Four Traits to Look for in an On-Demand Accounting Solution
The following insight is from M3, a cloud-based financial platform and services company serving hotelier, collection and enterprise hospitality businesses.
Finding the right match in an accounting partner bears some similarities to finding the right partner in marriage. A solid accounting partner understands your (industry-specific) needs, acknowledges your flaws, and adjusts to any curveballs that come your way.
For many hospitality companies, it doesn’t make financial sense to build entire accounting departments or to have resources dedicated to routine tasks such as bank reconciliations and accounts payable. Outsourcing these tasks presents a means to operate more efficiently and more cost-effectively – allowing hotel executives to focus more on improving your customers’ experience, and less on checking off a to-do list.
If you think your business could benefit from outsourcing accounting functions, consider these four qualities as non-negotiable when picking a partner:
Tailor-made service packages
When searching for financial services, many companies are enticed by the promises of an ERP solution, only to find that the one-size-fits-all approach, add-ons, and contracts are anything but flexible. That is why it is essential to find an accounting partner that will work with you to create the perfect combination of software and services for your company.
With this synergy in mind, a smart accounting team can offer ERP-lite, customized solutions to hotel businesses, from basic accounting functions provided on an a la carte basis, to comprehensive management of the full financial cycle. As a result, companies are free to request services in accordance with their changing needs, eradicating inflexible and non-variable overheads that negatively affect ROI. From balance sheet reconciliations to assistance with sales and use tax filings, an on-demand team structure can deliver the greatest value to an organization where it is needed most by adapting to the culture at-hand and tailoring financial services accordingly. Not to mention that this solution eliminates the cost and hassle of building an in-house talent pool while minimizing back-office disruption and maximizing production.Customizing each engagement ensures a true partnership between a business and their accounting solution.
The options may seem overwhelming when you begin your search for the perfect accounting partner. To narrow the search, look for an accounting entity that specializes in your industry because each industry has its own unique set of financial needs which, in-turn, require industry-specific accounting expertise.
Unlike generic outsourced accounting teams, a hotel-specific financial services provider sources, selects, and maintains a team of on-demand CPAs, MBAs, staff accountants, financial specialists and industry veterans with decades of hotel accounting experience to deliver tailormade results to businesses navigating the hospitality field. Selecting an accounting partner with this mentality allows companies to access top-tier talent and best-practices in the hotel industry, while streamlining financial performance across the board.
Integrated software and services
In the world of software services, compatibility is key. Some accounting solutions may offer software but lack a service capacity. Conversely, there are accounting services that don’t develop software and thus rely on another company’s product. Neither scenario is ideal.
Leveraging cloud-based services offers real-time data rolled into an intuitive dashboard, which enhances visibility into key business metrics – anytime, anywhere. When partnering with a tech-savvy accounting team, companies can enjoy the benefits of on-demand expert support, technical assistance, and development staff at the snap of their fingers. Utilizing these resources frees businesses up from the painstaking processes of building, updating and maintaining expensive data infrastructure, and instead, enables management teams to focus their efforts on what matters most: managing company assets to improve guest satisfaction and boost their bottom line.
Sustainability through scalability
As those in the hospitality industry are well aware, a company’s accounting needs are always in flux. When planning for expected seasonal changes or sporadic events like a natural disaster, it’s imperative to have the option of onboarding an on-demand accounting team that can scale with your business’ needs. And when it comes to long-term planning, you want an accounting solution that will nimbly adapt to your everchanging needs, because when companies expand or reduce, interruptions happen. Ultimately, outsourced accounting functions should be a simple variable expense that moves in direct proportion to the size of the asset or management portfolio.
Taking each of these traits into consideration, companies should strive to adopt a solution that allows them to spend less time buried in administrative tasks, and more time tackling the big picture. When it comes down to it, the key to finding the right financial companion for your business is simple: choose the one that makes you a better business.