But what do we mean by that? As the owner of a small business, your time is the most valuable asset you have. What is the best way for you to spend your time? We find so often that owners and CEOs get ‘bogged’ down in so much day to day running of the business that they miss their chance to innovate and take the company places that it should be going.
We all know that small business owners do not have the financial backing like companies such as Facebook and Google. You can’t afford to have every aspect of your company covered by an experienced professional. You have to be the owner, the sales person, the marketing person, the social media representative, the IT guy, the accountant and every other aspect you can think of. You are wearing so many hats, is it any wonder that bits and pieces fall through the cracks or aspects of the business aren’t developed to the level that you’d like?
An outsourced accounting partner may be just what you need. By outsourcing your entire, or part of, your finance function such as bookkeeping and cashflow management you are free to develop your business and realise the plans you originally had in the beginning.
A couple of questions to ask yourself about whether you need an outsourced accounting partner:
Do you spend your day multi-tasking to the point where you’re realising your productivity is suffering?
Multi-tasking is great in general. Being able to do several things at once or focus on several jobs at the same time is excellent when you’re starting up your business and starting to grow. However, did you know it typically takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to become focused on the next job if you are continuously switching and getting distracted? Multi-tasking literally splits your brain, so you are not giving 100% to the job at hand as you’re already thinking about the next job.
Does your business grind to a halt when one person goes on holidays?
By using an outsourcing partner to look after your finances it will ensure that your books and records are maintained, even at times when certain staff members are on holidays. This means that invoices will still get processed, wages will still get paid and most importantly for the business survival, sales invoices still get issued and debtors are chased.
Do you know what the most efficient and cost-effective reporting and financial management software is?
Learning new things is time consuming and expensive. It may just be easier to keep printing everything and storing them in a never-ending pile of wasted paper in an out-dated filing system, that whenever you need to access an invoice from 3rd August 2009, it turns into a 3-man job and copious amounts of coffee.
By taking on the services of an outsourced accounting partner, they will always be on top of what is the most current and cost-effective software to use, to make the most out of your books. Not only that, they help you move towards a paperless workflow, meaning less costs on printing and filing!
Ever wondered where you’ll find the time of day to do the 6 million jobs that have to be done by close of business?
Like we mentioned above, you are wearing most, if not all, of the hats of running your business. If you’re starting to see success and massive growth, all of a sudden it may seem like too much. How will you find the time of day to have those 3 meetings, 4 conference calls, the VAT returns that have to be finished, paying 4 invoices before they’re due tomorrow and making sure your employees are paid?
You need to be able to focus on growing and expanding your business, in whatever shape that may take. You need the time to develop relationships with customers, achieve your company goals or figure out new and exciting goals for the future.
Are you using your Accounts and Data to inform decisions?
As you may only be using the services of a professional Accountant once a year, perhaps you are not using the information that is available in your books and records to allow you make good business decisions. Using this information can really help your business grow and add to the bottom line. We are firm believers of this at Comerford Foley. Some examples of how financial data should be used to help you make good business decisions would be:
- Customers that start to slow down on the regularity of their payments may indicate financial difficulty. This would help inform your credit control procedures and raise awareness when agreeing to fulfill new orders;
- Trends of sales from year to year for certain customers may assist in marketing activity decisions i.e. when and who to focus those activities on;
- Erosion (fancy word for loss!) or decline in margin in certain product lines will help you make decisions about price. In extreme cases it may actually ensure you cease to produce or sell non profitable lines in a timely manner.
For each of the above, waiting over twelve months to react is too long and your business will suffer as a result.
One of the services that we, at Comerford Foley, offer to SME’s is the outsourcing of their entire (or part) of their finance function – bookkeeping, monthly accounts, cashflow management and management reporting. The purpose of this is to free up the business owner to enable you to grow your business. At the same time, you get access to experienced professionals at the times you need this advice when normally your business may not be able to afford it, as opposed to hiring a full team of professionals on a full-time basis, that will need salaries, benefits, workspaces, computers and a whole host of other bits.
Outsourcing your accountancy needs with an accountant partner is the way forward. Don’t believe us? Keep an eye out for a future blog case study where we will show how they were able to stop inefficiencies and increase their bottom line thanks to outsourcing their accountancy needs.
For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 051 396 703.