Top 8 Accounting Skills Your Outsourced Accountants Should Have

Published: January 19, 2023
outsourced accountants

The accounting sector is plagued by a pandemic-driven talent gap, much like any other industry.

Accountants are leaving in droves, forcing accounting teams to tide over the tax and audit seasons short on staff.

As companies of all sizes struggle with financial staff shortages, outsourced accounting services can lay a firm foundation for sustainability and pave the way to future-proofing your business.

What is outsourced accounting?

Outsourced accounting refers to contracting out a company’s accounting function to service providers.

Businesses across all sectors are taking advantage of this strategy to ensure the quality of their financial reporting and support their overworked internal accounting department.

What are the benefits?

  • Comparative Cost Advantage

Partnering with an outsourced accounting team is more cost-effective than hiring your in-house team.

Besides reducing overhead costs, outsourcing helps businesses save money on recruiting, training, and onboarding candidates

  • Accounting Expertise

Companies that outsource bookkeeping services only work with highly-skilled Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) who undergo intensive training.

Additionally, since outsourcing companies specialize in customer service, you can have peace of mind knowing all your clients’ needs are well taken care of.

  • Productivity

Another significant perk of outsourced bookkeeping services is increased productivity.

By delegating financial tasks such as payroll processing, accounts receivable, and management reporting to a dedicated team of accountants, you will have more time to focus on your core competencies.

  • Scalability

Outsourcing allows you to quickly scale your services to meet market demand without rigorous restructuring, retrenchment, or recruitment.

  • Automation

Purchasing software and tools can be impractical for an in-house accounting team working on a budget. Fortunately, outsourcing can give you access for a fraction of the cost.

Having the latest accounting software is non-negotiable for every outsourced accountant. This helps them save time while reducing the risk of data errors and breaches.

Outsourcing can help improve efficiency, boost revenues, and drive growth by leveraging cutting-edge technology and a pool of highly skilled outsourced accountants.

8 Must-Have Accounting Skills for an Outsourced Accountant

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Are you interested to learn more about the advantages of outsourcing accounting services? Take a look at this rundown of skills expected of outsourced accountants.

1. A Full Grasp of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) To improve the Consistency of Financial Records

Since accounting is diverse, U.S. accountants have come to rely on grounding rules that standardize their practice. These principles, collectively called General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), govern the consistency and clarity of financial documents.

Beyond just being a skill that needs to be mastered, it’s a universal language that allows accountants in the U.S. to understand other organizations’ statements easily.

Standardized reporting makes it much easier for auditors and stakeholders to verify the integrity of their records. GAAP also helps them compare figures – across time, organizations, and sectors – allowing businesses to track their fiscal health and make informed decisions.

In-depth knowledge of GAAP is a sine qua non for accountants. Without it, clients and investors would have little confidence in their financial statements’ accuracy.

2. Thorough Knowledge of Modern Accounting Software To Keep Pace With Industry Changes

Nowadays, there is software for practically every imaginable accounting process, which is why a potent combination of accounting and tech skills is one of the market’s most in-demand (43%) skill sets.

Digitalization is shifting the focus of accountancy from tedious manual computation to data interpretation and strategic inputs.

Clients nowadays want more efficiency, accuracy, and deeper insights that only automation can provide.

The technology optimizes operations, allowing accountants to improve the accuracy of accounting records at a reduced cost. BPO’s cloud-based accounting system can also synchronize databases and seamlessly integrate its processes with its clients.

3. Mastery of M.S. Excel for Intense Qualitative Analysis

No software can outperform Excel when drawing insights and analysis, making it the tool of choice for businesses.

But since most professionals can navigate Excel, accountants need an outstanding command of the program to drive their professional success.

They must learn to optimize the program’s robust features for more than just number crunching and data compilation. For instance, qualitative analysis, an invaluable program component, can help accountants identify themes, relationships, and trends in enormous amounts of data.

4. Practical Communication Skills in Dealing With Clients and Stakeholders

Numbers alone are useless without context.

To get their message across, accountants need effective communication. Their role is three-fold; generating, interpreting, and translating data into actionable business insights.

Because they also deal with clients who don’t work in finance, accountants need expert communication skills to simplify complex and abstract financial concepts.

They also have to be judicious in their dealings and correspondence.

Delayed online responses may come off as incompetence. Confusing words can misguide business decisions. Difficulties in explaining irregularities may arouse the suspicion of stakeholders or, worse, lead to the loss of clients.

5. Superb Time Management Skills for Meticulous Planning

Time is a crucial resource that accountants must use wisely, especially during tax and audit seasons.

Everything they do has inflexible deadlines that come with grave consequences and penalties. Apart from complying with government-set time frames, they must regularly submit up-to-date financial data to help guide decision-makers. 

