In Pursuit of Profit
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The considerable time required to fix payroll mistakes is a significant penalty for any company to pay when an error occurs. Then, when you figure in the added cost of reduced employee satisfaction, which in turn can lead to turnover or hamper future hiring efforts, the cost of experiencing payroll problems becomes even steeper.
We talk to people every day that are looking for accountants for their companies. And being in the business of staffing organizations through both full-time hires and outsourced accounting services, we have noticed a trend in people’s thinking…
Business owners and hiring managers typically categorize their hiring intentions into one of two buckets: a part-time bookkeeper/bookkeeping service or a full-time accountant hire. But many business leaders overlook the value that a part-time accountant (or “fractional accountant” as they are referred to in the industry) can provide to their organization.
Whether the organization is for-profit or not-for-profit, a fractional accountant can be brought in for a variety of reasons to provide the same level of expertise of a full-time, dedicated accountant. While a fractional accountant from an accounting service provider may work on a less than full-time basis, their experience-level is as high (if not higher) than your average accountant.
The reason a fractional accountant may bring a greater breadth of experience the role is because they work with a variety of companies across a different industries and lifecycles simultaneously, which requires that they be well versed in a wide variety of accounting topics and stay abreast of all the latest news. As a result, fractional accountants may offer more accounting acumen at a much lower cost than their full-time counterpart.
As an accounting recruiting firm and financial services provider, we work with businesses everyday who ask, “Should we hire or outsource our accounting needs?”
This question is especially important for companies in the startup phase because they likely have significant cash flow concerns to consider. However, startups may also have other unique characteristics that make this question more challenging to answer, such as:
While every business will have their own unique needs and challenges, it is generally best for a startup to outsource their accounting activities initially and then hire internally as their needs change. Where does that shift happen?
The next round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans is now open, and businesses can apply through the end of March. Borrowers that received First Draw PPP Loans and have already used or will use the funds for authorized uses can apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
While the first round of PPP loans was launched quickly with little prep time for advisors, many firms have since dedicated significant staff to assisting clients as they evaluate their financing options and submit PPP loan applications. The result is better support for organizations faced with making difficult financial decisions as they navigate an uncertain business landscape. So, as you consider applying for a PPP loan this time around, lean on an experienced third-party financial consultant to help you understand if you qualify, what the differences are from the previous round, and whether this type of lending is the best fit for your specific circumstances and long-term goals.
Since this is the second go-round, the rules are more clearly defined this time, leading to less ambiguity and confusion than there was with the first loan program. Some of the differences this time around include:
Remote work has always been an attractive proposition to employers because they can maintain productivity while cutting costs. Prior to 2020 having a remote workforce was an optional decision. Despite the benefits, many companies still chose to maintain employees in-house to foster a positive organizational culture and reduce technology needs. However, the recent pandemic has proven that external factors can influence the workforce at any time. This has necessitated organizations to be ready to manage the challenges that accompany virtual work even if they do not plan to have employees working remotely permanently.
Managing a remote workforce creates numerous barriers to “business as usual.” Cultural shifts occur, technology demands increase, security risks arise, performance criteria change, and bookkeeping must keep up as well.
Recent changes to Oregon state law have made payroll management more complicated, requiring a broader awareness of how these changes will affect employee compensation in the coming months. Medical leave provisions, increased pregnancy protections, pay equity fixes, and retirement plan contributions have all been amended in Oregon for 2020. These legislative changes make accurate calculations and withholdings more crucial than ever before to avoid needing to pay back owed wages, delinquent taxes, and incurred penalties.
Major legislation that affects payroll and staffing in Washington state has been passed recently. Some of the new laws already rolled on January 1, 2020, while others will go into effect later this year. Legislation that spans changes to the minimum wage and exempt employee criteria, clarification of job duties, and issuance of paid family medical leave will add new complexities to HR functions and payroll calculations. These changes will affect operations across businesses of all sizes and compensation for a significant segment of the working population as well.