How to Choose the Right Outsourced Accounting Provider

Technology has led to the development of new accounting tools and approaches that have revolutionized how businesses operate. As a result, the outsourced accounting landscape in 2023 looks promising.

Many businesses have transitioned to cloud-based accounting systems and integrated finance software to manage their books. With many new companies opening and remote work rising, there’s been a tremendous increase in demand for outsourced accounting services.

But with the influx of new accounting service providers in the market, it has become difficult for businesses to choose the right one to fit their needs. Here are five essential tips on choosing the right provider for your business.

#1: Decide What You Need from an Outsourced Accounting Provider

Before you start your search for the right provider, you must first identify what you're looking for in a provider. What type of accounting services do you need? What level of expertise do you require? Do you need a full-service provider or just specific services?

Answering these questions will help you narrow down your search and make it easier to find a provider that meets your specific requirements.

#2: Assess Your Current Accounting Process and Needs

You also need to look closely at your current accounting processes and needs. This will help you understand what areas need improvement and what services you need from a provider.

You should also assess your company's growth plans and decide if you need a provider that can scale with your business. This is important because your accounting needs will change as your business grows.

#3: Research Different Outsourced Accounting Providers 

Once you know what you want and need from a provider, it's time to start your research. There are several ways to do this. You can start by reading online reviews and comparing different providers.

Even more important, ask for recommendations from close business relationships. There’s nothing more valuable than a reference from someone you trust. You can also consult with your current accountant, who may or may not be able to provide these specialized services. Once you have a list of potential providers, you can contact them to get more information.

#4: Interview Potential Outsourced Accounting Providers 

After your research, it's time to start interviewing potential providers. This is crucial because it will help you understand the provider's services, experience, expertise, and approach.

During the interview, you should keep these goals in mind:

  • Find out what tools and processes they use
  • Check online reviews and testimonials
  • Get a sense of their customer service
  • Learn about other services they offer

#5: Make a Decision and Implement the New Provider

After you've interviewed different providers and gathered all the information you can, you're ready to decide. Choose the provider that you feel is the best fit for your business and budget.

Once you've decided, it's time to implement the new provider. Make sure to create a plan for how you'll transition and communicate with your team to minimize disruptions to your business and ensure a smooth transition.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right outsourced accounting provider is a vital decision for any business. By assessing your needs, researching different providers, and interviewing potential providers, you can find the right partner to fit your specific needs and requirements.

GJM outsourced accounting services offer a wide range of specialty services for businesses interested in handing over the accounting function to a provider and advisor they can trust.

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Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business & transaction advisory, healthcare management & advisory, outsourced accounting, and risk advisory. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, nonprofit, private equity and utilities.

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CHIPS Act and Impact Opportunities for Ohio Manufacturers

President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS Act into law in August of this year to catalyze investments in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. In the hopes of boosting local competitiveness, innovation, and national security, the government approved over $52 billion in federal subsidies.

This passage marks one of the biggest semiconductor manufacturing investments in U.S. history. The European Union, China, and Canada have also endorsed similar programs, proving that some of the tiniest components in the modern world can have a massive impact worldwide.

This article will discuss how the CHIPS Act can help Ohio manufacturers. Read on to determine if it can impact your business.

Benefits of the CHIPS Act

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America (CHIPS) Act offers various benefits for companies in the industry, including the ones listed below.

Increase in Generous Tax Incentives

Eligible firms can enjoy advanced investment credit, to be codified in the Internal Revenue Code Section 48D. This benefit amounts to 25% of the related investment for manufacturing facilities.

For properties to enjoy such perks, they should:

  • Fall under the semiconductor category
  • Qualify for depreciation or amortization
  • Be an integral part of the advanced manufacturing facility

Taxpayers can claim the benefit as direct pay or payment against tax. For this reason, they can receive a tax refund even if they don’t have enough liability. Without this alternative, monetizing credits could be challenging.

Reduction in Supply Chain Issues

Experts believe the CHIPS Act is a powerful tool in mitigating risks and can help organizations achieve a sustainable and secure supply chain. It can support the building or expansion of semiconductor fabrication facilities.

