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    06 / 20 / 2016

    Staffing Your Finance and Accounting Department

    "If only I had the right people..."

    Staffing Finance and Accounting WoesAs a small or mid-sized business owner, how many times have you said that phrase to yourself or to others? This concern applies to all areas of your business, but can be especially challenging to the entrepreneur trying to build a quality accounting team because they often times lack the background, expertise, or patience to hire their own accounting department. Not only is it costly and time consuming to find the right people for this critical department, but there's also the challenge of finding the the right balance of skills versus costs. This balancing act becomes even more difficult when trying to staff a small department. How do you staff half of a controller, one quarter of a cash applications person, and one quarter of an accounts payable person, while still providing the accounting expertise for the future? This is never an easy task, even if you can find a qualified person willing to split tasks among different levels of work.

    In order to build a great accounting department, someone has to find, interview, hire, on-board, and then train each staff member. And that's just the beginning. Once the staff is in place, there are the challenges of mentoring, managing, and motivating that staff on a day-to-day basis, all while trying to manage the business. Or, suppose that you really need that additional AP person, but if you hire them they will be the dreaded employee number 50 so you keep holding off, and your current staff keeps getting further behind and more stressed out. 

    What if I told you that there is a better way? Outsource your mainstream, non-value added accounting functions to a proven provider. And while you are at it, upgrade your accounting software to a best-in-class cloud-based solution.

    Oh, I can hear you now: “I don’t want to give up any control.” Who says that partnering with a reputable outsourcing firm is giving up control? I would contend that partnering with someone who specializes in accounting best practices dramatically improves control through more standardized process performed on a timely and consistent basis which provide increased access and visibility to the company’s financial information.

    “I don’t want everyone knowing my business,” you might then say. Well, partnering with a quality outsourcing provider is no different than partnering with your banker, your CPA, or your attorney. In order to grow your business, why not focus on what you do best and let someone else focus on what they do best? That way you get the best of both worlds.

    “My information will not be secure in the Cloud. What if I get hacked?” This has become much less of a concern as people learn more about Software as a Service and best-in-class solution providers. While it might feel safer to have your data nearby, whether it's in a server room or a glorified broom closet at your office, or in a hosted data center somewhere else, it actually makes a lot more sense to trust your data to specialists like Intacct who, through economies of scale, can afford the security, expertise, and guaranteed performance you need. Take a look at their very impressive security, uptime, and privacy capabilities and guarantees. I'd also recommend you look at what has happened to companies that haven't moved their data into a secure SaaS environment.

    There are a number of excuses that a small business owner might have for not wanting to move to the cloud or not wanting to outsource their accounting, but by having fractional access to high quality accounting personnel, a business owner gets the benefit of a higher level of talent at a very competitive price point without all of the personnel management issues. This access not only allows for increased data integrity and smoother processing of the day-to-day transactions (segregation of duties, vacations covered, trained back up personnel, etc.), but also provides specialized resources and insight into building a better business for tomorrow.

    In summary, by using a quality, cloud-based accounting solution such as Intacct and by partnering with a quality Business Process as a Service provider like AcctTwo, today’s business owner can offload the hassle of finding the “right people,” while at the same time improving the integrity, access, and availability of their financial data. And at the end of the day, would you rather spend your time staffing and managing an accounting department or would you rather be growing your business? Or maybe playing a little golf?  It’s your call…

    About Russell Baugh, AcctTwo's Vice President of Client Services

    Russell_Baugh_linkedin_bw.jpgRussell is a seasoned accounting professional who has held such roles as Director, Controller and Financial Analyst, where he has provided financial leadership and guidance to management in both public and private companies, large and small, covering such diverse industries as Oil Field Services, Waste Management, Manufacturing, and Construction, Russell’s specialties include streamlining policies and procedures, shortening close times, forecasting and budgeting, and improving the overall integrity of financial records. He also has particular experience in financial software selection and implementation, acquisition analysis, and company integrations.  Connect with Russell

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    Baker Tilly curates, integrates, and optimizes the right technology stack for your organization. We layer in our own proprietary “last mile” solutions. And we offer these technologies either via a Software-as-a-Service delivery model, where your own Finance function manages the day-to-day use of the technology, or via a Finance-as-a-Service delivery model where we run your accounting operations and provide the outcomes you need. Here are some additional resources that may help you find solutions for your challenges. Or schedule a discussion to go over your needs and goals now.

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