When is the right time to outsource your accounting?

If you’ve been doing the accounting so far in your business, you’re probably desperate to hand part (or all) of it to someone else. Your time is valuable, and you’re at risk of falling over with the stress and strain of doing everything – managing sales, managing teams, dealing with the admin, doing the finances (sleeping, socialising, making it through a hot tea every once in a blue moon).

Outsource when you’re running out of time

Instead of always brewing teas you never get to drink, you might want to think about how you can practically outsource some of the tasks you don’t need to be doing yourself. It may have been fine DIY’ing the bookkeeping when you were first starting out – but if you have ambitions to grow, your time is an incredibly valuable asset.
Not only will outsourcing the accounting free up more time for you to focus on the profitable tasks you actually enjoy, it means you’ll have an expert on your team, to show you how to use the accounting function to grow your business according to your goals.

Outsource when the stress of accounting tasks is killing your passion

Your passion isn’t for the numbers. You do what you do because you love it and you’re good at it. What you really need is a sidekick to back up your passion with the numbers. Imagine this:
  • You’re being regularly provided with your key performance numbers. You know how much money you have to invest in great opportunities, without fearing how it will cripple your cash flow or leave you without money for tax bills and overhead expenses.
  • You can manage your cash flow months ahead, because you have someone telling you who needs paying and when – suppliers and staff. How much money is coming in here, how much is going out there. Those payments are even facilitated for you. 
  • You know bookkeeping is taken care of, and you don’t need to worry about accuracy. Because of that, you’re assured you’re paying no more in tax than you need to be (and you’re happily avoiding penalties!)
  • All the little things you hate doing – accounts, tax, VAT are all being handled. 
  • You’re getting paid on time, and the burden of chasing the odd overdue invoice is taken out of your hands. 
Every minute you spend doing accounting tasks you can delegate, is time you could be spending on business strategy, team training, company culture. Every weekend you spend chasing invoices, uploading expenses, worrying about tax could be spent with your family and friends, having experiences or even simply catching up on much needed sleep. 
You simply can’t do it yourself and stay sane. If this was your expertise, you’d be an accountant. 
If you’re feeling the stress it’s time to get support.

You don’t always need a full time staff member (and it’s costly)

Many business owners move from doing their accounting to delegating it to someone else, or hiring someone to do it for them. This could mean giving some bookkeeping tasks to the admin person in the business, or hiring a part time bookkeeper. While we can still work with you if you already have your own internal bookkeeper, we advise anyone new to delegating their accounting to outsource it instead. 
There’s a difference between hiring an accountant and outsourcing your finance function. Let’s unpack that. 
At the cost you’ll pay for one person’s salary, you can get support in all areas of the finances from an accounting team. With outsourcing, you don’t have to deal with any of the added costs that come with hiring an employee – the benefits like pensions, holidays, sick pay. You won’t need to think about training them up, or how you’re going to develop them in their career. 
The way we work with clients is we become their Virtual Finance Director. This is just a fancy way of saying we work from the outside in. We get to know you and the business so well that we can help you manage the finances and keep you accountable to your goals. 
Many of our clients couldn’t afford to employ a full time finance director to cover their needs. This way, you get access to a team of experts at a fraction of the cost of employing a person to perform this role in-house.

You don’t have to outsource everything at once

Don’t worry – you can pace yourself! For many of our clients we’ve started just by taking over the bookkeeping, and built up to higher level support like financial reporting and cash flow management. 
We’ll always start by digging deep into your goals. We want to know what you want out of your business. Do you want a Porsche, a house in Greece, a four day work week? Then we’ll look at the kind of support you need to achieve those goals. What does your business turnover need to be? How much do you need to take out of the business each month personally to achieve the lifestyle you have in your sights. 
Here’s an example of how you might start small:
  • We’ll get every new client on Xero straight away (if you’re not using Xero already). This can automatically free up time for you, by automating some of the manual tasks you’re stuck doing. Here’s why we advise Xero over any other software options. 
  • You might start by offloading the obligatory stuff – the accounts and tax returns, so you know you’re covered when it comes to HMRC.
  • You might completely outsource payroll – so you’re sure submissions are made on time, you know how much to pay, where and when. 
  • You can give us the day to day data entry and VAT return reviews – since bookkeeping and VAT need to go hand in hand. 
If you already have someone in-house doing the bookkeeping, have an expert review it.
One of the most common errors we experience is misposting. We can provide back up on a monthly basis to interrogate the data and check for errors, making sure your staff are reconciling things to the right place. 

If you co-own the property with another person, you’ll both get a capital gains allowance, meaning you can effectively double the amount you gain before CGT is due.

If you’ve read all this and you’re unsure of how it relates to you – just ask.

Every business is different, with different staff and different circumstances – but our support system is the same for all. We’ll see how you’re getting on, and what level of help you need right now to push forward and free up valuable time. We’re always here to answer questions on how this will work for you. 
And if you’re thinking ‘Okay but how much will all of this cost for me?’ don’t worry. You never need to worry about talking money with us. Here’s how we come to a fair agreement on price. 
So, shall we talk about that Porsche?

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