Lowered National Security Concerns

The CHIPS Act can transform the research, development, and production components of the American semiconductor industry. This program will strengthen the backbone of other companies, including defense systems.

Remember, the semiconductor industry emerged from the U.S., but East Asian companies have trumped local suppliers. Today, manufacturers rely heavily on imports.

Types of CHIPS Act Perks

Ohio manufacturers can apply for the following funding:

  • Domestic manufacturing incentives
  • Research and development and workforce development incentives
  • Department of Defense or microelectronics commons
  • International efforts from the Department of State
  • Workforce education from the National Science Foundation

As long as you’re not designated a foreign entity of concernyou may be eligible for some credit types.

Application for CHIPS Act Funding 

The IRS has yet to announce additional details on CHIPS Act funding. Ultimately, it aims to empower local firms to better compete in an international industry that powers both the economy and defense. It can be the game-changer companies need to take their organizations to the next level.

Watch for more in this GJM blog series as further details emerge from the IRS regarding the application process for CHIPS Act funding.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business & transaction advisory, healthcare management & advisory, outsourced accounting, and risk advisory. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, nonprofit, private equity and utilities.

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Manufacturers: Is Your Compensation Package Where It Needs To Be?

Hiring and retaining workers has been a struggle for manufacturing and distribution businesses for years, even decades. But the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the skilled labor shortage, heightening the challenge.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s most recent Manufacturing Financial Executive Roundtable event examined the role compensation packages play in staff recruiting and retention. Held at Brandywine Country Club on September 29th, the event, hosted by GJM’s Manufacturing Specialist Team lead Wes Beham, featured guest presenter Bob Bethel, director of HR services for the Employers’ Association in Maumee. Bethel offered up a reality check for manufacturers and some suggestions on how to stay competitive and attractive to potential new hires.

He pointed to the reality of 2022: help wanted signs everywhere, starting hourly rates are higher than we’ve ever seen, such as $22 an hour at McDonalds. On top of that, Bethel says, statistics show a projected significant population decline in the US in the decades to come. And Ohio has its own challenges. Bethel’s presentations showed the state has seen a decline in young people in the last two decades and isn’t attracting international or domestic migration. US Census Bureau numbers show the south and west are growing in the US, but the Northeast and Midwest are shrinking in population.

Compensation

Bethel noted that we saw higher pay increases for hourly production workers, for example, between August of 2021 and July of 2022: over four percent increases. But pay increases for that same group were anticipated to be between 2.8 and 3.8 percent from August of this year through July of 2023.

We know entry level wages are up in 2022 from 2021. We also know inflation is eating into those increases for workers. Bethel says there may be ways to restructure your compensation package rather than just keep raising hourly rates. Here are some strategies he offered up for attendees to consider:

  • Offer lump sum payments rather than pay increases
  • Create multi-tiered positions based on skill level. For example: Warehouse Worker I, Warehouse Worker II, Warehouse Worker III, compensate accordingly
  • Higher pay for your better performers
  • Regularly review your compensation package

Bethel noted that remote workers bring additional challenges. Do you pay them based on their work location? Or is compensation based on their contributions/impact on the business? Do you require all workers be on site? Or do you allow some remote work where appropriate?

Bethel also challenged the manufacturing executives and human resources managers in the room to consider their retention strategy, citing these quotes from “Getting Engaged: The New Workplace Loyalty.” 

“The most important factor in employees’ willingness to engage is their feeling about their relationship with their supervisors.” 

“You can’t afford to have poor managers.” 

Recruiting/Retention

Bethel challenged manufacturers to ask themselves: How engaged are your workers? He says we know employee engagement is down since the pandemic. Gallup says engagement started slipping in late 2021 and cited these issues/needs from staff:

  • Clear expectations
  • Right materials and equipment
  • Opportunity to do what they do best every day
  • Connection to the mission or purpose of the company/organization

Bethel says the numbers show employees working fully remote or hybrid had higher levels of engagement than those on site. Among the groups to see the biggest drop in engagement were managers.

