What makes more sense: continuously maintaining an accountant on staff for the purpose of processing solutions which are only required at specific instances throughout the year, or only using an accounting person when you need their services?
In the first scenario, you’re going to have a requirement for the retention of such an employee on a somewhat full-time basis. They have access to your most integral information, and deep knowledge of legal practices surrounding income, taxes, deductions, and all the many complicated things which silhouette the operation of modern business in a financial sense.
If you want your accountant to deal with your business honestly, and in a way which is sustainable, qualitative, and tends toward growth, you’re going to have to treat that accountant right. This means giving them a benefits package, a wage requisite to live on, and an established seat at the table. It’s an expensive proposition, when all is said and done.
Meanwhile, if you can find an accountant that is able to be hired out on an as-needed basis, you can enjoy all the benefits of their work without having to lose money on the back end through proper maintenance of their position as an employee.
Have Your Cake And Eat It Too
The difficulty here is finding an accountant whose services you can trust on a piecemeal basis. While you can contract one out, the likelihood is such an individual will have multiple clients they must work with, and self-interest mitigating their activity. If it becomes convenient for them to prioritize another client over you, that’s what will happen.
According to Basis365.com, outsourced accountants for ecommerce businesses allow for: “…streamlined flow of information…to process your day-to-day transactions quickly and provide timely, reliable financial statements at month-end.”
When you go with an outsourced solution, there is additional professionalism and oversight that wouldn’t conventionally be available to you, should you keep an accountant permanently on-staff. An outsourced solution is going to continuously train its personnel for maximum applicability.
There will be training programs and standards of operation which accountants at such an agency must maintain in order to remain part of the outsourced pool. They will be subject to informed oversight an employee on-site at your facility would not be privy to. There will be better, and more effective, extrinsic motivation.
It’s easy to stagnate when there’s no one in authority over you to whom you must answer. While you may control whether or not your accountant gets paid, you don’t know what he or she knows; otherwise you wouldn’t need their services.
Certainly, there will be accountants who continue to grow in knowledge and skill with time because of their passion and aptitude. But in your experience, is such human capital as that the exception to the rule, or the predominant subset of available persons?
It seems evident that such a self-motivated individual would be an exception. But if you go the outsourcing route, such individuals will be the only ones who are able to maintain a position with the outsourcing firm.