This is why accountants have to be masters of time management. While this is not a skill they’re officially trained on; their work teaches them how to set realistic time goals, prioritize urgent tasks, and work efficiently.

6. Critical Thinking Skills To Come Up With Out-of-the-Box Solutions

Analytical skills are just as essential as mathematical skills for accountants.

Accounting fundamentals are often needed when dealing with problems that could significantly impact a client’s finances. It takes scrutiny and analysis to find out-of-the-box strategies to solve these problems.

Critical thinking helps accountants see data from all perspectives, allowing them to identify patterns and forecast trends. It also helps them scrutinize their work to reduce the risk of costly errors.

7. Inherent Trustworthiness To Safeguard Financial Assets

Since outsourced accounting firms are privy to sensitive information about their client’s finances, trustworthiness is integral in the industry.

Businesses need assurance that accountants will run their numbers with the highest degree of discretion and confidentiality. They will only entrust their confidential financial information to some.

This is because their data and financial assets are susceptible to breach and theft in the hands of the wrong person.

However, an outsourced accounting firm can easily prevent this from happening.

BPO firms use accounting software, cloud backup, and end-to-end encryption to ensure that your financial data is always safe and secure from malicious entities.

8. Excellent Customer Service Skills for Relationship Building

Beyond simple service delivery, accountants need exceptional customer service skills to build lasting client relationships.

Their job continues even after they turn in financial reports. It ends the moment clients’ needs are met. This means that all concerns must be addressed, all questions answered, and all requests must be made to satisfaction.

Read more: 8 Advanced Customer Service Skills Your Team Needs in 2021

Bonus Read: Know More About the Topic

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  • Why do companies outsource accounting?

All businesses positioned for growth need additional resources to manage their accounting data.

As their revenue grows, they often work with an outsourced accounting service provider to keep pace with the increased cash flow and ensure they hit their critical financial performance indicators.

  • How does outsourced accounting work?

Outsourcing your accounting and CFO services is the easiest, most cost-effective, and most effective way to get your finances in order.

An outsourced accounting team offers end-to-end financial services, from tax filing and payroll services to customized management reporting and daily bookkeeping services.

These highly-skilled accounting experts can help you chart your trajectory and achieve your business goals through financial planning and advisory services. Since they are not involved in the other aspects of a client’s business, they can also provide an objective point of view of your internal finances.

Read more: Is There an Accounting Talent Shortage?: 10 Signs It’s Time for Your Firm To Implement New Operational Strategies in 2022

  • Who is outsourced accounting for?

Small and Midsize Businesses

Since small and midsize businesses typically lack the skills and resources to do their bookkeeping in-house, accounting is among their most outsourced tasks. Still, it’s more than just small businesses that can benefit from outsourcing accounting services.

Outsourcing can drive growth and savings for all companies, from start-ups to big corporations.

Businesses Experiencing Staffing Issues

Thanks to its global talent pool and scalability, outsourced accounting services are the perfect solution for companies that are struggling to hire and seeking to expand.

Nonprofits and Charities

BPO providers can ensure that nonprofits’ finances align with their advocacies through end-to-end financial and tax services.

More importantly, outsourced accounting services help them adhere to guidelines and prepare them for regulatory challenges.

Outsourcing also equips nonprofits with the best processes and systems to maximize transparency for their stakeholders.

  • Is it better to outsource accounting?

There’s more to outsourcing than just reduced costs.

Outsourced bookkeeping services allow businesses to get the entire accounting team experience without the stress of unnecessary hiring and staff management.

Outsourcing your accounting also leads to better financial strategies, more informed business decisions, and higher profits.

It doesn’t matter if your organization has 10 or 10,000 employees. An outsourced accounting firm can give you peace of mind by staying on top of the books. Whether you need help with accounts receivable and payable or financial planning and business accounting, this is your ideal business solution.

Why should you outsource your accounting to the Philippines?

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The average U.S. accounting firm grew by just 5.7% in 2020 – the slowest growth in eight years – which calls attention to an alarming shortage of accountants.

The answer to the talent gap is outsourcing.

The Philippines remains the top finance outsourcing destination, with a literacy rate of 91.6% and an equally high English proficiency. It has a deep talent pool of over 188,000 CPAs from top universities.

Moreover, the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) is one of Asia’s oldest and most well-established accountancy institutions. The country’s accounting standards are also culturally fit for Western countries as it adheres to the International Financial Reporting Standards.

Future-Proof Your Finances With Outsourced Accounting Services

No business would survive without accounting. It’s the only way to ensure you’re financially on the right track, but not all companies have the resources to do it in-house.

Fortunately, you can turn to outsourced accounting services. BPOs combine highly-advanced bookkeeping software with industry expertise to provide cost-effective financial and tax solutions tailored to your business needs.

Beyond accounting and bookkeeping, outsourcing companies leverage their first-rate customer service skills to boost revenues and grow your business.

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