Can you do anything to improve the situation? Bethel says you certainly can. His recommendations:

  • Examine your candidate experience: is web application submission easy? Is it mobile friendly?
  • Are you keeping the candidate informed through the process of applying?
  • Interview process needs to be quick
  • Use of technology for applications
  • Put yourself in the candidates’ shoes and remember they talk to each other
  • What is your onboard process like?
  • Would you be viewed as an employer of choice?
  • Did you adapt during and post-Covid?

Onboarding tips:

  • Structured process in place for onboard
  • Clean workspace, technology in place, welcome swag on desk
  • Remember new hires are looking at other jobs
  • Give them something to rave about

Employee experience tips:

  • Treat them better than your best customer
  • Periodic check-ins: three-month, six-month, one-year, three-years, etc.
  • Give them benefits they care about
  • A 25-year-old new hire wouldn’t view 401k as an exciting benefit, but student loan repayment, yes!
  • 35-year-old new hire would be interested in healthcare for their kids, etc.
  • Examine your culture
  • Opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • Work-life balance
  • Compensation
  • Flexibility
  • Social responsibility
  • Transparency

Recruiting: Where are you looking for new hires? How are you finding them? What should you consider?

  • Recommendations from your own staff
  • Advertising
  • Social media
  • Recruiters
  • Increasing wages, flexibility, offering bonuses

Bethel offered these other considerations for finding potential new hires:

  • Prison population
  • Diversity in your workforce is important to attract new staff
  • Disabled population
  • Retirees as people to rehire for certain roles
  • Remember: Internships are very valuable

Bethel’s presentation ended with some sobering reminders. He says this current people crunch is a big deal and it isn’t going away. He says the businesses that adapt will be the winners. All talent is not equal. Don’t pay them that way. Never let a good person go. Circle back with them to determine how you can get them to stay.

Roundtable attendees also had the opportunity to discuss these challenges with each other as part of the event, circle back and share those thoughts with the entire room, a valuable exercise to learn where others are finding success.

GJM Financial Executive Manufacturing Roundtable events are held about three times a year for local manufacturers to come together and share best practices and challenges with each other. The events are open to financial decisionmakers within manufacturing & distribution companies. If you’d like to sign up to receive invitations to future roundtables, click here and note that you would like to receive GJM Manufacturing Financial Executive Roundtable invitations.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business & transaction advisory, healthcare management & advisory, outsourced accounting, and risk advisory. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, nonprofit, private equity and utilities.

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How to Protect Your Business in a Slowing Economy

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all recent private sector jobs. However, these businesses are often the first to feel the effects of a slowing economy. These uncertain times bring many challenges but, as a business owner, there are several things you can do to protect your business in a down economy.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Cash Is King

One of the most important things to do in a down economy is to match its pace. You may need to slow down your own operations and expenditures. By avoiding the mistake of continuing to spend at the same rate you were in an up economy, you can maintain a positive cash flow and avoid taking on excessive debt. Consider focusing on the most important investments for now. Be sure to also watch your outstanding receivables. If your customers slow down on their payments, you may need to follow up more often to make sure you’re paid and not left with an uncollectible receivable.

Evaluate Your Supply Chain

Another strategy for weathering a down economy is to re-evaluate your supply chain, something many businesses are already doing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. You could look at both domestic and international suppliers. It’s important to ensure your costs are appropriate and that you’re getting the best possible value. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, either. You may also want to look for additional sources of supplies to ensure you’re getting the best rate for your supplies, and this could save money in ways you can see more immediately.

Evaluate Staffing Flexibility

You must also prioritize your people in a down economy, even more critical in the current climate, as businesses struggle to bring on new staff. One strategy to consider is cross-training your employees. Cross-training is the practice of training employees in the roles and responsibilities of more than just one position.

If you are a restaurant owner, an example of this might be to make sure all your servers are trained to know how to host the front of the restaurant and that your hosts should know how to wait tables. This way, you’ll have employees who can do more than one job should there be a need due to staffing shortages, layoffs, sick employees, etc.

You might also consider “grading” your employees, protecting your “A” players while making tough decisions about your “B” and “C” players. It may be wise to look at your revenue-producing employees versus your support staff. Should you need to reduce staffing, you’ll want to maintain your ability to generate revenue.

