Staffing Options for Your Small Business Accounting
June 14, 2018 by Gordon Advisors
You’re in the business of engineering consulting, or you run an auto repair shop, or you have multiple franchises of the hottest product on the market. When it comes to doing the actual accounting work of your organization there are different options on how to get the work done. Much of the decision will come down to the size and complexity of your operations combined with the skills and time you have available to do it yourself. Let’s look at staffing options available to you.
As mentioned, you can do the accounting work yourself. For the sake of discussion, we’ll include your spouse in this category as well. Do you fix your own car? Did you build your own deck on the back of your house? Those are the same type of questions you’ll have to answer with this situation. Do you have the skills and time to do it yourself? Likewise, if you are doing it yourself, are you taking time away from more important business needs or your family to do it?
If doing it yourself is not an option, you will want to hire someone else to do this work. This can be an internal hire, or an external setup. Depending on the volume and complexity of the work, you may be able to hand off the accounting to a detailed person that is handling other administrative functions. Since they will be seeing the numbers behind your operation, including profits or losses and compensation – trust is a very important factor in this decision. If the accounting function is getting to the level of 20 hours per week and that do-everything administrative person is not available, you may consider hiring a part-time employee whose only function is accounting. They may be good to handle some HR compliance issues and the insurance but thinking they will do more traditional office assistant work is rarely what they want to do. Accounting is a skill set and for an experienced accounting paraprofessional they usually want to stick to functions that are focused on accounting.
If you don’t have the time or skill set to recruit and interview someone for this job, another option is to bring in temporary staff. Many firms are set up to transition the person from their payroll to yours. This has advantages, just be aware that there is usually a fee for this transition or at least a minimum length of time on their payroll. Find out up-front what the firm’s policies are in this regard.
Another option is to have an accounting firm’s staff do your accounting. For instance, at Gordon Advisors we have clients where our paraprofessionals do the accounting four hours a week, one day a week, several hours a month or once a quarter. The accounting paraprofessionals were hired by people experienced in hiring accounting personnel, they are overseen by CPAs and the paraprofessionals have years of experience doing exactly what you need them for. This option isn’t for everyone, but it is a great option for many small businesses.