A Winning Strategy for Small Businesses & Nonprofits
What exactly is outsourced accounting services? Is there strategic advice available to those who are serious about growth? Who can benefit from outsourcing their accounting functions? Are there any considerations for selecting a service provider in this area? This video breaks down the answers to these questions and provides some clarity on how you can enhance your business and streamline your accounting function.
Can you provide a high-level overview of BKD’s Outsourced Accounting Services?
“So, big picture, we assist our clients with accounting and finance functions to facilitate more timely and accurate accounting. This assistance will ultimately yield more meaningful information which in turn, allows the opportunity for management to make better financial decisions. Our level of assistance can vary between accounting period closings, to nearly full outsourcing, and also includes various advisory functions.”
What advice would you give small businesses and nonprofits that are serious about growth?
“So, growth is a serious business. My top two pieces of advice include... One, continually invest in the financial literacy of your management team and employees to specifically include the key drivers of success for your small business or nonprofit. Also important is understanding and mastering the cash flow cycles of your small business or nonprofit. The pace and management of growth can only be as successful as your team’s comprehension, predictability, and timing of that cash flow.”
What type of company can benefit from outsourcing their accounting functions?
“So, although we believe nearly all industries can benefit from some level of outsourcing, we have found certain situations to be leading indicators of a need and benefit for outsourcing. One, you have trouble finding and keeping competent accounting and finance team members. Two, your accounting systems and/or processes are in need of refreshing or potentially a complete re-build. Three, you have trouble closing the books—both from a timeliness and/or accuracy point of view. And lastly, you are in a rapid growth phase and frankly just need some help.”
What should business owners consider when selecting a service provider?
“With any service provider, I think management teams should consider the trust they have in that service provider. So, for an accounting and finance service provider, some specific things to be mindful of and look for include ... Number one, technical expertise. Does the outsourcing service provider understand your industry’s evolving regulatory environment? So, the most effective firms will have a culture of continual investment in their team’s expertise, whether that be complex regulations, emerging technologies, or more efficient processes. Number two, effective communication. Does the outsourcing service provider engage you at the appropriate pace, in a meaningful format, and bring you proactive ideas? Discipline must be a strength of an outsourcing service provider, and that holds especially true with communication. Number three, does the outsourcing service provider have in-house experts to assist with all facets of finance and accounting? Whether it be collaborative tax planning, complicated merger and acquisition consulting, engaging a firm with a depth of expertise and collaboration of professionals can better position you to navigate those opportunities. Lastly, does the outsourcing service provider consistently do what they say they’re going to do? At BKD, we call this responsive reliability and we hold this idea in such regard that we‘ve embraced it as one of our Unmatched Client Service standards.”