Why Outsourced Accounting is Perfect for Family Businesses
Save time, cut costs, and gain a competitive advantage with outsourcing.
Why are so many family businesses outsourcing their bookkeeping, controllership, or even CFO-level services to outside accounting firms?
On the one hand, these businesses are taking advantage of outsourcing for the exact same reasons as any others.
If you read our recent blog, Why You Should (Probably) Switch to Outsourced Accounting, you know the basic advantages of outsourcing. Rather than paying the salaries and benefits of an expensive in-house team, outsourcing allows you to spend less money on your accounting services while benefiting from the broader capabilities and deeper expertise of a full accounting firm.
In addition to helping you save money, outsourcing frees you from the hassle of recruiting, hiring and training new staff members each time an employee leaves—a process that can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, especially in today’s highly competitive labor market.
Finally, outsourcing gives businesses both stability and flexibility. When you outsource with our firm, Dugan + Lopatka, you pay one flat monthly fee for your services. Unlike in-house salaries and benefits, there are no “raises,” no bonuses, and no other fluctuations in pay. It’s the same price, every month.
And if your needs change, you don’t have to hire additional staff members, like a full-time CFO, or lay-off valuable employees. Simply adjust your retainer with D+L, and we will immediately expand or reduce our scope of services to account for your needs.
On the other hand, a family business must contend with challenges that other businesses do not, and outsourced accounting is often better-suited to help an organization tackle these challenges than an in-house team.
Key benefits of outsourced accounting for family businesses
Let’s take a look at a few examples of how outsourcing can be a major advantage for family-owned organizations.
Outsourcing allows you to delegate responsibility and focus on what really matters.
One trend we see time and time again with family-owned businesses is that one or more members of the leadership team will wear multiple “hats.” They assume so many roles within their organization that they rarely have the time or energy to focus on the big picture.
We know why they do it—because they care deeply about their family business—but often they end up spreading themselves so thin that the quality of their work suffers, and the organization misses out on some of the higher-level leadership they could have otherwise provided.
Outsourcing some or all of the financial management of your business frees you and other business leaders to focus on leading your company. It’s a win-win: You get more time to focus on the things that you do best, and your organization benefits from the undivided attention of experts on both the financial and leadership sides of the business.
Outsourced accountants bring objectivity to the table.
Having an outsourced Chief Financial Officer (fractional CFO), outsourced Controller, or other third-party advisor gives family businesses an edge. It allows them to get a perspective on key financial decisions from an expert who understands their business but is not actually a part of it and does not carry the same emotional baggage.
Third-party accountants bring a lens of objectivity that is missing in many family businesses, allowing them to make rational, informed decisions—even in emotional situations.
The right outsourced team will have both the knowledge of your business and the skillset necessary to provide key services like succession planning, business valuation and raising capital.
While objectivity is important, many family businesses are hesitant to put the future of their organization in the hands of a third party. That’s understandable; these businesses have often been passed down through generations, and business owners feel a personal responsibility to protect their company.
At the same time, there are certain situations that demand the objectivity and skillset of a third party. That includes succession planning and business valuation, two complex and sometimes emotionally charged processes. This is when it pays dividends to partner with an outsourced accounting team you trust. Over time, they will develop a deep understanding of your business, and they will be able to provide both the objectivity and capability of an outside firm, as well as the insider knowledge of your organization and its leadership.
In other words, the right outsourced financial management team will approach your business with a healthy mix of empathy and objectivity.
The bottom line? Outsource with a firm you trust.
At D+L, we believe that most family businesses can benefit from outsourcing some or all of their financial management services.
At the same time, you should be picky when it comes to choosing a firm. Although outsourcing can provide unmatched value, flexibility and capability, these benefits are only relevant when you trust your outsourced accountants with decisions that could impact your organization and your family. It’s business, but it’s also personal.
Our team has partnered with family-owned businesses across the Chicagoland area and beyond for decades. Whether it’s outsourced bookkeeping in Chicago, outsourced CFO, or controller-level services, we leverage a deep understanding of your business and comprehensive capabilities to help you grow, thrive and protect the things that matter most.