How and When to Grown Your Company's Accounting Function

Growing Your Company's Accounting Function

Implementing a proper accounting system is one of those ancillary tasks that keep businesses going. Unfortunately, it’s usually an afterthought for many business owners. Below are three progressive structures that you will want to explore in order to properly manage your accounting function as your company transforms and grows from small to mid-sized.

  1. Part-time or outsourced bookkeeper

  2. Full-time accountant, with part-time CFO

  3. Full-time CFO

Part-time or outsourced bookkeeper

  • Hiring a full-time finance person isn't always an option for new businesses. But keeping accurate accounting records from day one of operations should be a top priority. While some businesses are comfortable with handling this function internally, accounting is not in everyone's wheelhouse. If this is the case for you and you need some outside help, we strongly suggest that you utilize a part-time professional to outsource to.

They should be able to help you with 3 things:

  • Setup of your accounting system - There are many great accounting platforms available but we strongly suggest QuickBooks. You’ll need to get your company set up by establishing a chart of accounts and determining the format for financial reports.

  • Bookkeeping - This is the day-to-day entry of transactions into your accounting system and preparation of checks and invoices.

  • Tax preparation - The person who set up your accounting system may also have the skills to prepare your taxes. Depending on your business, you may need to pay sales taxes, quarterly estimated taxes, payroll taxes, etc.

Full-time accountant, with part-time CFO

As the company grows, your bookkeeping and finance tasks will become more complex. Eventually, it will be most cost-effective to hire a full-time person in-house to handle all bookkeeping needs instead of outsourcing to a separate agency. When you reach the point of hiring a full-time bookkeeper, the needs of your company will also most likely exceed the skill set of a basic bookkeeper. You will need a person with a skill set that’s more diverse: an external, part-time or fractional chief financial officer. This CFO will work with the owner to interpret financial statements and internal metrics, develop financing strategies, handle tax planning, develop forecasting budgets and, depending on the industry, handle compliance issues.

Full-time CFO

You will eventually reach the point where it will become necessary to hire a full-time in-house CFO. For most small businesses, this point is typically reached when the cost of your external part-time CFO equals what you would have to pay a full-time employee. You will most likely also have to expand your internal accounting staff once you've brought in a full-time CFO. This will include someone to handle payroll while another person handles accounts payables and accounts receivables.

Avoid costly mistakes by properly handling all bookkeeping and accounting functions for your business. If you have financial, bookkeeping, or accounting questions OR if you are not sure which of the three above functions is best for your small business right now, contact Fusion CPA today for some guidance and to learn how we can help.

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