Hiring vs. outsourcing your accounting: What is right for you?

January 28, 2020

There will come a day when every entrepreneur or small business owner realizes they can’t do it all, or they simply don’t want to. Being boss, HR manager, product designer, inventory manager, accountant, and the sales and marketing department can begin to weigh on you no matter how dedicated or organized you are. The good news is, help is out there.

Whether you have a fresh, new business, or an established one that’s been experiencing significant growth, management of your accounting/bookkeeping should be a top priority and may be task in which you could use some help. There are several reasons why an entrepreneur or small business owner may be looking to hire an accountant/CPA:

  • The business is growing, and you don’t have as much time to dedicate to day-to-day bookkeeping/accounting tasks
  • A key long-time employee is retiring leaving a void in the financial management side of the business
  • You’re experiencing regular turnover in the position from advancement or cultural issues
  • The needs of your company are outgrowing the skills of your current office manager
  • You want better, more up-to-date data so you can make informed decisions about the future of your business

The decision on whether to hire an in-house team member or outsource to a professional accounting/CPA firm can seem like a difficult one. It’s best to weigh the benefits of each against your business’s before making a final decision.

Hiring an in-house accountant/CPA

Your first instinct may be to hire someone in-house who can be easily accessible, moldable and grow with you in the business. You’re able to monitor their work and have daily face-to-face communication. Your compliance work will be handled, taking one more thing off your plate.

However, hiring an in-house accountant/CPA comes with its own risks and costs. First, there’s the matter of overhead costs, salary, benefits and vacation time. The costs can quickly add up especially if you’re looking for someone with experience. Additionally, you face turnover in a volatile job market, increased risk of internal fraud, and reaching a potential skills ceiling with the employee who cannot complete the more complex tasks and analysis you require as the business grows. Plus, you’re spending time searching for, interviewing, hiring, onboarding, training and monitoring the employee when you could be working on the business.

Outsourcing to a CPA firm

Outsourcing tends to be a great option for entrepreneurs and small business owners because it returns not only your time and energy, but also provides the valuable analysis you need as you grow. With outsourcing you receive:

  • More than just compliance – you get up-to-date data with analysis to help you make better decisions
  • A bank of highly-knowledgeable CPAs who can draw on their various industry experiences to solve your complex issues
  • Peace of mind knowing the work is being completed accurately and timely, and you don’t have to deal with turnover, vacation time or inter-office politics
  • A variable level of service to suit all your needs from basic accounting/bookkeeping to in-depth CFO-level projects

You may be concerned that outsourcing doesn’t provide you with the constant communication or connection you need; but current technology allows you and your CPA to work together virtually through secure portals so that you can accomplish your goals in the business, and your CPA can take care of the work on the back-end.

Outsourcing is also an investment, but it is one many small business owners and entrepreneurs never regret because it offers peace of mind and value that cannot be found anywhere else.

Making the decision

Now that you’ve been armed with the benefits and challenges of each option, you can make the decision that’s right for your business. You may even determine that a hybrid method is right for you so you can have an in-house team member for the day-to-day work and a CPA advisor for your more complex issues. If you’re still undecided, Goering & Granatino is available to help you decide which route will work best for your unique situation.