In a small business, it’s important to have the right people in your team that move with you towards your vision.
One position that every industry requires is an accountant. No matter the line of work your brand does, accounting in your daily operation requires great precision and organization. As such, businesses should consider working with an experienced professional to ensure all books are balanced and every transaction is accounted for.
If your company is yet to hire someone to cover your accounting needs, you can look into outsourcing an accountant or an accounting firm instead. However, like most recruitment efforts, it comes with challenges that require a list of things to consider to ensure that you hire the right people for the job.
What is an Outsourced Accountant or an Outsourced Accounting Firm?
An outsourced accountant is a specialist businesses hire to help with their bookkeeping, accounting, and other finance functions.
They’re called outsourced accountant services because the company does not employ these individuals to join their team for daily operations. More often than not, they’re professionals from outsourced accounting firms offering their services to businesses that need assistance with accounting tasks.
Benefits of Outsourcing Accounting Services
While some argue that in-house accountants offer more advantages compared to outsourced ones, there are some things that third-party providers for accounting services can bring to clients that trump the other option. Below are a few worth noting:
- It saves time and money
Business owners looking to save money on overhead costs when expanding their workforce can ultimately benefit from partnering with an outsourced accounting firm instead of hiring in-house accountants.
Hiring in-house requires businesses to provide employee benefits required by the law, such as fixed minimum wage, paid leaves, 13th-month pay, and more. Onboarding and training fees may also apply for in-house staff.
Financial functions are just a few of the many things on your to-do list when running a business. With outsourcing, you spend less time micromanaging your accountants and spend more time on things that add value to your company.
- It grants access to a wider pool of experts
An outsourced accounting firm has professional accountants who have combined years of experience. With best practices, tools, systems, and solutions up their sleeves, you can rest assured that your accounting function is in good hands by selecting a reputable outsourcing business.
Working with an outsourced accountant in the Philippines, in particular, makes for a great choice, as they’re known for their impeccable work ethics and dedicated service in the industry.
- It ensures business continuity
In accounting, any disruption can be detrimental to business operations. Companies cannot put a pause on compliance deadlines. Outsourced accountants ensure that your enterprise doesn’t experience loss of essential records, penalties, and delayed payments, especially when the company is affected by system outage, human capital scarcity, and infrastructure issues.
Outsourced accounting has access to cloud-based systems so that you can be assured of business continuity at all times.
- It provides insights and experiences from similar industries
Outsourced accounting firms offer their services to multiple clients of different sizes and industries. With this, you can be certain that they can provide you with even greater detail on valuable insights than you thought possible with their experience working with different business sectors.
- It helps streamline accounting processes
Outsourced accountants oversee the different accounting processes from beginning to end, providing management with updates as needed throughout the financial year.
The best way for entrepreneurs to understand these rather long and meticulous undertakings is by actively collaborating with an expert accounting team, such as one from an established outsourcing firm.
8 Important Interview Questions to Ask an Outsourced Accountant
Knowing the questions to ask an accountant when starting a business is vital to gauge their skills and how well you and their company can work together. Here are some important interview questions you can use to guide your next interview:
- How much do you charge?
Today, many outsourced accounting firms offer the same set of services with varying price ranges. When scouting for an outsourced partner, ensure that you pick a company that’s well within your budget and where you can make the most out of your payment.
- What’s your availability and delivery time?
Time is of the essence when it comes to accounting, and it would be damaging if you were to miss a deadline because your accountant didn’t prepare the deliverables on time or because no one was available to work on your request. To skip any delays, make sure your outsourced accountant can meet your availability and turnaround time needs.
- How do you keep your client’s information secured?
According to an Accenture study, 43% of cyberattacks target small and medium businesses, but only 14% are prepared for them. Operations involving finances are often the target of digital threats, and as such, you need to confirm that your outsourced accounting partner has a security system in place that can keep you and your customer’s data secured.
Your potential outsourced accountant must also have verified tools ready to handle sensitive company information like financial reports.
- Have you worked with similar business models or industries?
While it isn’t necessary, it would be a great advantage if your accountant has handled previous businesses from similar industries. This fact provides valuable insights into how they have worked with companies in similar situations like yours, giving you confidence they know what they’re doing.
- Do you know local tax laws?
The Philippines has strict laws regarding taxes and their filing. When interviewing an outsourced accountant for the role, ask if they know local tax laws to ensure your business is up to date with dues, reports, and filing.
- How do you manage service levels and service quality?
Accounting is an integral part of managing a business. Thus, anyone working on it should be evaluated based on several service levels, such as reliability, responsiveness, and assurance. When screening candidates for the job, be sure to quiz them in this regard and ask for concrete examples to find the best of the best among them.
- Do you use cloud accounting systems and technology to perform accounting services?
Cloud accounting systems can benefit your company in various ways, such as anytime access, superb security, and ease of collaboration. If cloud accounting is vital to you and your operations, it’s important to be certain this is something they offer.
- Do you offer any other finance functions?
As you grow your business, you may face other financial tasks that need addressing. So, team up with an outsourced accounting firm that offers various finance functions like bookkeeping, tax, and even payroll. Doing so saves you time looking for a new company to work with and secures a partnership that has a clearer understanding of how your business operates.
CloudCfo: Trusted Finance Services
Taking charge of all accounting functions in a business can be difficult, especially for those who don’t have a background in it. As a busy entrepreneur, letting an outsourced firm handle this specific work can ultimately benefit your business, which is why it’s essential to find qualified and suitable people for the job.
CloudCfo is a cloud accounting firm you can outsource in the Philippines to help you manage your accounting responsibilities and more! If you’re looking for a trusted outsourced firm that offers a full suite of finance functions, check out our services page or contact us today to learn how we can help you grow your business.