While more and more companies are turning to outsourcing accounting for their own needs (or utilising accounting firms like yours that use outsourcing) you may still run into business owners who are reluctant to engage in the practice.
Reluctant Clients? Here’s How You Convince Them That Outsourcing Accounting Is To Their Benefit
How to Explain Outsourcing
When you meet with a company’s CEO who is queasy about handing off their personal info to what they consider an unknown factor (your overseas team) it helps to start them off in the right frame of mind.
What this means is don’t try to sell outsourcing accounting as any one service – you’re not selling a payroll service, or an income tax service, and so on.
Instead, you’re selling efficiency. All of the services that can be covered by your firm are subheadings under the main sales’ point of efficiency.
If they’re still reluctant, discuss with them the goals they have for their business. Get specific – tell them your firm is committed to helping them build their dream company. So what exactly would they like to have seen their company achieve by one year from today? Five years? Ten?
Let them see you marking these goalposts down on your own calendar – you’re showing that you aren’t some entity separate from their company – you’re part of their team that’s excited at the prospect of helping to build something amazing.
If they haven’t thought about such goals – and this happens quite a bit – then help them drum up some milestones. The more they see what their company can be, the more they’re going to be invested in working with your suggestions.
How Outsourcing Accounting Helps Plans Become Reality
Now that you’ve discussed the dream it’s time to get real.
What plans have they made to achieve their goals? Have they split the goals into manageable sub-goals? Do they know which parts of their plans would best be served by the various in-house people on their team?
Chances are, even if they have made any such plans (which doesn’t happen all that often), they’ve left out one very important segment – the accounting.
Accounting is generally an afterthought. You’re going to see some faces fall as the business owner is reminded that they still have hours of inventory, payroll, taxes, and so on to tackle on top of their plans. That means the potential loss of hours each week where they’re not building their dream business.
Efficiency via Outsourcing Accounting
Streamlined finance and accounting is a hallmark of well-run companies. Not only does a great accounting firm like yours offer the ability for a business owner to free up the time they’d lose doing the books themselves, but you’re also a financial consultant who can jump on red flags and alert the owner to problems as they arise.
What business owner isn’t going to want their own personal financial bodyguard?
But for their company to reach this level of efficiency your company has to be a well-oiled machine unto itself. Your firm doesn’t offer accounting services – it offers customer service and it just happens to be in the realm of accounting.
For this to happen you need two things. First, you need eyes on their files. The more eyes the better. Second, you need a flow of information. The more information, the better.
You get more eyes on the files by outsourcing accounting – you can afford more people to work on a client’s file. More experienced people working on their file means more chances of catching any problems as they arise.
You get more information as your client hands over more accounting duties to your firm. If, for example, your client only hands you accounts payable, they’re not giving you as clear a picture as you would have if you handled both accounts payable and receivable.
The more accounting functions they hand to you for outsourcing accounting, the more efficient the overall process, and the healthier it will be for their business’ health.
The Bird’s-Eye View
There is another additional benefit to outsourcing – the ability to make the accounting itself more efficient.
Different businesses are going to have slightly different accounting needs. But your clients aren’t likely to be able to streamline their accounting processes to fit their business if they’re in the trenches, spending hours just doing the bookkeeping work itself.
But by creating the process with your firm you and your client will be able to get a top-down view of the accounting process and identify (with your overseas manager) where the processes can be tweaked to maximise efficiency.
All of which leaves your client the time to spend on making their business dreams into reality.