Outsourced finance and accounting is one of the fastest growing areas for accounting firms and one of the key values that firms can offer their clients. It’s not just about helping clients do their accounting right; it’s about leveraging accounting data to provide meaningful information that enables client companies to operate more effectively and efficiently.
Historically, ACP firms have focused on accounting for transactions already completed by their clients. The resulting financial reporting, however, was too slow for an accounting-centric approach to be of much use in running most businesses.
Advancements in technology have now allowed CPA firms to be part of the transaction process, allowing CPAs and advisors to provide more valuable services to clients, such as the following:
- Help clients focus on their business rather than their accounting
- Provide relevant information in real time
- Provide cost-effective access to technology, best practices and expertise.
Focus on business, not accounting
Helping clients efficiently complete and record financial transactions allows them to spend more time on the business and less time on the books. The efficiency provided by a skilled service team and up-to-date technology often convinces customers of the benefit of changing their business approach.
This approach is also more efficient for CPA firms, as the technology dramatically reduces service costs and increases accounting accuracy, freeing up resources and enabling advisors to spend more time helping clients resolve the issues that matter most. .
CPAs and business advisors can also provide value by interpreting the resulting accounting and providing advice on potential opportunities and pitfalls. The hands-on nature of outsourced financial and accounting services enables – and demands – more frequent client contact, giving advisors the opportunity to help clients resolve issues before they arise. This provides much higher value to clients than reacting to situations after they have occurred, as some results are irreversible.
Provide real-time information access data
Many clients don’t find traditional financial reports very useful when making day-to-day decisions to improve the efficiency of their business. Instead, they value easily accessible, real-time information on the key drivers of their business’s success. CPAs can help clients identify key success factors and use real-time cloud technology to make this information easily accessible and understandable.
By using current technology and appropriate procedures, CPAs can more easily produce the appropriate financial information for the different needs of various clients. This approach to management reporting, however, does not replace traditional financial reporting, which is often still needed for audits, tax filings, investors and banks.
Outsourcing financial and accounting services not only gives clients access to advanced technology and technical expertise; it also allows them to identify inefficiencies and move their account management from reactive to proactive.
Unlike traditional reactive accounting, proactive accounting can help a business identify and take advantage of savings and growth opportunities such as legislative changes or tax savings. In the long run, proactive accounting can help customers save money, increase value, and gain market credibility.
Respond to client’s needs
Client needs vary by size, structure and resources. CPAs provide value by acting as essential business advisors, engaging in personal interactions, assessing needs, and providing services tailored to each client’s unique circumstances. From startups to large corporations, businesses of all backgrounds can benefit from outsourcing in different ways. Examples include the following:
- Companies that are financially indifferent. Some companies do not have a finance or accounting department and do not wish to manage them. These companies usually outsource all of their financial and accounting needs so they can focus on other things.
- Businesses that need to supplement current resources. Some companies have some, but not all, of the financial and accounting resources, technology or expertise they need. Using outsourced finance and accounting services is a cost-effective way to bridge this gap. These services can evolve as business needs change.
- Businesses in need of technology and process expertise. Some companies have the right staff but lack experience in using cloud-based technologies, processes, and best practices to improve the efficiency of their finance and accounting operations. It is possible to outsource accounting technology and process expertise without outsourcing the personnel operating these systems.
Regardless of the approach, outsourcing can provide benefits beyond profitability, providing a team approach with a range of scalable skills and resources that are difficult to duplicate with hired employees.
Outsourced accounting is not only a productive way for clients to manage their business’ financial and accounting needs; it’s a way for them to identify opportunities and address issues before those issues negatively affect the business. As resources and technology continue to evolve, outsourcing is an increasingly important way for CPA firms to help clients improve efficiency, analyze business operations, and add value to their business.