As a business grows, its economic problems may also increase. As a result, entrepreneurs (who often lack experience in the financial sector) face a difficult choice of whether to choose in-house accounting or outsourced bookkeeping. Both options have strengths and weaknesses, and the decision depends on many factors. Let’s look at the key features and benefits of outsourcing and in-house accounting services to make it easier for entrepreneurs to decide taking into account their unique needs and goals.

What Does Internal Accounting Mean?

Internal accounting provides that internal employees perform financial responsibilities. In most cases, full-time bookkeepers perform a wide range of tasks beyond standard calculations since they deal with technical issues, human resources, and bookkeeping all in one. Finding one employee who would take on all these activities and have the necessary knowledge to perform objectives at the highest level is difficult.

About 60% of small businesses still use the services of in-house bookkeepers. This value tends to decrease for small firms as they grow because only 43% of such enterprises under the same financial management for five years use full-time specialists. At the same time, software developer ISBX decided to maintain on-site accounting. The president Arthur Linuma said that a personal Certified Public Accountant (CPA) lets you determine the tasks that need to be completed more accurately and introduce the optimal process.

A Few Words about Outsourcing

Outsourcing or contracting out accounting is an easy concept to comprehend. You recruit a third party to manage the financial aspects of your enterprise instead of recruiting a group of accountants. Enterprises can outsource many bookkeeping jobs, including payroll, accounts payable and receivable, financial reporting, etc.

Research conducted by Global Industry Analysts Inc. revealed the accounting outsourcing market will reach a staggering $53.4 billion. It proves that more and more enterprises are considering delegating financial authority to third parties as a strategic move. One significant example of outsourcing was Boeing, which in 2022 announced that they were outsourcing their accounting to Indian partners.

Advantages and Disadvantages of In-House Accounting

Choosing an in-house accountant provides several profits that can potentially increase profits and the overall efficiency of an enterprise. The main benefits of recruiting such an expert are as follows:

  • Maximum monitoring: in-house accounting services provide more control over your financial insights and how you manage them.
  • Direct communication: staff members are always available and can provide immediate assistance.
  • Familiarity with the firm: In-house staff better understand the operating conditions of your firm and its economic ambitions.

The key disadvantage of recruiting full-time economic specialists is the increase in spending. Full-time accounting services cost more due to recruiting, teaching, and equipment investment costs. In addition, a full-time expert may have limited experience in specific financial sectors.

Pros and Cons of Outsourced Accounting

The profits of having an external accounting partner with accounting certifications can vary depending on the nature of the area you are involved in. However, some benefits transcend industry and firms; they are received by all firms that have delegated their economic responsibilities to an outsourcing organization:

  • Access to specialized knowledge: outsourcing provides access to specialized knowledge unavailable within the firm.
  • Cost-effectiveness: outsourcing is a profitable solution because it eliminates the need to hire additional staff, pay benefits, set up a workplace, buy software, etc.
  • Scalability: economic service providers can offer a scalable structure that will evolve as the business expands.

If we speak about the downsides of such services, they are related to the fact that by trusting economic data, you lose control over it. In addition, the service provider may have technical or staff problems that could negatively impact your enterprise.

In-House Accounting vs. Outsourcing: Which is Best for Your Business?

Comparing in Details In-House and Outsourced Accounting

Now that we have identified the strengths and weaknesses of outsourced and in-house accounting, it’s time to weigh the pros and cons to understand which option is more suitable. The following factors need to be analyzed.

Quality and employee training

If you plan to recruit full-time employees, you must be interested in their experience and reputation with former employers. Verification is necessary when hiring a financial specialist; otherwise, you risk encountering self-taught employees, increasing the company’s risks.

The contract-out services comprehend generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and provide higher accounting services quality and experience. Employees of third-party organizations are professionals who are constantly trained in bookkeeping and technology, that is proved by certification.

Total cost

Every firm is concerned about business costs, and in-house and outsourced accounting expenditures vary greatly.

The average annual income of an accountant in 2023 in the USA was $62,384, and the standard wage of a bookkeeper was $44,035. Be prepared not only to pay for their activity but also to face various overhead spending, which amount to about 20% of the specialist’s base salary:

  • payroll taxes
  • medical insurance
  • paid vacation
  • spending on organizing interviews, recruiting, and teaching
  • pension programs, etc.

If you outsource your bookkeeping, you must pay for the services, but various overhead expenditures are not considered. The annual cost of accounting in an outsourcing company’s services often increases with the complications of the operation, but for small firms, it rarely exceeds $5,000. It makes outsourcing a more profitable option than hiring an in-house specialist.

Working hours

Full-time workers typically work from 9 to 5, that is, 40 hours a week. It means when specialists are in the office, they are actively working, but after 5, any urgent questions are postponed until the next working day.

At the same time, outsourcing organizations often work 24/7 or at least a few extra hours. It is essential for businesses operating during the evening and night, including cafes, web service developers, cinemas, etc.

Loyalty issues

According to statistics, 22 to 28% of enterprises experience fraud among staff. Moreover, corporate scams are more likely to affect firms where the staff are older; the more likely they are to commit fraud, the greater the volume of fraud will be. The complication of commercial procedures can help unscrupulous personnel hide dishonesty.

When delegating bookkeeping, such situations are observed less frequently for several reasons. As a rule, outsourcing firms have auditors who guarantee fraud prevention. They are concerned about customer loyalty since introducing fraudulent schemes can lead to the bankruptcy of an economic organization.

Final Words

The decision between outsourcing and on-site accounting depends on many factors. Outsourced economic services let you save working hours, gain access to expertise, and provide savings, while full-time bookkeeping guarantees internal monitoring. It is essential to carefully analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each option to make a rational decision.

If you want to take advantage of outsourcing accounting services and improve your operations, we recommend contacting BooksTime. Our experts go beyond standard accounting and analyze all business transactions to create the optimal economic process. We have no plans to repeat what has been done before – we will look for ways to improve actively, all for a reasonable monthly fee!