In Pursuit of Profit
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Only time will tell if/when a recession will occur. Right now, business owners are collectively holding their breath as they wait to see how the economy will progress over the course of the next year, which begs the question: “What should your business be doing during this waiting period?”
Knowing what you will do during an economic downturn is an important part of any risk management strategy, especially when economists are warning that the nation may be headed for a recession in the near future.
What is your recourse if you cannot remedy performance issues? How do you set up future hires or service providers for success to avoid these kinds of issues in the future?
We’ll cover these topics in our guide to accounting management:
What would happen to your business if your accountant unexpectedly quit or was hit by the proverbial bus? How easily can someone else step in to keep the books in order?
I didn’t completely embarrass myself among the fresh-faced CPAs just out of college representing their public firm teams. However, I definitely regretted my decision to play after a bad midcourt collision left me looking at a wrist that was definitely not in the right position. After a long ER visit and eventual surgery to add some new hardware, the recovery process began.
I still do some part-time accounting consulting work for small businesses and being able to type is a key part of getting the job done. Having a wrist that wasn’t working, along with the pain involved, really cut into my ability to be productive. Some of the work I was doing couldn’t easily be handed off, so I had to do my best to continue getting work done despite my limitations.
In some cases, holding onto the role internally means hiring an in-house accountant, but at many small businesses, the alternative is simply tasking other employees with these kinds of functions. And, to no one’s surprise, the lucky person who gets the accounting work added to their to-do list tends to be the business owner.
While outsourcing overseas used to just be a cost-saving measure, many accounting firms are now facing labor shortages that are forcing them to take this step out of necessity, not of their own choosing. The Washington Post declared that “The remote revolution could lead to offshoring Armageddon” and though that is likely an exaggeration, it demonstrates how desperate many employers are these days to find personnel to do the work that needs to get done.
CPA firms, large employers, and companies with complicated ongoing financial needs are in a pinch. They need skilled employees to do the work that keeps their businesses running but with a dearth of qualified candidates available, their options are limited. However, offshoring is not the only solution! It is often a far better option to upskill your existing employees to assist with this work than to send it overseas.
Cash-strapped startups need to be judicious with how they spend their money on everything from operating expenses to hiring costs. When there is just not enough room in the budget to pay an accountant market value for their experience, a startup may need to get creative with their overall compensation package, rethink their “ideal candidate” profile, and potentially even consider outsourcing as an option (at least temporarily).
Finding an accountant for a startup company can be extremely challenging because new companies typically do not have the same cash reserves that more established companies do. This pain point is shared by small businesses everywhere but can be exacerbated by the perceptions around startups.
As the owner of a startup company, hiring an accountant can be a difficult task to undertake. Use these tips to find an experienced accountant to help get your startup off the ground:
Do you see your accountant as a number cruncher or an advisor? In an article that we published almost two years ago, our team pointed out that,
Today’s business climate requires more skills from your accountant than ever before… Successful companies need someone that will not only manage cash flow and provide accurate forecasting and reporting, but also offer sound advice. Having an accountant that can do the job is essential but having an accountant that can act as an advisor can really give you a competitive advantage.
And if that was true back then, it is certainly still true today! The best accountants are disciplined, proactive, collaborative, and operate with high ethical standards; and aside from just executing on deliverables, they also add value to the company with the work that they do in the following ways:
As fractional accountants, we have experience with a wide array of “less than full-time” accounting engagements ranging from ongoing part-time work and extra assistance during busy periods to short-term project work and interim roles while a new accountant is hired. Of these, interim work is notoriously underutilized, which is disappointing because it is an area where bringing in help expeditiously can have a huge impact.
What Should I Pay My Accountant?
We hear this question every day from business owners: “How much should I pay an accountant?”
Unfortunately, there is not a single right answer. Like any other occupation, an accountant’s salary is determined by a variety of factors. There are the usual variables like location and years of experience, but there are also unique determiners for accountants like professional licenses and accounting focus area. And then there is the ongoing war for talent to consider, which has made the topic of compensation even trickier!
If you want to know how much to pay your accountant, use this accountant salary guide to inform your compensation discussions and help you to make smart accounting recruiting decisions: