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Remote Accounting Services: Outsourcing in a Virtual World

“Outsourcing” has become a tainted word that often invokes images of jobs heading overseas. But there’s another type of outsourcing — remote services — that’s both good for companies and jobs here at home.

Specifically, we’re talking about remote accounting services.

The idea is simple. Let’s say you’re a small company and you don’t quite have the money for a full accounting hire, but you still have many more accounting tasks than you, a small business owner, can tackle on your own. Or let’s say you do have one accountant on staff, but you have 1.5 jobs’ worth of work.

Basically, when a full-time hire doesn’t make sense yet, outsourced CFO and other accounting duties can help you bridge the gap.

Want to learn more? Read on as we discuss the upsides of remote accounting services.

3 Upsides to Remote Accounting Services

#1: Costs

There are three main cost savings you enjoy by outsourcing your accounting:

  • Only pay for the hours you need: If you have 20 hours per week worth of accounting needs, but you pay a full-time accountant for 40 … well, you see where we’re going with this. Outsourced accounting helps you pay only for what you need until the need is great enough for a full-time hire.
  • Lower hiring costs: Hiring remote accountants saves both time and money on the hiring and training processes.
  • Lower equipment costs: Typically, remote accountants are already going to have the hardware and software they’ll need — that’s additional computers and software licenses you won’t have to buy.

#2: Flexibility/Scalability

Small business owners know that when you’re starting up, there’s a lot of value in hiring jacks-of-all-trades. People who can do a little bit of everything are invaluable when personnel resources are tight.

Accountants have truly specialized skills, but probably can’t slot in as a marketer or a salesperson when it’s required.

In other words, it really only starts to pay off to hire a full-time, in-house accountant when there’s enough accounting and other financial work to be done. Until then, though, you still need to fulfill a need, and outsourced CFOs and accountants give you that kind of flexibility.

Also, given that hiring remote accountants means getting only the hours you need, it’s an extremely nimble way to scale your accounting needs, both higher and lower, as needed.

#3: Experience and Expertise

Small businesses often have limited financial resources. So when it is time to hire a full-time accountant, you might only be able to afford a less experienced accountant — someone right out of college, or a professionals new to the profession.

But high-quality, remote accounting services (we can’t speak for everyone) allow you to tap the brains of experienced accountants without actually having to bring one onto your staff full time. It’s a cost-effective way to get a seasoned pro looking at your books. The likeliest outcomes from that are better financial reporting and a better plan to help you navigate (and squeeze tax credits and deductions from) the business tax code.

Remote Accounting Challenges

Let’s be clear: Remote accounting services aren’t a total walk in the park. There are a few challenges to overcome if you want to go this route.

For one, if you work with a largely paper-based filing system, a remote solution is virtually out of the question.

Security also becomes more of an issue. You must have secure electronic file keeping systems and workstations in place, as well as end-to-end encryption. You also have to have security training — and ensure that your remote accounting services provider has the same level of training.

How to Make Remote Accounting Services Work for You

Fortunately, a host of technological advancements make remote accounting services more accessible and secure. Cloud-based accounting software, electronic document management, even video conferencing all help remote accountants can feel like they’re right there in the office with you.

McManamon & Co. specializes in outsourced accounting for individuals and small and mid-size companies. And we provide all of the benefits of having your own corporate controller in addition to doing your everyday accounting, tax and bookkeeping.

Reach out and find out what we can do for you and your business! Just call 440.892.8900 or contact us online.

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