When Should A Business Outsource An Accountant Or Bookkeeper?

Valenta > Accounting > When Should A Business Outsource An Accountant Or Bookkeeper?

There are many situations when a business will want to engage accountant staff augmentation and bookkeeper staff augmentation.  Outsourced accountant services and outsourced bookkeeper services can help many businesses and accounting firms do more, do it quickly, and be more cost effective.  In this article we will cover the role of an accountant and bookkeeper, some of the many situations for when it makes sense to outsource an accountant and bookkeeper, plus how to outsource accountant and bookkeeping services.

Role of an Accountant and Bookkeeper

Indeed the popular site for job posts defines the role of an accountant as follows.

Accountants work in a variety of industries, including governments and corporations. Some specializations in the field include public accountants, management accountants, government accountants, and auditors. Accountants are responsible for making sure that financial documents, including taxes, are accurate and clear. Accountants may also work as advisors to help individuals or groups make good financial decisions. In addition to their mathematical work, accountants need to be able to explain their conclusions to a variety of audiences, which frequently involves writing reports or presenting their findings verbally.

 Depending on what an accountant specializes in, they may:

Prepare tax documents and take responsibility for making sure that they are paid correctly and on time.

Suggest ways for clients to save money, organize more efficiently, or increase revenue.

Prepare statements that corporations will share with potential investors.

Audit documents to check for mismanagement of funds.

Maintain the records of government agencies.

The role of a bookkeeper is described below.

A bookkeeper, also known as a bookkeeping clerk, records all financial transactions in a company’s financial books and produces financial statements and reports for supervisors, managers and accountants. Most bookkeepers work in office environments alongside the rest of the accounting team. Bookkeepers may work full-time or part-time and may be hired to work in-house for a business or as a freelance contractor.

 Depending on their qualifications, industry and years of experience, a bookkeeper may:

Record all of a business’ incoming (credits) and outgoing (debits) financial transactions

Handle certain payroll and human resource functions

Prepare key financial statements such as balance sheets and income statements

Reconcile bank accounts

Provide accountants with accurate financial statements at tax time

We agree with both these job descriptions.  These tasks can be performed remotely and make staff augmentation services an option.  The outsourced accountants and outsourced bookkeeping services we offer can provide companies with skills in these areas that may be hard to find or challenging to find within the allocated budget for the role.

When Does an Outsourced Accountant Make Sense?

There are many scenarios for when it will make sense to outsource account and bookkeeping resources.  The reasons we find most cited by our clients are outlined below and come directly from a Top 10 List we recently published.

Acquire Needed Skills – Getting needed competencies and skills in the door is the number one reason to outsource staff and use staff augmentation services.  Frequently specific skills can be hard to hire staff for.  Other times it is possible to find staff but not within the budget a company has available for a position.  Getting needed skills in the door helps a business execute on its goals and serve its customers.

Reduce Costs – When a business combines the salary for a role with additional costs it gets an accurate picture of the expense for every role.  Federal and state or provincial taxes must be accounted for.  Benefits for health care and retirement are also part of the package.  Infrastructure and overhead costs must also be examined.  After adding all of these costs together, staff augmentation can often fill roles for 30% to 50% of these total costs.

Flexibility – Service providers of staff augmentation and outsourcing are able to scale up and ramp down quickly as needed by their clients.  Companies engaged in staff augmentation are in constant recruitment mode and have ample candidates to bring on to serve new clients.  They can also re assign workers quickly should an organization need to scale down due to business conditions.

Economies of Scale – Service providers of staff augmentation are specialized and have critical mass.  They have infrastructure in the form of service centers with 100’s of staff working in them.  They also have ample access to talent and are typically located in countries where there are young and well educated people looking for careers.

Speed of Implementation – Service providers are able to provide resources fast.  They have made the investments up front to operate quickly and efficiently.  Frequently they have people on staff ready to assume roles.  If this is not the case, they are typically constantly recruiting and have a steady pool of candidates.

Focus on the Core Business – An often overlooked reason to engage with service providers of staff augmentation is the ability to focus on the core business and the reason a company is in business in the first place.  Many roles filled by staff augmentation service providers are back office roles and roles that are not central to the reason a company is in business.  Assigning this type of work to someone who may be virtual can make tons of sense.

Consistency of Expense – Staff augmentation contract costs and charges are well defined.  The scope and statement of work are agreed upon ahead of time.  Rates are typically locked in and do not fluctuate.  Defined running costs let businesses and firms focus on other priorities.

Stop Spending Time on Recruiting – Any executive or business owner who has done recruiting knows how much time it can take to do it well.  It is a time consuming process.  Recruiting also comes with risks and not every candidate hired works out.  Why not outsource the recruiting of staff in addition to the worker.  Staff augmentation service providers are pros at recruiting and are engaged in the process every day of the week, and every week of the year.

Talent Management – The staff and resources are the responsibility of the service provider.  After a client assists in the initial onboarding the service provider will manage the resources and also train up backups and any potential future staff additions or replacements.  HR process and strategy is already in place with service providers.

Complement Existing Staff – In nearly all of our engagements, resources we provide work very closely with local staff and help them to be more efficient.  While we can outsource entire departments it is much more common for us to provide several, a few or even one person to support existing staff.  We are typically offloading all the work that does not need to be done in person and back office work that is best done offsite at lower costs.

How to Outsource Accountants

How to outsource accountants or bookkeepers is as simple as calling or emailing Valenta.  During a call, virtual meeting, or in person meeting with one of our Managing Partners we will get to know your business or firm and the scope of work for the role you wish to fill.  We will discuss important software tools used as well as established workflows.  We will discuss timelines and ensure that there is a match on budget.  Once this is complete, we will look to see if we have staff on the bench that meet the requirements.  If this is not the case, we will examine our current candidate recruitment funnel.  Finally, if required we will do a short recruitment process.  Once we have identified the right resource, we will forward profiles and videos of candidates for review.

Want to Learn More? 

Everything we do at Valenta is about helping companies focus on and have time for what they do best and their core mission.  We do this through process consulting, digital transformation, and the automation of tasks.  We also do this by providing staff augmentation.   Valenta is focused exclusively on SMB clients, typically enterprise customers with 10-1,000 employees.  We have Managing Partners located in cities across the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, and Australia.  Our Managing Partners work with other onshore consultants, plus offshore consultants, developers, and managers of outsourced staff to deliver the best services to our clients.

Please find an overview of some of the roles we fill here.  Please reach out to us here to discuss your staffing requirements at any time.  We look forward to serving you and helping your business or firm.


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