Outsourced accounting Philippines – what is it, what’s the process and how can it benefit me and my business?
We’ll answer all that and more here in this article.
How Does Outsourced Accounting Work?
Outsourcing is hiring an outside entity, often a third party company, to perform a task for you. These can be front office, back office, and core tasks.
Fun fact: A business can technically be 100% remote via outsourcing!
There are three main types of outsourcing:
- Onshore Outsourcing – Also known as domestic outsourcing, this is when you hire within your country.
- Nearshore Outsourcing – With this method, you hire an entity from a nearby country.
- Offshore Outsourcing – Similar to nearshore, a business hires a company from another farther country. For instance, instead of Brazil, a US company chooses the route of outsourcing accounting to the Philippines.
You can choose to hire through freelance marketplaces, freelance agencies, or accounting service providers.
Types of Outsourced Accounting Services
This service deals with the ins and outs of maintaining your books. These can be partial or full-service and can include catch-up or clean-up services. They can operate on a cash or accrual basis and can cover single or double entry bookkeeping systems.
Financial Analysis and Reporting
Some services include reporting with their bookkeeping services. These are typically The Big 3 Statements (income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet). However, others charge a separate fee for additional in-depth reports and financial analysis services. They pair you up with an expert who can provide you with important business insights. This person helps you understand the short and long term impacts of certain business decisions. They may also help you strategize and plan your budgets.
Tax Preparation and Planning
Tax is one of the most popular reasons why people choose accounting outsourcing. From collecting all the necessary documents to ensuring you maximize tax deductions, it is a whole process. Their accountants can use their tax know-how and help you stay compliant.
Companies avail of this service if they want to conduct a financial investigation of their books. Here, someone will make sure that your business observes the proper practices and everything complies with current regulations. They also make sure everything is accurate and there is no shady activity like fraud happening.
Outsourcing vs In-House Accounting
We mentioned earlier that the cost of outsourcing accounting services is much less than in-house.
When you pair expert bookkeepers with years of experience, you get efficiency. You can free up yourself and other personnel to focus on other core business functions. Bookkeeping and tax prep is very time-consuming. Why not leave the busywork to someone else? They not only have the skills but even the passion to make sure your financial back-office is in order.
We normally perform accounting on a monthly or quarterly cycle. If you only need reports monthly, it wouldn’t make sense to hire an in-house team. Accounting outsourcing makes more sense, especially when you only need their services every so often.
Choosing an Outsourced Accounting Service
Experience and Expertise
Consider how long they’ve been in the business. What degrees and certifications do they possess?
Another thing you need to consider is whether they have experience with businesses in your industry and are similar in size. Specialized expertise is always a plus and proffered.
Reputation and Reviews
Even if an agency or freelancer has worked with many companies, that doesn’t necessarily mean they do a good job. It’s best to hire a company that has a social proof system. Some freelance marketplaces have rating and review systems. This is the reason a lot of accounting service providers display reviews and client testimonies on the front pages of their websites.
Additionally, you can ask someone you know to recommend an accounting service they’ve tried. This way you have someone closer who can give you honest first-hand feedback.
Pricing and Payment Options
The best outsourced accounting options are those that are flexible. A multimillion-dollar company will have different needs than a local business. You want a partner that can cater to your bookkeeping needs. Why outsource accounting if you’re paying for services you’re not using? These plans should be flexible and able to scale together with your business.
Advantages of Outsourced Accounting Services
DIY bookkeeping and accounting is great in the beginning. However, this changes as your business begins to scale. You’ll start noticing that accounting and bookkeeping tasks will siphon a lot of your time.
Expertise and Experience
Some people ask “Why outsource accounting when I can do it myself?” While you don’t need a degree to be an accountant, there’s a reason it’s a college course. You need the right amount of knowledge and skill to do proper accounting. There is a lot of information you need to learn from GAAP guidelines to local, federal, and tax laws. Even then, real world practice is another story. When you hire someone who already has both, you are setting yourself up for success. Not only can they do their work more accurately, but they can also catch errors quickly. They know exactly how to solve problems as they arise, whereas you may need to troubleshoot to find a solution.
Cost Savings – An in-house team will cost significantly more than the cost of outsourcing accounting services. Aside from salary, you need to consider other costs such as worker benefits, cost of tools or software, and other overheads.
Access to Advanced Technology
Accounting agencies typically already have the software, tools, and infrastructure in place to do their jobs with excellence.
Disadvantages of Outsourced Accounting Services
Lack of Control
When you outsource anything, you are giving up some measure of control. While you can schedule check-ups and updates, it is much harder to manage quality. This is why it’s essential to choose a company with an exemplary track record that inspires trust.
Another concern people have is the security of their data. A lot of people worry about handing over sensitive financial data to another party.
This is why a lot of these services include security guarantees on their websites. They go into details about their data privacy measures because they know this is a major consideration.
The risk of data breach is significantly lower when choosing these companies.
However, the risk is still there. Those who believe that can protect their data better than these entities may be a lot more hesitant.
Best Practices for Working with an Outsourced Accounting Service Provider
Create an exhaustive list of tasks you need accomplished. It’s always better to over explain and leave no room for misunderstanding. Always set the expectations during the onboarding process so they are fully aware of the entire scope of the work.
Remember, your accounting team is a partner. You should be honest about your books, otherwise they can’t help you. If you’re behind on your books and need catch-up work, let them know.
Make sure to have regular updates with your accounting and bookkeeping team. Establish a mode of communication early on and discuss specific times to meet.
How to Get Started with Outsourcing Your Accounting Services
Based on Ecombalance’s “5 Steps to Outsource Your Bookkeeping and Accounting Without Headaches” we recommend these 5 steps:
- Define Your Ideal Outcome
- Research Bookkeepers and Accountants
- Choose the Best One For Your Business
- Stay Focused Through the Integration Process
- Provide Feedback in the First 3 Months
Frequently Asked Questions about Outsourced Accounting Services
Is it safe to share financial data with an outsourced accounting service provider?
As long as you hire from reputable companies who have security certifications, you should be okay. Make sure they have
- Digital measures like encryption
- Physical security to protect their data servers
- Clear accountability to the authorities for potential mismanagement of data
How do I select a reliable outsourced accounting service provider?
Research to find a consensus on which ones are the best and weigh the pros and cons of each.
You can also check out our article on the top 11 bookkeeping and accounting services for growing businesses.
Can outsourced accounting services help small businesses and startups?
Absolutely! The great thing about these services is their scalability. No matter the size, you can find a solution that works for you.
What level of expertise and qualifications can be expected from an outsourced accounting team?
These individuals have likely undergone formal education, continued learning, training and certifications.
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If you’re looking for an affordable, efficient, and effective financial management solution, outsourced accounting might be the way to go.