If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you thought you’d be able to handle every facet of your new business. You’d create the product, hire the staff, manage your advertising campaigns, make your own mini muffin platters for those early morning meetings, and, let’s not forget, handle the finances, too.
Then the day came when one of your colleagues found you in the fetal position under your desk, rocking back and forth while muttering something about capitalization of fixed assets. In that moment the decision was made to outsource your financial needs, and switch to a bagel platter.
Outsourced Bookkeeping vs. Outsourced Accounting – How Do You Choose?
Once the decision was made to outsource all of your finances to a professional, another dilemma reared its ugly head: do you need a bookkeeping firm or an accounting firm? What’s the difference?
A fair question and one we can answer perhaps best by using an analogy:
Think of bookkeepers as skilled carpenters and accountants as architects.
If you want a nice shed built in your backyard to store your lawnmower and BBQ grill, a skilled carpenter will get the job done, and you’ll certainly be thrilled with the results.
Now, if you want to completely renovate your existing home and add on an additional 700 square feet of living space, you would definitely need to hire an architect who will help you analyze your lot, plan every square inch of the renovation, oversee the actual building process, get the necessary permits, make sure everything is up to code, etc.
Bookkeepers Perform Basic Accounting Tasks
Many bookkeepers are skilled professionals, but the services they offer are limited. A bookkeeper should be able to manage your accounts receivable (send out invoices on your behalf and record payments), accounts payable (make payments on your behalf for your business expenses – those bagels don’t grow on trees), run payroll, and reconcile the books.
It’s also important to note that the skills and experience among bookkeepers will vary. Some have formal accounting training, while others learned bookkeeping on the job.
Hiring a good bookkeeper can certainly bring relief, especially when you’re curled up in the fetal position under your desk. But outsourcing your needs to an online accounting firm will inevitably offer you much, much more.
Get Help Building Your Business from the Ground Up
Going back to our analogy, most businesses, regardless of their size or years in the marketplace, need help with planning and building the business. This is something your carpenter (bookkeeper) can’t help with. But an architect (accountant) can.
One of the biggest benefits in hiring an outsourced accounting firm such as Aprio Cloud is that we can act as a business coach. Our accountants offer advice and planning for financial scenarios that will help you grow your business and revenue.
An accountant can analyze the big picture of your financial situation and offer critical strategic advice. They can help you understand key financial documents, such as your Profit & Loss (Income Statement), Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows. He/she can also help you obtain new business loans to expand, file your tax returns, advise you on tax planning, manage your cash flow, select equity and option allocation, and much more.
Working with an online accounting firm makes a lot of sense for 5 reasons:
- You have access to comprehensive help for all of your financial needs in one place. A firm like ours will handle your basic day-to-day tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, and bill pay, as well as offer strategic advice on complex issues that will help you reach your business goals.
- Our diverse team of financial professionals and administrative staff work together to maintain high standards of quality.
- We have cloud integrators on staff to implement technology that can greatly streamline your internal financial workflows.
- When you allow an accounting firm to handle your finances, you don’t have to act as a go-between for your tax person and your bookkeeping person, because that gets annoying really fast.
- You’ll find the support offered by top notch online accounting firms. For instance, Aprio Cloud's team is available via phone and email, and we always get back to our clients within 24 hours – if not the same day. We also assign you a dedicated accountant who is your main point of contact, so you’ll always know who will be on the other end of the phone.
Don’t let your co-founders or employees find you in the fetal position under your desk. If you’re overwhelmed by accounting, get in touch with Aprio Cloud today and let our experienced team handle your finances for you.