Most small business owners think of outsourced accounting services as something that only big businesses use. After all, you only have a handful of employees and accounts at this point. Why not invest in accounting software and spare the expense of farming out routine bookkeeping matters that you can get the spouse to handle or do for yourself?
Maybe you’re a real hands-on, DIY kind of business owner. Perhaps it’s difficult for you to let go and trust your finances to an outsider. Whatever the issue, every minute spent pouring over ledgers or trying to draw up a budget is time taken from building your business. Finding a reputable, dedicated accounting firm, or at least consulting with a company that specializes in automating small businesses. is an investment in growth.
What Processes Should a Small Business Automate?
Even if you turn some clerical duties over to your staff or do them yourself, you’re hindering the productivity of your business. You also risk increasing burnout and dissatisfaction. No one likes having extra work piled on.
Modern automated systems perform nearly all functions on a cloud, giving managers and owners real-time access and reporting while providing a high level of transparency. Such systems can be fully customized to suit your unique needs, and the platform makes it easy for anyone with authorization to view an accurate picture of everything from cash on hand to inventory in stock.
Automated systems for small businesses can help with:
* Inventory control
* Compiling managerial reports
* Long-range business planning and forecasting
* Compiling and filing financial and tax documents
* Marketing and outreach
* Bank reconciliation
How many times have you been in a retail establishment only to have a sales associate spend a good chunk of their time back in a stockroom looking for an item? Imagine how much better the service if sales reps could spend that time interacting with the customer because accurate inventory information is available at the swipe of a screen on their hand-held device?
Account automation is also ideal when you have a mobile workforce, off-site production facilities or your stock is located in a warehouse across town. Who has time to drive to another location or call and wait for someone to manually search for something? Are you tired of scrolling through invoices or tracking down late-paying vendors? There are automated systems that will flag late accounts and send customized reminders on your behalf. When revenue comes in, it can be automatically deposited into the appropriate account, and any related accounts are updated in real time.
What Kind of Services Do Financial Management Companies Offer?
The old model of outsourcing was to find a local accounting firm and have them take over whatever functions were needed. Usually, there was a plan involved that provided certain levels of service based on what features were used. There may or may not have been full account automation involved, and most reporting was not provided in real-time.
Modern service providers offer real-time, custom solutions that are based on a Software as Service (SaaS) model. That means your business is evaluated using an individualized approach, with cloud-based solutions created to meet your specific needs. The virtual reporting system means that you or anyone in your company can access essential data from any location, at any time.
Since the service provided via a software dashboard interface, you’re still in complete control of your finances. Plus, you’ll have the advantage of setup, implementation and upgrades provided by professionals whose only business is helping companies like yours. Cloud-based solutions also mean no investment in additional infrastructure or software and hardware updates.
When you add up time taken away from customer service, product development and promoting your business in terms of man hours, you’ll see that it’s more cost-effective to automate. Outsourcing also reduces the risk of human error, filing and reporting delays and missing important details.