If you have an accountant look over your books at the end of the year, make complex journal entries, and prepare your taxes, isn't that an outsourced accountant?
The answer is no.
Most businesses have this kind of relationship with an acountant, and it's a valuable one. However, it's a once-a-year relationship that's sprinkled with a few phone calls here and there.
If you're looking for an accountant that will actually help you run the day-to-day operations of the business, consider an outsourced accountant.
Let's look at the differences:
Difference #1: Get Daily Support
Everyday the paperwork piles up. An outsourced accountant will take care of the bookkeeping work for you on a daily basis. He or she will help pay the bills, invoice the customers and more. In the past, this was only an option for small businesses, but with improvements in technology, larger companies are outsourcing the books as well.
Think of your CPA as someone to turn to when you need complex tax planning or strategy consultations. Think of your outsourced accounting service as the place to go to keep the business running.
With an outsourced accounting service, you won't need to pay for a full-time employee to keep the books. If you do decide to go down this road, you should expect to pay between 40% and 60% of the cost of an employee. Although your CPA does help with the accounting work, they could never replace your in-house staff as a cost effective solution.
Difference #3: In the Trenches
Your once-a-year accountant will look at the books and may request a few changes for tax purposes. His suggestions come from a high-flying view of your business. The outsourced accountant has far more involvement in your business and will be adjusting, reconciling and completing accounting tasks on a daily or weekly basis.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the once-a-year accountant is a valuable relationship. He or she will give a fresh perspective on your business and offer valuable consulting advice. However, an outsourced accounting service will take care of the day-to-day accounting needs of your business.