Do You Know What Your Accounting Department Really Does?

Business is a complicated beast. No matter what industry you fit within — whether you sell paper clips or airplanes — you surely have a flood of new concerns to field every single day in the office. The grind of business is the same for large and small businesses alike; Honeywell, PayPal, and Uber are not immune to the same concerns that keep you up at night.

Everyone has to consider both long term strategy and the minutiae of how to get there. From a potential merger a year on the horizon to finding the right check mailing service this week, it is easy to get bogged down when literally everything seems critically important. One novel solution to this crisis is to outsource some of your accounting work, and here’s why.

Accounting hassles

This may seem unlikely to make an impact in your overall strategy, but really think about the sheer number of tasks your accounting department takes on every month, or even every day. If you take the time to think about where your biggest hurdles arise from, you will surely find that the accounting department is both the genesis and solution to many if not all of your daily struggles.

But considering why this phenomenon occurs is a different question altogether. Your accounting department handles the “money”, but accountants are responsible for so much more that simply counting cash in the dim lighting of a back room. Accountants handle the entire universe of back-office machinations. The typical accounting department in both large and small environments handles office mailings, salary disbursements, procurement, and budgeting. They even lend a hand in marketing strategy.

Outsource to professionals

Considering all that your financial wing does for your business, isn’t it essential to find competent and hard-working employees that you can count on to succeed under the immense pressure of a do-it-all job? Unfortunately, not all accountants maintain that high-level professional standard that you look for in such an important set of employees. Beyond the obvious need to hire competent and trustworthy individuals for your financial tasks, it is important to hire great multi-taskers who have a nose for novel and efficient solutions to the most unexpected troubles.

And speaking of money, accountants do much more than simply organize business expenses. Accounting is responsible for paying employees on time, which is naturally an essential business function. But they also work to balance the budget when paying for services that keep your business running. The toner doesn’t replace itself, the lights are not magically supplied with electricity, and that chair that Tom broke last week needs attending to. Accountants not only pay for these essential features of the office, they usually do it on the organization’s credit, meaning that a careful tally of expenditures and collections must be recorded in order to keep the company above water. Consider the weight of this responsibility briefly: the average American household is in debt to the tune of about $137,000 and takes in less than this in salary yearly. If an average American consumer ran your accounting department, chances are that you would be building up a mountain of IOU’s rather than financial capital.

Accounting is a uniquely difficult profession and the best accountants in the business know that it is a job that requires some help. You should know this as well, so make sure that your accounting department is well-staffed with brilliant minds who know to ask for help when they feel taxed beyond their personal abilities. Hire help or find temporary relief through an outside agency to lighten the load of your essential back-office personnel.

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