Invest in New Technologies with Immediate Returns

Finally, a down economy can be a good opportunity to invest in new technologies—particularly those that offer immediate returns. Although you may want to avoid making long-term investments right away, you must not let your competition become more efficient while you stand still. Try to look out for technologies that can help streamline your operations and improve your efficiency and integrate them at a slower pace than you might when the purse strings are less tight.

Remember, even if it seems like things aren’t great, every little bit helps. Even if the smallest changes might seem insignificant, a handful of tiny changes is still a handful. Success in an uncontrollable economy essentially lies in how you invest not only your money, but your time and resources, as well.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business & transaction advisory, healthcare management advisory, outsourced accounting, and risk advisory. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, nonprofit, private equity and utilities.  

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GJM’s Wanderlust Benefit for Flag City Honor Flight Slated for October 28

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Wanderlust, a signature benefit event for Flag City Honor Flight (FCHF), returns this Fall! Wanderlust: A Stroll Through Paris is Friday, October 28, 2022, at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Findlay. Wanderlust tickets are on sale now!

The event will raise money for Flag City Honor Flight which, after halting flights for two years, resumed its flight schedule with an unprecedented three flights in 2022. All proceeds from Wanderlust: A Stroll Through Paris will go directly to FCHF. Part of the National Honor Flight Network, FCHF is funded solely by donations. The organization brings veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built in their honor. Veterans don’t pay a penny to make the trip.

FCHF paused flights in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. This year’s flights were June 7 and September 13, with a final flight scheduled for November 1.

“We are so thrilled to be able to take to the skies and bring these American heroes on this special journey once again. We’re very grateful to GJM for hosting Wanderlust. Thanks to this event, we’ve been able to bring hundreds more Veterans to Washington, D.C.,” says FCHF President Bob Weinberg. “Our November 1, 2022 flight, which will be an all-Vietnam Veteran flight, has a very generous corporate sponsor, Ohio Logistics, covering the cost of the trip. But GJM’s Wanderlust event is critical to our core mission to bring Veterans from all eras to Washington, DC. Wanderlust 2022 proceeds will help fund our 2023 flights.”

Since its founding over 26 years ago, GJM has had a strong commitment to community. The firm has supported countless philanthropic efforts through the years and many staff members serve on the boards of local nonprofits. In 2015, GJM aligned with Flag City Honor Flight and established the major fundraiser. The GJM events in 2016, 2017 and 2019 have together raised over $260,000 for Flag City Honor Flight.

“I cannot imagine anything more meaningful than helping these men and women get to our nation’s capital with Flag City Honor Flight. While we can’t ever repay them for the sacrifices they’ve made for our country, this is one way we can show them how grateful we are as a nation and help give them an experience they’ll never forget,” says GJM Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore.

A big part of Wanderlust’s success is corporate, individual, and in-kind sponsorships. Special thanks to all 2022 sponsors, including major Wanderlust sponsors Ohio Logistics and American Interiors. 

 

Event Details:

An inspiring and entertaining evening, as attendees are transported to the romantic streets, flower markets, gardens, and cafes of Paris, “The City of Lights”. Guests will enjoy an evening embracing all things French, sipping on champagne & other drinks, enjoying French-inspired cuisine, live performers, a live auction, raffle and more.

WTOL news anchor Dan Cummins, who himself is very active in supporting FCHF through his news coverage, will emcee the 2022 event with GJM’s Susan Ross Wells. Findlay auctioneer Trent Farthing has graciously agreed once again to donate his talents for the evening’s live auction.

Live auction packages will include something for the men and ladies in the room, as well as two signature trips: one for a private villa in St. Lucia, the other: a getaway for two to Paris.

Tickets to Wanderlust 2022: A Stroll Through Paris are $70 each. To buy your tickets now, or secure a sponsorship, visit the Wanderlust 2022 webpage. Questions about the event? Simply reach out to GJM’s Tracy Kennedy at tkennedy@gjmltd.com, Deanna Herr at dherr@gjmltd.com or Susan Ross Wells at srosswells@gjmltd.com.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business & transaction advisory, healthcare management advisory, outsourced accounting, and risk advisory. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, nonprofit, private equity and utilities.

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