There’s been a big shift over the last decade from in-house to remote or virtual accounting departments, and for good reason. Automation and technology have made it simpler to track necessary KPIs and derive actionable financial intelligence for CEOs and business owners everywhere.
Traditionally, trust has been placed in the CPA’s hands, and the CPA’s hands only, with minimal feedback or checks and balances, whereas today’s technological advancements offer more in-depth, accurate financial intelligence than ever before.
This puts the power in your hands as the CEO, so you’ll never have to question the state of your business’s financials again. You’ll know. Actionable financial information has never been more accessible, but as CEO you’ve got to ensure you’re receiving it and know where your financials stand.
The main difference between remote or outsourced accounting and in-house is expertise and focus. With an outsourced accounting service you are typically getting a team that provides a fractional share of a full accounting department - bookkeepers, accountants and accounting managers or controllers.
They are focused on providing their clients with best practice accounting and financial management and, if you hire the right firm, they’ll be trained to provide the best technology and processes for your business. Whereas an in-house bookkeeper or accountant, or even most CPA firms, simply can’t provide that level of expertise and insight.
You need to ensure you are getting timely, accurate financial information to make strategic decisions for your company which is often hard to get from just one in-house person
The Risks of In-house Accounting
Unless you have an all-star, 20-30 year master accountant on staff, chances are, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong with in-house accounting. And even if you DO happen to have that person, there are substantial disadvantages and risks to having 1 person in charge of bookkeeping and accounting management.
The main one is fraud – having just one person overseeing the books provides way too much opportunity for theft and it is all too easy to cover up.
These disadvantages include:
- Lack of experience and expertise
- Limited internal controls
- No separation of duties
- Additional responsibilities and duties which detract from accounting and financial reporting
- Overhead costs
- Ongoing costs for hiring, training and management of staff
- Variable, unreliable performance and skillsets
With outsourced accounting, you eliminate uncertainties and place power into your own hands, which can improve your overall business processes.
The Value of Virtual Accounting and Outsourced Bookkeeping
Remote accounting provided by a top outsourced accounting department takes the best of both worlds – technology and accounting expertise – and wraps it in one holistic package for your business. When you compare overhead costs for a full-time CPA or bookkeeper and the monthly fees for an outsourced team, you’ll clearly see that one is much more cost-effective than the other.
Having an in-house accountant requires you to continuously train them and oversee or manage their activity, whereas a remote team can bring expertise and dependability that doesn’t require maintenance costs. Because you’re paying for a service, the team will be experienced and vetted, and you won’t risk anyone being self-taught or having spotty skills in a certain area.
Key benefits and advantages of outsourced or remote accounting:
- With technology, you now have an entire team of remote experts right at your fingertips
- The outsourced team’s collective expertise far exceeds the knowledge of one person
- With multiple eyes on the books, you minimize the possibility of inaccuracy and fraud
- Advanced data driven decision-making
- Remote accounting gives you more time to focus on more strategic, higher-level tasks for the business
- The same can be said for your staff, who won’t be bogged down with manual data entry or collection
- There’s no worry about scalability, as you’re covered with a remote team
- The best part? You’ll likely save money!
How a Remote Accounting Relationship Works
From these points, you may be wondering how a remote accounting relationship actually works with a business. As a CEO with QuickBooks, with an outsourced accounting firm, you can customize and deploy automated software that will reduce errors and display highly accurate financial information in real-time.
Don’t worry – we’re not talking about offshore outsourcing – but a local, U.S.-based, high-performing accounting team working for you, all while understanding your business and constantly working to optimize your financial processes and day-to-day tasks.
These outsourced retainer services typically range between $2,500 - $5,000 a month for SMBs, depending on which services you need (all companies are different, after all)! When compared to the salary and overhead costs for an in-house employee, it’s much more cost-effective than ever before to get a suite of bookkeeping, accounting and reporting services that far out-perform in-house.
Easier Than You Think
Accounting doesn’t have to be a monthly headache, or full of unanswered questions at the end of the quarter or fiscal year. Working with a remote, outsourced accounting department can bring you the stability and peace of mind you’ve been seeking for your financial operations.
If you need to get more dependable accounting and financial reporting to run your business it may make sense to consider outsourcing rather than building an internal accounting department.
If you’d like to learn how you can count on remote accounting and discover ways it helps you truly keep score, feel free to check out our Keeping Score eBook here!