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COVID-19 pandemic reinforces benefits of outsourced accounting

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It’s no secret that the rapid outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the world has had a drastic impact on the economy and overall business environment within the U.S.

For many businesses, small and large, the measures taken to help stem the spread of the pandemic have led to shifting workplaces, declining revenues and, in some cases, workforce reductions, among other effects of varying scale. While some of these impacts are temporary, others will have long-term implications. Therefore, it’s critical that accountants advise their clients efficiently to help them understand and react accordingly to the current situation, putting their company in the best position to survive this and future disruptive events. Outsourced accounting is among the options business leaders should carefully consider in these unprecedented times.

Small and midsize businesses are working harder than ever to reduce their overhead expenses without negatively affecting overall efficiency. As the economic landscape continues to shift, an opportunity has arisen for many businesses who have previously been hesitant to consider outsourced accounting. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront many of the immediate and long-term benefits of outsourcing businesses’ accounting functions, including:

Reduction of costs

The impact of COVID-19 has proven that many workers don’t physically need to be in the office to work effectively — the same goes for outsourced workers or entire departments. Outsourcing the accounting function reduces payroll costs while adding highly qualified experts with a deep pool of resources, especially in times of crisis and uncertainty. Outsourcing can also mean less stress for business leaders over employee turnover or potential layoffs.

Security and efficiency in a virtual workforce

With many employees working from home for the foreseeable future, businesses are forced to quickly implement technology and solutions that will help them best adapt to these new circumstances. In this virtual age, migrating an organization to cloud-based accounting software from desktop or server-based software allows business leaders and employees to have secure, remote access without any hassles.

Increased depth of knowledge and resources

Outsourced accounting experts have provided relevant financial and regulatory information to assist businesses in applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans under the CARES Act, and understanding the many updates and changes that followed. These designated accounting experts are up to date on all the latest regulatory requirements and are continuously monitoring relevant laws and regulations to stay current on processes necessary for their clients to remain compliant. Having a team of accountants on call to tackle regulatory issues ultimately allows company leadership time to focus on management and core operations essential to business success in the current environment.

Access to scalable technology

More than ever, the pressure is on for business leaders to produce fast insights and clear visibility to drive company performance higher. Outsourced accounting platforms can deliver real-time reporting with metrics that matter to a business’s key stakeholders while keeping its leaders in constant position to make the best financial decisions.

Businesses have several different options when it comes to cloud-based outsourced accounting — it’s not one size fits all. For example, one small step is implementing a cloud bookkeeping solution through which an outsourced accounting provider can easily maintain a business’s records remotely at a fraction of the cost of hiring someone onsite. Another more robust option is a full-cloud accounting solution, where clients not only have basic bookkeeping, but also a full-service team, including controllers and CFOs. Under these models, the processing of accounts payable is one of the first areas that can be streamlined. This is done through a cloud-based solution in four easy steps:

  • 1. Invoices are automatically entered for review.
  • 2. Automated routing simplifies approvals.
  • 3. Bills are paid with ACH or checks.
  • 4. Activity is synced with a cloud-based accounting solution for fast payment reconciliations.

Today’s business owners are facing greater expectations when it comes to financial transparency and government compliance requirements. For many, the decision to outsource accounting functions is the first step toward making life easier and processes safer with the added benefits of resource savings, which allow senior leadership extra time to focus on management and core operations to make sound, logical financial decisions.

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