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Controller Services

Is Accounting Outsourcing the Right Choice For Your Growing Business?

As your business grows, the things you used to do yourself—or hire one part-time person to do—now require a whole department. Accounting and bookkeeping is a prime example of this. Expanding your accounting department to include a full-time bookkeeper and a financial controller means additional overhead. You need to find office space for the new employees. If your office is already bursting at the seams, it might even mean leasing a larger building. Then there's full-time salaries, unemployment taxes, benefits, etc. Not to mention the time that goes into hiring and training new employees.

But there's a less expensive way to do it: accounting outsourcing. When you outsource your accounting services, you'll have someone to:

  • Manage your books daily
  • Share customized reports with you so you can make decisions based on a sound financial analysis
  • Track accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • Create monthly balance sheets & profit & loss statements
  • Reconcile accounts at the end of each month


When you choose AccountingDepartment.com, you'll also get a financial controller who provides checks and balances for the bookkeeper, ensures the bookkeeper follows GAAP regulations, and meets with you for a monthly consultation to help you interpret your company's financial data.

If you need a full-time bookkeeper and controller but don't want to expand your physical company just yet, contact AccountingDepartment.com today to learn more about accounting outsourcing.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing Accounting Outsourcing Services

Outsourcing accounting services can be a scary step to take in your business. After all, you don't know the person you're hiring and probably won't get a chance to meet them face-to-face. But in today's virtual world, it's becoming common practice—and there are a lot of benefits.

Finding the best accounting firm for outsourcing is a combination of finding the right company and making sure that firm chooses the best bookkeeper for your needs.

Here are a few questions you should ask before selecting accounting outsourcing services:

  • Do you outsource to other countries, or hire only U.S.-based bookkeepers?
  • Is your staff W-2 employees or sub contractors?
  • What hours does my bookkeeper work?
  • What is the hiring process?
  • Does my bookkeeper work in a secure environment and are the computer systems secure and private?
  • What guarantees do you have that my financial records will be kept confidential?
  • Where is my information stored?
  • How secure is your server?
  • What sort of back-ups do you have?
  • What happens in the event of an emergency if your server goes down—how can I access my financial records?
Also be sure to find out:

  • Is your bookkeeper is trained in the brand and version of accounting software you use?
  • How extensive is their training, and do the bookkeepers have any certifications or other credentials?
  • What happens if your bookkeeper is out sick?
Three Ways Outsourced Accounting Reduce Corporate Fraud

U.S. organizations lose 7 % of their annual revenues to fraud, according to a survey by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, reported at BusinessInsider.com.

For a company with revenues between $1 million and $50 million, that's not small change. The median loss for companies with fewer than 100 employees was $200,000.

While corporate fraud inside and outside your company may not be completely avoidable, there are certain measures you can take to help prevent it.

  1. Eliminate paper checks. The more paper you have circulating for thieves to counterfeit, the greater the chances you'll be a fraud victim. When you shift to "in-the-cloud" accounting software and hire a virtual bookkeeping firm to maintain your financial records, you minimize print-outs of checks and other material significantly.
  2. Establish internal controls to detect corporate fraud. If your books are a mess, you may not know what's going in or coming out. When you hire a reliable virtual bookkeeper, you'll have access to your balance sheets and financial analysis reports that can help you spot anything that seems fishy.
  3. Use outsourced accounting to prevent internal fraud. When your bookkeeper works remotely and has no contact with your employees, they can't be conned or schemed by other employees to doctor the books to cover up fraud and embezzlement. Your virtual bookkeeper is neutral and unbiased. All they care about is providing you with the best financial so you can make wise financial decisions. With an ethical financial controller working above your bookkeeper to provide checks and balances, there's no way they could get away with employee fraud, either.

In short, the best security to prevent corporate fraud involves storing your financial records in the cloud, minimizing the paper trail of bookkeeping, and using a bookkeeper with no personal stake in your company or its employees.
Financial Statement Analysis Can Help Prevent Employee Theft

Many business owners—small and large—are victims of employee theft for years before they realize it. After all, when was the last time you actually took a careful look at your corporate balance sheets or took the time to understand that Financial Statement Analysis your financial controller dropped on your desk? Maybe it was your financial controller or your bookkeeper who was stealing from you.

This article in the Philadelphia Business Journal about bookkeepers who commit employee theft is harsh—but it's true. And it doesn't just happen to small business owners. The bigger your business, the more likely you are to lose track of your finances and be a victim of employee theft. What can you do to prevent it?

Spot Employee Theft with Financial Statement Analysis
Just taking a careful look at the financial statement analysis provided by your financial controller every month can help. Your financial controller should provide the checks and balances to make sure your bookkeeper can't steal, but it's easy for the two parties to work together, too. You need to be the one reviewing the financial statement analysis and balance sheets every month.

Look for: 

  • Checks made out to unusual vendors. Your bookkeeper could have created another company and is writing out checks to that company,which she cashes. She could also be writing checks to pay personal bills.
  • Duplicate checks made out to utility companies, etc. Again, your bookkeeper could be writing checks to pay her own cell phone bill and the like.
  • Checks made out to your bookkeeper. Yes, some bookkeepers, as the PBJ article says, are that dumb.
If you're concerned about employee theft, another way to prevent it is by using a virtual accounting firm. At AccountingDepartment.com, we have a vigorous hiring process so you know your bookkeeper is trustworthy.
Four More Ways to Prevent Employee Theft

Concerned about employee theft? You have a right to be. Businesses lost nearly $100 billion in 2008 as a result of corporate fraud and employee theft, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and reported at BusinessInsider.com.

Keeping a close eye on your financial statement analysis is one way to spot employee theft before it gets out of hand. Here are a few more ways.

  1. Run an employment check on a bookkeeper before hiring. A candidate who left a string of jobs could indicate employee theft or fraud. Perhaps she was caught and fired, or maybe she left before they could catch her. Of course, people often have good reasons for leaving jobs, but if something seems unusual, move on to the next candidate. You can't take chances with the person who handles all your money.
  2. Minimize the paper trail. Keep blank checks locked up in your office. Better yet, move your accounting software "in the cloud" and transition to a paperless office. It's the less expensive, environmentally-friendly option, too.
  3. Make sure there's someone above the bookkeeper to check their work. Consider a financial controller or an outside auditor.
  4. Hire a virtual accounting firm like AccountingDepartment.com to take care of all these details for you. At AccountingDepartment.com, we run a company with 38+ full-time bookkeepers—and we're growing fast. We have clients in every industry, of every size. Most of our accounts are companies with annual revenue well over $1 million. Our reputation is on the line, so you can bet we hire our bookkeepers with the utmost care and have the most stringent hiring process possible. A financial controller manages the bookkeeper to prevent employee theft and errors. And we'll go over your financial records with you, so you know there's nothing for us to hide.

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