need your own accounts department. In the meantime, there could be a period during which you need someone who knows what they are doing but there isn’t enough work to justify hiring another member of staff. . You need accountants who are ahead of the curve and understand the latest developments in tax laws and what is best for your business.
Freedom of time
Every hour that you spend on the books is one less hour you can spend doing whatever it is you do. Say your business is a small restaurant chain. You should be focusing on menu planning, staff training, ingredient sourcing and service. Each moment you’re not doing that your business is falling behind. Outsourcing leaves you free to do what you do best.
Get what you pay for
If you do hire your own accounts team or staff, you need to advertise, interview, train, create contracts, pay and manage. That is a whole lot of work for one small aspect of the business. Every employee is owed a duty of care and a satisfying working environment. If there are issues with their work these will also require attention. In the worst-case scenario, you will need to terminate contracts or look for support.
If you outsource you get none of this baggage. A firm does your accounting, and if you are not happy you can simply source another. No human resources interventions, no pastoral care, just focused business decisions. And the market helps to regulate how good your service will be.
Even if you do manage to take care of your accounting in-house, the rules and regulations that govern the system are constantly changing. And is simply taking care of it enough? Without an informed and knowledgeable opinion, you may not be taking advantage of all the tax breaks and financial benefits to which you may be entitled. As we mentioned above, accountants train long and hard to understand the ins and outs of taxation, and if you don’t have this insight you may be missing out. With a team of dedicated accountants working for you, it may even be possible to save more than you spend on their services, making this a positive sum game.
With the right financial advice, you will be able to accurately assess how the business is going, in which areas you are strong and where you can improve. Good financial advice can help you to grow, save or simply improve performance.
Whether it’s paying taxes or paying staff, you can’t afford to make mistakes, and if you’re not experienced or are over-stretched then this can happen. By outsourcing to professionals, you are eliminating the risk of costly oversights and further wasted time and resources. It’s all about creating better and more efficient working practices, with good communication systems in place to make sure that everyone knows what is happening at all stages of the process.
One of the major concerns about outsourcing accounting is that accountants won’t understand your business. And while is it true that it does take time to build working relationships, professionals should be able to get up to speed quickly and the relationships you build can be of great benefit to your business over time. It may also represent a great networking opportunity.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of benefits to letting experts take care of one of your major business headaches. Getting your accounts done by professionals leads to more efficient working practices, fewer mistakes and better working environments. This can only be good news for your business. Of course, there are certain aspects of the business that can’t be outsourced effectively but time and time again, the benefits of doing so with your accounts have been proven to be effective. So maybe it’s time you considered it too.