When it comes to filling out your accounting team with virtual or outsourced accounting pros, you’re bound to have some questions. For many businesses, outsourcing is a no-brainer – the cost and time savings alone is enough to jump ship from your current hiring methods. However, not all companies or teams understand how virtual accounting fits in, and that’s okay. But regardless of where you stand with outsourced accounting right now, as your company grows, you’ll need to address the necessity for more accounting staff.
We’ve tackled all the ways you can hire a new person in our guide Find, Hire & Keep: A Finance Leader’s Comparison Guide to Virtual, In-House and Staffing Firm Solutions, and the numbers speak for themselves – you’re paying as low as 65 percent off what you would spend for in-house staff when you choose outsourcing. But what about all the what-ifs involved with choosing outsourcing for the first time to beef up that accounting roster? Even if you’re interested in trying out this new strategy, it will be a shift in your typical in-house approach.
Read on to see a few of our answers to the most common outsourcing misconceptions – how does it work, what about current teams size, and more – below and learn how you can build your accounting team with outsourcing.
I Have a Small Team, Can I Still Outsource?
The simplified answer is yes. Small, midsize, and large teams all meet the requirements of outsourcing (as outsourcing does not discriminate based on team size). Finance & Accounting Outsourcing is no longer a one-size-only solution. What was once considered an enterprise-level tool five to ten years ago has now shifted and has become inclusive to all organizations of every size. In fact, research in Personiv's report, Building Lean Accounting Teams showed an uptick in the number of new contracts signed by small to midsize businesses and mid-market organizations to adopt FAO into their business model over the past decade. There are multiple situations that would compel a small team to contemplate outsourcing a few of their accounting functions:
Surge in revenue that calls for expanding the accounting department to keep up with the ever-evolving changes;
A small team that can’t keep up with the current workload;
Or a small team that needs to hire talent but can’t afford a U.S. salary (or many).
… as you can see, small teams are not disqualified from outsourcing, and often stand the benefit most from the solution.
Will Outsourcing Replace My Accounting Team?
Outsourcing a part of your department or even just one position doesn’t mean saying goodbye to your department as you know it. Gone are the ‘lift and shift’ plans of the past. In fact, outsourcing means supplementing your current workforce by adding to your already present team. This simplifies the recruiting and hiring process, especially for those positions responsible for repetitive, low-impact tasks. Moreover, entry-level positions such as AP and AR are hard to fill (and keep filled) in house – hence the reason why outsourcing is needed now more than ever.
Building a completed and strong accounting team in-house can be difficult. Outsourcing certain positions such as AR or AP can help offset the workload that would have otherwise been assigned to other members of your team, thus improving productivity and efficiency.
“We’re an extension, not a replacement, of your accounting team.” – Matt Wood
How Does Outsourcing Really Work?
If you’re looking to scale your accounting and finance operations, outsourcing might fit your bill. However, you’ve never utilized outsourcing as a resource before and you’re wary of managing people across different time zones (check out our article Putting Outsourcing Myths To Bed: The Truth About Working Across Time Zones to see why that is a non-issue). But, still you’ve got questions. So where do you begin?
Outsourced accounting is not a new concept. It looks a little different than it did a decade ago, but the overall model is the same. However, these days you can gain the same benefits that large companies have been enjoying for decades only with a team as small as one accountant, dedicated to you and your projects. Essentially, the new virtual accounting talent solution is streamlined, effective and easy to use.
There are numerous reasons to outsource your projects or even specific roles:
Need to focus on more strategic tasks
Lack of talent shortage
Reduce overhead costs
Improve current accounting processes
Let’s take a look at an example of company that chooses to outsource their AP role.
Company A is in dire need of an Accounts Payable Specialist. Their former AP Specialist left a few months back after being offered a higher paying salary at Company B. Unfortunately, Company A could not match the current salary that Company B offered, so their former employee left. After months of searching for the perfect candidate and coming up short, Company A is ready to throw in the towel. Their existing accounting team is overwhelmed by the current workload and they don’t have time to shift their focus to big picture items. What was once considered a thriving accounting department has now left the existing accounting team feeling overworked, less productive and on the verge of resigning.
As you can see, Company A has had zero luck with hiring in-house or via a staffing agency. After once last Hail Mary, Company A’s senior leadership has given them the all-clear to look outside the local talent pool to hire an AP Specialist. Company A begins researching and comes across a the option to outsource the position. The cost is very appealing and the time savings seems like a no-brainer. After talking to the provider and having them go over any concerns, Company A decides to test the waters.
Company A begins a successful pilot program and in no time the outsourcer has onboarded the new team member seamlessly and worked with the client to get the new employee transitioned to their role, trained in their technology and white-labeled into their systems. Company A is now receiving daily work from the outsourced accountant and can put their in-house team members on more valuable work.
And the stats speak for themselves:
The new team member holds an accounting degree from an accredited university;
They’ve helped streamline certain accounting tasks;
And they speak fluent English.
As you can see, outsourcing yields the best results and the process to get started is quite simple.
What Benefits Do I Get When Outsourcing My Accounting Team?
… besides the cost and time savings?
It’s amazing what outsourcing can do for your accounting team when you add just one person.
Team members can climb the vertical career ladder
Elevates in-house staff
No matter the reasons for outsourcing, whether it’s to reduce costs, save time, offload projects, or grow your business, the benefits of outsourcing are perfect for any size company.
If you’d like to dive deeper into how partnering with a virtual accounting talent provider can grow your accounting team, get in touch with one of our experts. Here at Personiv, we offer a unique approach for our clients by providing custom finance and accounting solutions designed to meet your needs.