Determining What Kind of Accounting Support Is Right for Your Business
When it comes down to it, deciding how you'll find bookkeeping talent to support your organization's transactional processes comes down to the goals, challenges and needs of your organization. The examples in Part 2 of our series (catch up here for the full story) certainly vary from company to company, even accounting software being used, and market to market. If your goal is to save money, you may choose a different solution than a finance leader that's hiring for in-depth business knowledge. There's a lot to consider when you're weighing accounting staffing Vs. in-house Vs. outsourcing models like virtual accounting support.
Consider the Quality of Work You Need
Zack, Alice and Victoria (see the profiles in Part 2 here) are all clearly competent professionals. As a refresher, in our example scenarios, Zack was an in-house hire, Alice came from a staffing firm and Victoria augmented the team from the Philippines using Virtual Accounting Talent. The specifics of their respective situations and personal career goals and even the employee experience they were offered all played a role in the quality of work they were able to produce and how long they were associated with your organization.
There were issues with some of these hiring models. The in-house hire desired a raise pretty quickly, lost interest in low-impact work and ultimately left the organization leaving financial statements unfinished behind. Alice, the staffing firm temp filled the need, but was never truly part of the team since she really worked for the firm that placed her in response to their job alert. Victoria was able to fill the needs given and augment the team. The best part about the virtual accounting hiring model was that the hiring, training, management and employee engagement was baked right in – while the work was done and delivered as needed and expected.
In both the staffing and virtual accounting models, the team member ultimately works for another company. The concern often comes up that when you relinquish control of the employee experience, it's harder to predict the quality of work you'll ultimately receive. If the organization responsible for retaining employees doesn't share your values in this (or virtually any other) respect, you shouldn't expect the same outcome as you would with an organization that does. Assigning a weight internally to how important the quality of work (as opposed to how quickly you need to fill the role or how much money you have to spend) is an excellent starting point when determining which is right for you.
This is another reason that culture fit is extremely important. In staffing, you may be sacrificing this element. With virtual accounting, be sure that the culture, values and employee engagement are aligned to your organization.
This leaves the final consideration – cost.
Consider the Cost Difference Between the Various Types of Accounting Support for Your Virtual Needs
Delving into the true cost difference between accounting staffing vs. in-house vs. outsourcing models is a tall order, and it's one we've already sought to fill in our Lean Accounting Teams White Paper (pages 12-15). Suffice to say there are hidden costs associated with at least the first two, whether you're talking about recruiting costs, employee burden costs like health benefits and 401(k) matching, turnover costs, or unexpected overhead costs that have been passed through to you by a third party.
If you're looking to explore the 1:1 cost difference between one model or another, start with a calculator like this one on Personiv's pricing page and work from there. If you need further information on expected compensation in your market, Glassdoor is an excellent resource because it allows to you to control for geographic boundaries and experience levels.
In the end, you need a trusted partner that's as invested in the success of your business as you are. One of the reasons we make our pricing structure and provide real-life profiles of the accounting talent we invest in so transparent is because we know that trust is forged when information is out in the open. We also know that no matter how thoroughly you research an option, you'll always have specific questions that you need someone to really listen to. That's why we make our virtual accounting support experts available to do exactly that over on our contact page.