Have Questions? We have Answers

In our line of work, we get a lot of questions on anything and everything related to owning and operating a business (and we’re happy to answer them, too)! While a lot of these questions are usually pretty easy to answer, sometimes we get a few that really make us think. Even then, we enjoy researching and finding the answers to help business owners be successful.

So, what questions do you have about your business? We would love to help you reach your dreams and goals.

In case you think your question might be too far out there, we promise it’s not. Check out some of these questions (and our answers) to get you started on finding the information you need to watch your business succeed.

“I have invoices coming out of my ears! What do I do with all of them?”

When you have a large amount of invoices to deal with, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of what needs to get done. When invoices aren’t being properly managed, your business can see some serious negative side effects, such as fraud. Following this list of tasks can help you make sure you’re keeping everything in check. Looking to an automated system, such as QuickBooks, is also a great way to keep your invoices at a manageable level.

“Where in the world did all of my cash go?”

This question is more common than you may think. While your business may be profitable, you can still be running out of cash, which might be a concern. Financial struggles can be hard, but our professionals are available to help. Check out this blog – and then, let’s talk!

“Why don’t I have enough time to do everything that needs to get done?”

We get it: owning and operating a business means you have a lot on your plate. From accounting and finance, to human resources to the day-to-day operations, you probably don’t have enough time to do it all yourself. The good news is you don’t have to! Consider your team of employees. What can you delegate to take some of the burden off your shoulders and free up some time? Another option is outsourcing. When you outsource some of your business activities, such as your accounting processes, you free up time to focus on why you got into business in the first place.

“What is this accrual accounting thing I hear so much about? Am I doing it?”

Knowing the specific ins and outs of accounting can be a confusing, daunting task. What it comes to what method of accounting you are using, the water may get even muddier. Maybe you’ve heard of cash based accounting and accrual accounting, but you really have no idea where to begin. We’ve written multiple blogs on how to tell the difference and how to select what fits your business and set up your books. Check them out!

“Taxes terrify me. Where do I even begin?”

Taxes are a complex issue, and questions regarding this topic are common. Whether you want to know more about R&D tax credits, employer vehicles and mileage, how to track your taxes or even all those pesky (yet necessary) forms, we’ve got you covered. Check out our tax archive for answers to all your most pressing questions. If you can’t find the answer, let us know.

Remember, although we numbers nerds really like our financial lingo, we promise to answer your questions in a way you will understand, not just a bunch of accountant talk. After all, we want to see your business succeed!

Reasons to Love Outsourcing

With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, we hope you have all your flowers and chocolates ready to go. While we don’t have any candy hearts to hand out, cupid dropped by and gave us three reasons to love outsourcing. Because we’re so sweet (see what we did there?), we thought we would share them with you.

More time where it matters

 Let’s face it: accounting and bookkeeping can be time consuming. If you’re doing this in-house, rather than outsourcing it, you’re likely not spending much time in other parts of your business. You might also be spending precious time and resources on finding, recruiting and hiring in-house workers. The time it takes to train these people – or yourself – can take up a good chunk of your day, leaving little time to work on other important facets of your business.

When you leave accounting and bookkeeping to someone else (outsourcing), you free up more time to focus on why you got into business in the first place.

Save some money

Believe it or not, outsourcing your accounting functions can actually save your business some money. You might be wondering how this is possible, since you still have to pay for these services. However, the savings come in the form of benefits, or the lack thereof. When you outsource accounting, you only pay for the actual accounting services, nothing else.

What do we mean? When you bring in someone else, rather than hiring a full or part-time employee, you eliminate the need to pay benefits, such as insurance, PTO, holiday pay, etc. Saving money on these benefits can save your business up to 40% in monthly costs, according to this cost benefit analysis. Some firms even estimate that it could cost anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 a year, plus bonuses and benefits, to hire a full-time CFO. Along with the cost of benefits, you might also consider the costs of providing a computer, office spaces, supplies, etc. There could also be costs for licenses and technology that you need to do the job yourself. When being profitable is your goal, finding ways to save money in your business can help you reach your goal much quicker.

Expert knowledge

When you choose to outsource your accounting and finance functions, you get what you pay for: expertise. The people you hire to do these jobs for you live and breathe accounting and finance, and really know their stuff. And if there is stuff they don’t know, they can rely on other professionals in their firm to get you the help you need, from people who specialize in that area. Essentially, you’re getting a whole network of talent through one point of contact. Rather than hiring and training someone to do the job, you can rest assured your outsourced professionals have the knowledge and qualifications to do the job correctly. By outsourcing, you put your business in capable hands who will keep your business in good shape and give it the attention it deserves.

Sound pretty great? We think so too. Our experienced professionals are ready to help you fall in love with outsourcing and treat your business with the love it deserves.

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6 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Outsourced CFO

So, you’ve decided your company needs someone to step in and be in charge of the finance department and provide some guidance. You want someone who will put in good work and get the results your company desires. However, you don’t see a need for this position to be a full time commitment. What do you do?

Welcome to the world of fractional CFOs, a.k.a. an individual who you hire to work part time for your company. In other words, you outsource it.

