In today’s time, employers prefer to outsource the business functions that are not directly associated with generating income. It saves both money and time. So what exactly is outsourcing? In simple terms, it can be defined as long-term contracting of the business processes to a service provider to reduce costs of non-core functions.
Outsourcing is not a new concept. It has been in use for ages. The companies outsource their advertising, computer services, legal obligations, and printing work along with many other business processes. They get to benefit from the expertise these service providers have and do not have to deal with increased burden at their workplace either. In the last few years, there has been a spike in the trend of outsourcing Finance and Accounting.
Reasons Why Organizations Decide to Outsource Finance and Accounting?
Spending too much time on accounting: Businesses spend a lot of time on in-house accounting, especially when it comes to small businesses. In such cases, it gets difficult for the management to concentrate on the core issues that require attention to sustainable growth.
Difficulty in compliance: Central and state laws are in place for every business that they have to comply with. Not understanding the law and making mistakes while bookkeeping is not an option as it can attract penalties and legal obligations. It is better to opt for finance and accounting outsourcing services that know the in and out of the regulations and keep an eye on the changing ones.
Costly in-house accounting: In most of the businesses, the accounting department cost much more than it should have. Outsourcing Accounting and Bookkeeping Services makes it easier for companies to save money.
What is the importance of outsourcing finance and accounting services?
No more resource crunch: It is hard to recruit and retain the best talent in finance and accounting due to the always increasing demand. When you outsource financial accounting services, it makes it possible for businesses to get access to the best talent pool in the industry.
Focus on the core business: With reliable support in the finance and accounts, the management can shift its concentration on the core business processes.
Reduced infrastructure cost and access to the latest technology: Finance and accounting team needs regular up-gradation of the system and software. The software gets regularly updated to ensure compliance with the modified regulations by the state and central governments. It is expensive to keep updating the software from time to time, and missing out an update can lead to legal consequences due to non-compliance. When you outsource finance and accounting, you will not only be able to control the infrastructure cost but also get access to the latest technology.
Possibilities of global reach: If an organization wants to expand and access new markets, then it has to have access to offshore finance and accounting services that can be very expensive. However, when you outsource your accounts to a firm that specializes in local and international finance and accounting, it gets much easier to ensure compliance in every market.
Types of outsourced finance and accounting services
Bookkeeping is an important business process outsourcing finance and accounting. In this process, all the records related to the company's total earnings and expenses are maintained. It reflects the financial situation of the company based on the earnings. The data provided using bookkeeping helps in taking practicable business decisions.
Management accounting revolves around the management of business assets, internal business operations associated with the clients, reports on profit and loss of the company, reports on key performance indicators adopted by the company, cash details including cash in hand and forecasts, revenue projections, and more.
Tax accounting revolves around the tax income returns and required tax payments based on your industry and laws of the land. The service provider must keep track of all the tax payments you have made and keep updated with any change in the tax laws. They should be able to flag if you are missing or overpaying taxes.
Accounting audit is important to ensure transparency within the company and to make sure the business complies with the laws. Outsourcing accounting services cover financial records, statements, and company receipts. It also helps in controlling, detecting, and eliminating fraud, malpractice, and corruption in the company.
In case there are gaps in the financial records of the company, forensic accounting will help in detecting the root cause of the problem. It will also serve as the source of information for law enforcement agencies to take action on any foul play against your company.
It covers different calculations associated with the product like profitability, review of credits and re-bills, and more. Finance and accounting outsourcing also covers a review of the sales contracts to keep a check on the impact of such contracts on accounting policies.
Payroll services are available with most of the companies that provide finance and accounting. It includes tallying the pay cycle of your company, end-of-month services, and end-of-year services. The service provider will take care of the payroll compliance as per the state and central regulations.
Statutory reporting and compliance
It covers compliance with local, central, and international accounting standards including tax reports, payroll processing, and more. The service provider is obliged to keep a crucial range of data to keep track of the company’s progress. This data is very helpful when businesses are looking for investors.
