Behind the scenes: How smart accounts outsourcing companies operate

Written by

anshal@thinklittlebig.com

Modern accounting firms are more than just their clients’ bookkeepers. Increasingly, accounting firms are being called upon to take up strategic advisory roles, wherein they use their expertise to guide the financial strategy of companies and help them make critical decisions about navigating economic downturns or choosing future-proof business models.

The trend is shifting, in fact, to the point where bookkeeping, AR/AP reporting, and even payroll are lower-priority tasks – ones that must be done but which can take up time and resources that could have gone to those critical (and high-value) services.

That is where accounting outsourcing comes in and frees up that time for modern accountants. These are specialised accounts outsourcing companies that just work with accounting firms – not end clients – to take on many tiresome and labour-intensive tasks for that firm’s clients.

While an accountant might understandably hesitate to outsource critical client information to a third party, such companies are known for their competence and confidentiality, delivering work without compromising efficiency or quality. Here is how smart accounting outsourcing companies work:

1. Embracing technology with cloud-based operations

With accounts outsourcing services, there is no need to worry about whether they are technologically up to your standards. Most of them operate on the cloud and have the latest accounting software, which means they can sync with your accounting firm’s platform of choice and collaborate from wherever they are.

For example, Stellaripe leverages secure and robust remote desktop solutions (RDP) such as GoToMyPC, Citrix, or VPN, enabling them to access your files and execute tasks efficiently. This ensures your data’s security and integrity remain uncompromised.

Furthermore, partnering with Stellaripe eliminates the necessity for substantial investments in hardware and software or recruiting full-time staff to manage these systems. Instead, you only pay for the required services, creating a flexible cost structure that can adapt to your changing needs.

2. Delivering excellent results with reliability and timeliness

Outsourced companies are known for their reliability. When you give them a project, they will do it on time and meet every specification you lay out – every single time.

Therefore, you and the accounts outsourcing company must establish clear expectations from the beginning. This includes the project scope, specific deliverables, deadlines, and key performance indicators. These expectations serve as a guide and make it easier for you to evaluate their performance.

Feedback should be a two-way street. While you should give feedback about the outsourcing company’s work, you should also be open to receiving feedback to improve their processes and deliverables. Plus, they will share regular updates along the way and inform you immediately if they need additional information or if there is any delay.

3. Keeping up with updated accounting trends and laws

Outsourcing companies prioritise staying updated with the latest advancements in accounting trends, laws, and regulations. They are proficient in the wide spectrum of accounting aspects ranging from payroll, financial reporting standards, and taxation to adherence to the Companies Act, among other compliance requirements.

This expertise is particularly beneficial during tax season. Accounts outsourcing companies, with their up-to-date knowledge of the changing tax laws and regulations, ensure the accurate and timely completion of their clients’ tax returns. They are well-versed in navigating the complexities of the tax landscape, which saves clients significant time and effort.

Not only limited to taxation, these companies also facilitate compliance with the Companies Act, keeping themselves informed about any amendments and ensuring that clients meet all statutory requirements.

4. Backup on demand: flexible staffing solutions

Flexibility and scalability in staffing are cornerstones of specialised outsourcing companies. They have access to a broad spectrum of accounting staff, enabling them to swiftly allocate a temporary team to accommodate an increased workload, such as tax returns during the busy season. In contrast, they can downsize to match your operations if you’re in a lean phase.

Beyond general staffing, these outsourcing companies can provide expert advice from niche professionals on demand, positioning themselves as a comprehensive solution for your talent needs. Their adaptable engagement models present various staffing configurations that can accommodate a wide array of needs.

For consistent workloads, a full-time dedicated team member can integrate seamlessly into your operation, familiarising themselves with your clients and operations. For seasonal or less regular workloads, part-time staffing can be employed, allowing you to engage experts only when necessary, helping to manage costs while maintaining quality.

To illustrate, Stellaripe incorporates these flexible staffing options in their engagement models. Their Portfolio Management Services model allows you to assign a specific client portfolio to them, with all back-office tasks managed by Stellaripe and staffing levels tailored to meet the portfolio’s needs.

Their Dedicated Resource model ensures a professional exclusively working for you, either full-time or part-time based on your requirements.

Finally, their Pay-as-you-go model exemplifies flexibility, allowing you to scale up or down based on your business needs. You only pay for the work done, offering you the convenience to adjust easily to workload fluctuations.

5. Tailored work patterns that understand client needs

When you take an accounts outsourcing company on, they will have extensive sessions with you to understand what your and your client’s needs and expectations are, what hours you work, the tools and integrations you use, your accounting firm’s practice and policies, what form and frequency of communication you prefer, what kind of milestone updates you need and so on. This way, things can run smoothly from the get-go when they start the work.

6. Prioritising information safety: securing data

You are trusting the company with sensitive client information, and they know it. Smart accounts outsourcing companies use the latest data security measures to ensure that client’s sensitive information is safe no matter what.

Plus, they always have backups handy in case something unforeseen occurs. In case of a system crash or data loss, cloud-based systems have robust disaster recovery systems in place. This is because your data is stored in the cloud, and regular backups are taken, making restoring information easier if needed.

Stellaripe has implemented rigorous security protocols to ensure your data is safe. These include encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular backups. Therefore, before concluding a deal, you can always ask what security measures they have in place and whether they are compatible with the measures you use.

7. Saving time and money with cost-effectiveness

This is the chief reason most modern accounting firms outsource some of their load. Things like bookkeeping, tax return preparation and payroll management are essential, but compared to strategic services, they are much lower in value.

By outsourcing, you can focus on providing high-value services to a broader range of clients or go deeper into the kinds of services they already provide. Plus, most outsourcing companies offer a range of services at a reasonable price, which further enables up to 50% cost savings.

Over to you

While most accounting firms start as one-stop accounts outsourcing services providers, it makes sense to let go of some lower-value work as they scale. By partnering with an accounts outsourcing company, you can provide comprehensive services to clients without taking on every task yourself.

If you are looking to expand your accounting business but do not want to hire extra staff, working with an outsourcing company might be the perfect answer! If you are keen to know more about how outsourcing works and how it can be the ideal solution for your accounting firm, book a free consultation with us today.

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