Why is this important? Well a fractional CFO is able to help your company’s finance department operate smoothly. Have we not told you multiple times how important it is to have the right numbers and sound financial data?

So how do you go about selecting this person? Luckily, we’re here to help. Here are our top six questions to ask when hiring a fractional CFO.

  1. Do you like numbers? Our first question may seem a little goofy, but it is a really important step in getting the right person for the job. Yes, it sounds cliché to ask a numbers person if they like numbers. But, if you end up hiring a CFO who really can’t stand working with numbers and is just in this position because he or she graduated with a finance degree, the chances of getting quality work that’s beneficial to your company from this individual will be very low.
  2. What is the key to a successful budget? This question is beneficial because it gives the candidate an opportunity to really showcase his or her knowledge of the industry, as well as showcase his or her way of thinking. This can also help uncover creativity and skills that the candidate may possess.
  3. Where do you get your financial news and knowledge? Find out where the candidate gets his or her financial news. This question might seem a bit personal and way out in left field, but it can actually lead to some very good insight into the candidate’s interest and seriousness about finance. You want to hear answers such as Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch. Hearing just a general news source or website may indicate that they aren’t as in depth in the finance world as a CFO should be.
  4. What areas of financial and/or operation management are you most and least comfortable with? This simple question allows for you to compare your candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in the financial area with your company’s goals.
  5. What challenges and issues will you look for? How will you solve those issues? Get your interviewee to really think, and ask them what challenges they are looking for and expect in the fractional CFO position. This question will provide you with insight in to what your candidate enjoys putting his or her mind to, and how much time, effort, and dedication they are willing to give in order to meet and exceed the needs of the challenge.
  6. What five words would you use to describe yourself? It’s an oldie, but a goodie. This question will teach you a lot about your candidate. It helps show which characteristics they value most, and can help you determine if those traits fit well with the culture of your company.

Others you may want to ask include:

  • What do you consider to be your top accomplishments?
  • How do you use communication skills to work with multiple parties?
  • What motivates you?
  • What do you feel sets you apart from the competition?

These six questions, along with a few other topics, will be a great starting point to help the interview go smoothly, and ultimately, for you to find a great fit for your company.

 

 

 

 

 

Four Reasons to Outsource Human Resources

 You have a dream, but you need more than your vision to make it a reality. You need the best people strategies in place and that means taking on human resources (HR). HR, in its most basic sense, is any function related to the employees of an organization, from recruitment to exit.

We’ve mentioned it over and over again, but this is important: happy, satisfied employees make for a thriving, successful business. After all, where would your business be without employees? Your company’s HR services should instill a sense of culture and belonging for your employees and encourage them to be efficient and productive in the workplace.

The well-being of your employees is a lot to put on a team’s plate, especially if it’s a small team … or just you. So what do you do if your HR people are overwhelmed?

We figure HR isn’t why you got into business. In fact, you may not have even the slightest clue where to begin when it comes to HR. Enter the world of HR OUTSOURCING.

No, we’re not making this up. In fact, out of the 40-50% of companies using outsourcing, 11% of them are outsourcing human resources.

Outsourcing your company’s HR practices can be very beneficial to your company, and can give you more time to get back to the reason you got into business in the first place.

Here are four reasons why outsourcing HR services can be beneficial to your company, and can help you get down to business the way you intended:

  1. Rolling in the Dough | Choosing to outsource your HR practices can save your company some serious money that can be allocated to other areas that need it! By outsourcing, you won’t have to hire as many employees to complete various HR tasks, thus saving money when it comes to payroll and benefits. Yes, you will have to pay to outsource, but the cost of outsourcing is cheaper than adding numerous employees to the HR department.
  2. Gettin’ Down to Business | One of the main reasons HR outsourcing is used is to ensure the HR department runs smoothly. For example, if your business suddenly faces an increase of items that need to be processed, your outsourced HR services can work with this, thus allowing your HR workers to focus on their day-to-day tasks. Hence, more efficiency and less fire drills. Keeping your company running as it always has is an important benefit of HR outsourcing that should not be overlooked.
  3. Avoid Turnover Troubles | So you’ve recently had a turnover of employees in your HR department. Now you only have a few employees left, and they can’t do everything on their own. Imagine the effects on your business if payroll suddenly halted! Human resource outsourcing is a great way to be sure that even if you have some employee turnover in your HR department, your company’s core functions won’t suffer. Instead of trying to replace the employee, train the new employee, and get all of the old employees work done, HR outsourcing can take care of the details so you don’t have to worry about what to do next.
  4. Big or Small-One Size Fits All | You may be thinking that your business is too small and that outsourcing HR doesn’t apply to your company. But, the truth is even small to mid-sized businesses and startups can reap many benefits from outsourced HR practices. Your business may be small enough that it simply doesn’t have the budget (or even enough space) to hire an in house HR director, or you may be too busy to worry about HR because you are focusing on getting your company up and running. This is where outsourcing comes in. By outsourcing, you give yourself, as well as your company, more time to focus on growth and other important tasks to make your business successful, rather than putting time into something you may not have the time or resources for.

Seem like a lot? We can help. There are many ways that outsourcing HR practices can help meet the unique needs of your business. Contact Lisa to learn more.