Outsourced Accounting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

calendar iconFebruary 27, 2024

Cherry Bekaert offers outsourced accounting services to businesses that want to reduce costs, improve efficiency and focus on core operations. Our certified accounting professionals produce accurate and timely financial reporting, while ensuring confidentiality and data security.

With our help, your business can streamline accounting processes, increase productivity and make informed decisions based on reliable financial information.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below to learn more about outsourced accounting and how these services can benefit your business.

Q: What are outsourced accounting services?

Outsourced accounting occurs when a business hires an external, third-party company to handle its finance and accounting functions.  These functions can include managing payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, monthly bank reconciliations, tax prep support, legal compliance and financial reporting, among others.

The third-party accounting company acts as an in-house accounting department and may provide extensive support, as well as offer more advanced services such as CFO and controllership advisory services.

Q: What is the difference between in-house accounting and outsourced accounting?

In-house accounting involves hiring and training internal staff to handle financial tasks. Outsourced accounting relies on external experts who are already equipped to manage a businesses’ financial operations.

These two options can also differ in terms of quality control and cost. Outsourced accountants may have more time and resources to dedicate to tracking and reporting than an in-house accounting team, which may be limited in resources or have other responsibilities to fulfill within the company. In-house accounting employees typically require a full-time salary and employee benefits, while outsourced accounting services can be tailored to the specific needs of a company.

Q: What are the benefits of outsourcing accounting services?

Outsourcing can provide several benefits, including cost and time savings, as you will no longer need to oversee the hiring and training of in-house accounting employees. This allows businesses to redirect internal staff and resources to support higher-value, core business operations and boost productivity. Outsourcing can also provide access to a broader skill set with experts who are equipped to help minimize fraud risk, handle compliance regulations and provide accurate financial reporting.

Additionally, outsourced accounting firms can utilize advanced technologies that may be costly for a business to acquire independently. Cherry Bekaert employs various enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms that offer enhanced financial reporting, streamlined compliance management and seamless data integration. With access to real-time financial data from virtually anywhere, these technologies make collaboration easier and more efficient.

Q: How do I choose an outsourced accounting service provider?

Finding an outsourced accounting service provider that fits the unique needs of your company doesn’t have to be a daunting task. A preferred ideal third-party solution will offer extensive industry experience, certified professionals and proven methods for success. As outsourced accounting services are intended to relieve in-house staff from tedious, manual tasks, ensure the provider you partner with has the advanced tools and proven methods to achieve accurate financial reports, measure success and identify errors.

In addition to cloud-based software and the implementation of streamlined processes, ideal outsourced accounting firms will also serve as a good culture fit to your company. Working with a third-party solution that prioritizes clear communication and strong customer service ensures your team receives the support necessary to achieve the company’s goals.

Q: How much do outsourced accounting services cost?

Outsourced accounting service costs vary based on the scope of the services needed and the size of the business. Costs may be charged on a flexible, hourly basis or structured within a fixed monthly package. Additional costs or fees may be incurred for additional services throughout the duration of service.

Q: How do outsourced accounting services ensure data security?

Reputable outsourced accounting firms prioritize data security and the protection of sensitive financial information. Many companies that offer outsourced accounting utilize cloud technology platforms that provide the highest levels of security available in the industry. Cherry Bekaert employs cloud technology platforms, automation tools and machine learning to scale and support your company’s growth. With state-of-the-art software and compliance expertise, external accounting companies can provide peace of mind for businesses that outsource these services.

Outsourced firms also closely follow changing compliance and regulatory guidelines to ensure the organizations they support adhere to industry-specific requirements, reducing the risk of financial penalties. These resources may be particularly beneficial for small and mid-sized businesses that may not have robust IT departments or stringent confidentiality measures.

Q: What types of businesses can benefit from outsourced accounting services?

Outsourced accounting can benefit a wide range of business types and sizes, from small startups to mid-size companies. Regardless of industry or rate of growth, companies can find value in hiring an external firm to handle accounting services and improve financial reporting.

For businesses that may need to meet financial compliance, or that are struggling to hire a capable in-house accountant, outsourcing provides a practical solution. Growing companies with increasingly complex financial needs may benefit from outsourcing, as can small businesses that may lack the internal skills and resources needed to effectively manage their bookkeeping and financial reporting requirements.

Q: What specific outsourced accounting services does Cherry Bekaert provide?

At Cherry Bekaert, our professionals will include you at every step of the outsourced accounting lifecycle. The process typically involves the following stages:

  • Data collection
  • Journal entries
  • General ledger accounts
  • Trial balances
  • Adjusted entries
  • Crediting financial statements
  • Closing the books
  • Financial statements

In addition to the above services, our team will work closely with you to fully support your account. If needed, a highly experienced professional may also provide additional accounting and finance consulting, which is priced according to each company’s specific needs.

Q: Can I still maintain control over my financial process with outsourced accounting?

Yes. If you decide to outsource your accounting functions, you can develop a collaborative relationship with the provider and guide the partnership through setting expectations, defining needs and maintaining open communication. You can be as involved as you prefer, and the right firm will be flexible to specific levels of engagement.

Q: Are outsourced accounting services only available for specific industries?

No, outsourced accounting is versatile and applicable across various industries. Cherry Bekaert has experience supporting outsource accounting functions in many industries, including:

  • Government contracting
  • Government and public sector (not-for-profit)
  • Technology/SaaS
  • Real estate and construction
  • Healthcare
  • Industrial Manufacturing

Q: What ongoing support can I expect from an outsourced accounting service provider?

In addition to handling ongoing accounting functions, outsourced providers can offer insight into your financial data and help you make informed business decisions. Cherry Bekaert’s accounting and financial management experts can assist in budgeting, forecasting and providing strategic analysis to support the overall financial health of your organization.

Ongoing support is also offered for changing compliance and regulatory standards to ensure your business is informed and compliant, minimizing the risk of financial discrepancies. Above all, outsourced accounting is intended to provide a holistic approach to managing a company’s financial affairs, so leadership and staff are free to focus on key operations.

Questions? Contact Us