people having an accounting meeting
Accounting refers to many separate tasks — from preparing taxes to recording expenses. Outsourcing some or all of these tasks can give you more time to spend growing your business. — Getty Images/Jirapong Manustrong

As a small business owner, you might be tempted to handle all business operations with little outside help, especially when first starting out. However, it’s often beneficial to outsource some of the more daunting, time-consuming tasks — like accounting.

Accounting is an especially crucial part of your business, dictating nearly every decision you make. If you’re not a seasoned expert at managing money, handling taxes, or tracking cash flow, it’s worth the investment to hire an accountant or accounting firm to help.

Why should you outsource your accounting?

It’s nearly impossible to efficiently oversee every part of your company without a bit of outside help. While you might be hesitant to pay for accounting services on an already tight budget, doing so can actually save you money in the end.

Aside from avoiding crucial accounting errors that may stem from trying to do your own books, here are a few reasons you should consider outsourcing your accounting:

  • You’ll have more time to spend managing and growing your business.
  • You’ll pay only for the services you need, rather than investing in a full-time, in-house employee.
  • You’ll have access to accounting technology that will keep your information secure, backed up and readily available.
  • Your accountant can analyze historical data and trends to offer expert recommendations for positive cash flow and future financial success.

Having a team of professionals backing you and your business, while offering you the chance to channel your strengths elsewhere, will make all the difference.

Having a team of professionals backing you and your business, while offering you the chance to channel your strengths elsewhere, will make all the difference.

Identifying which accounting tasks to outsource

“Accounting” is a broad term that covers a long list of tasks. You might be wondering which accounting tasks you should hand over to an expert and which you should tackle on your own.

According to Online Accounting Schools, here are some of the services an accounting firm may offer:

  • Payroll processing: Managing the entire payroll process to ensure your employees get paid accurately and on time.
  • Accounts receivable and payable: Handling incoming customer invoices and outgoing vendor payments.
  • Tax management: Calculating, preparing and filing federal taxes, and submitting payments to the appropriate government entities.
  • Drafting financial statements: Creating important financial reports for all entities and persons involved, including the IRS, company stakeholders and investors, and managers.
  • Bookkeeping: Ensuring all of your business’s income and expenses are documented with receipts.
  • Balancing ledgers: Reconciling your business’s bank account statements against your books.

[For a full guide on choosing an accountant, see How to Find the Right Accounting Service for Your Business.]

Choosing the right accounting firm

Now that you know why and what you should outsource, it’s time to choose an accounting firm for your company. There are many details to consider, but you’ll ultimately want to find a firm that will work well with you, your team and your business’s needs.

For instance, you’ll want to choose a firm whose location is convenient (remote or within your area) so you aren’t traveling too far or too often. You’ll also want to consider the firm’s experience and certifications so you can trust its employees to both manage and grow your revenue.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best accounting software, visit our friends at business.com.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published May 24, 2019