Why your startup should outsource its accounting

written by David Myers

Editorial originally appeared in Startland News.

Batman had Robin. Sherlock Holmes had Dr. John Watson. Captain Kirk had Spock.

Every superhero has a great sidekick, and the same should go for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs often feel like they have to do everything on their own, from sales to product development to bookkeeping.

Forbes recently reported that the secret to success is to outsource more, both personally and professionally. Outsourcing services like human resources, IT or accounting may be the solution to your workplace productivity and task saturation woes.

An outsourced accountant is a lot like a sidekick. They work in conjunction with your organization’s practices to ensure you’re following proper procedures, while allowing you to focus on your organization’s mission. Outsourcing can save money, ease workflow and lead to the savvy business practices to will help your startup succeed.

  • Time is money —  Employees cost more than just a salary, and experienced CFO’s are expensive. Hiring a good one would cost more than $200,000 per year, including taxes, time off and benefits. Most small businesses can’t afford a full-time CFO and likely don’t need one, as most of their work will be bookkeeping and accounting work well below that of a CFO’s pay grade.
  • Fend off cash flow failure — With the right firm, obtaining financial services can be affordable for your startup. A recent study by U.S. Bank reported that 82 percent of businesses fail as a result of poor cash flow management. By spending your money more economically through outsourcing, you can stay in the black while focusing your time, money and attention on developing your product and tending to the needs of your clients.
  • Gaining a wealth of knowledge — When you outsource your accounting, you get an entire team of experts serving as a sounding board for your company and supporting your financial needs. Even if your company has a strong accounting department with expertise and depth, a CFO-for-hire can support them on special projects and/or those times when your team is stressed for time or talent.
    With that CFO comes years of experience that support your existing COO, HR director and CEO/President. This dedicated individual can join you in meetings with bankers, insurance agencies, help negotiate employee benefits, and work with your attorneys on compensation and succession issues.

I’ve seen — first hand — just how beneficial outsourcing technical tasks to qualified professionals can be for solopreneurs struggling to do it all. No matter your company size or budget, having a trusted, outsourced extension to your business can add tremendous value to your company and ensure a prosperous future.

David Myers, CPA, is a partner at The Whitlock Company, a firm specializing in outsourced accounting and CFO services. He brings more than 30 years of experience in business strategy, advanced income and estate tax strategy, income tax credits, ESOPS, real estate and community banks.


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