When just getting your basic weekly accounting tasks done puts a significant strain on your internal staff, is it safe to say you’re simply “getting by?” If what you want to achieve is growth and agility—and maximize the resources spent by your team so they’re pushing business forward—consider finding a new way to work. Teaming up with a partner to manage your back office accounting and administration, and even some of the more complex tasks like tax compliance, can result in tremendous ROI.
The Impact of Overstretching
Business growth brings more work, and without the staff bandwidth or technology to effectively tackle new requirements and a heavier workload, you can start experiencing cracks in your foundation that come in the form of errors and omissions and missed opportunities. When business owners or financial decision-makers are responsible for performing the day-to-day tasks—the finances sit on the back burner or strategic initiatives get put off. Both can have costly consequences.
Yet it can take a while to build a capable and dedicated finance and accounting team. Reporting on a Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business survey, CFO points out that hiring challenges can result in increased spending, reduced productivity, and diminished work quality. They note that nearly half of the survey participants are experiencing increased time to fill entry-level positions, almost one-third are experiencing increased recruiting costs, and just under one-third are hiring under-qualified candidates to fill entry-level positions.
Business owners know all too well that getting skilled hands on deck is the answer to picking up speed—not only catching up on work, but getting ahead of it. For as long as an accounting department goes without the right staff in place to handle their various needs, the business is essentially stalled. If it’s taking too long to invoice vendors or customers, if there are delays in receiving payments, and if decision-makers aren’t getting the financial insights they need to run the business and take advantage of opportunities (if they’re identifying opportunities in the first place), there’s little of the momentum needed to attract new business.
Facing the Accounting Skills Gap
According to ManpowerGroup’s 2016/2017 Talent Shortage Survey, accounting and finance staff—which include bookkeepers, certified accountants and financial analysts—rank number seven on the list of the hardest skills to find. Here’s a look at what’s standing in employers’ way of hiring the right people:
- Lack of applicants – 24%
- Lack of hard skills (technical competencies) – 19%
- Lack of experience – 19%
- Looking for more pay than is offered – 14%
- Lack of soft skills (workplace competencies) – 11%
Add to these challenges the fact that when you start planning to hire, it’s all too common for the process to drag through red tape. Onboarding a new employee isn’t an overnight job, either. And while providing training and development to in-house employee is a popular way to address the skills gap, this isn’t an option for small businesses with a proportionately sized employee pool. Finally, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to hire, even if you could find the right candidates.
And didn’t we say that you’re already stretched—and need support today?
When Outsourcing is the Answer
All of these hiring issues can be avoided if you outsource some or all of your finance and accounting tasks to a partner with all of the skills and competencies you’re looking for. In fact, that’s what 19% of the employers in the Manpower study are doing.
Consider working with a professional accounting services company who has the resources and industry know-how to manage any combination of your business’s needs:
- System Set-Up
- Accounts Payable
- Billing and Accounts Receivable
- Cash Management and Collections
- Account Accruals/Reconciliation
- Expense Reports
- General Ledger
- Month-End/Year-End Close
- Income Statements/Balance Sheets
- Reporting/KPI Dashboards
- Forensic Accounting
- Financing, Restructuring, Valuations
- Forecasting and Budgeting