What are the advantages of outsourcing finance and accounting services?
There are a lot of benefits of outsourcing finance and accounting services such as:
- Companies that specialize in managing outsourced finance and accounting services keep themselves update about the compliance policies, financial regulations, and rules in accounting. They keep track of the changes in the policies and ensure they get implemented in every client’s workplace.
- Being in the business of providing finance and accounting services, it is of utmost importance for these firms to keep their hardware and software updated as per the latest trends and regulations. For a single business, it can be an expensive thing to maintain. Still, because these firms base their work on managing finance and accounting for multiple companies, upgrading cost comparatively is much lower. That means you will have access to the latest technology at a nominal price.
- Most of these firms have the best minds associated with them. The quality of bookkeeping and accounting will be much higher compared to your in-house department.
- The services to opt for while outsourcing can be scaled up or down without much hassle. However, if you try to do it in-house, it will cost you dearly.
- Outsourcing companies are highly professional, and they are strict about the quality, security, and confidentiality of the data of their clients. The financial data is much safer with such companies.
- You will get a dashboard where you can access your financial data anytime and from anywhere. It helps you making business decisions quickly and efficiently.
- Outsourcing reduces the chances of any liabilities associated with payroll and tax filing. A professional finance and accounting company makes sure that such problems never happen.
What factors need to consider while outsourcing?
Cost is the first and foremost factor that you should consider. Irrespective of the size of your organization, outsourcing your finance and accounting has a lot of benefits, and the cost is one of the most prominent once. When you are hiring an outsourcing company, make sure that the cost is comparatively less from your in-house department.
Outsourcing ensures you get access to the best staff and technology that is required for smooth and flawless operations. You have the right to ask the finance and accounting outsourcing companies in India about their staff and the expertise they hold in the field of your business.
Check the conditions of the agreement.
Once you have listed all your terms and agreed to their conditions and payment schedule, go through all the terms and conditions and points in the agreement once again before you sign them. Make sure there are no extra clauses that you had not agreed upon. Also, make sure that there are no services listed that are of no use to you and make add up to the bill.
The work requirements in unforeseen circumstances like a pandemic vary from what you have signed in the contract. In such cases, the firm should have the option to adapt to the situation and have some clause to maintain the work without causing many problems.
What questions to ask to service providers?
You should ask them how long they have been in the business. Learn about their business model. Try to figure out what makes them different from the other finance and accounting outsourcing companies. You should be aware of the number of employees working in their firm and how many people will be working for your company. Ask them about their financial health. If they can, and they should share details about cash flow and liquidity.
Ask them for referrals from their top three customers. Ask them if you can contact them and learn more about the service provider. Ask the service provider about the projects they have worked on similar to your business. You should learn if they have lost any major client in the last three years and the reason behind it.
Ask them questions about your industry. Learn about the additional benefits that they were able to provide to their customers in the last three days. Ask them how many sectors they handle at any given time and how many experts they have exclusively for your sector.
Learn how often they upgrade their system. Ask them if they make any changes in the infrastructure and how frequently. Learn if they had any downtime in the last three years and if yes, for how long.
Ask them the steps they take to ensure data security. Ask them the certification they hold that ensures data security and learn what kind of encryption they use. They should tell you if they had any data breach in the past and if yes, the details and steps they took to avoid any breach in the future.
You should be aware of the way they manage their staffing. Ask them about the process and how they choose the quality minds to include in the team. If possible, learn more about the people who will be working for your business and ask them if they will notify you about any change in the team.
Outsourcing is highly beneficial!
Outsourcing finance and accounting comes with a lot of benefits. If you choose the finance and accounting outsourcing companies wisely, it will save money, time, and resources that you can further invest in your business. You will also get access to the latest technology along with easier access international market in case you want to expand the business. Choosing the best-outsourced accounting services can be tricky but if you keep the above-mentioned points in mind, it will get easier to get rid of a lot of finance and accounting related burden.