When reviewing the accounts operations in your school there are two general options to go with – bring it all in-house and employ staff suitable to the job, or outsource part of the accounts to a company or person who provides school financial services.
There are the usual risks and pitfalls of employing staff – the cost of paid leave and other benefits, getting the wrong fit for your organisation, not having the skill set required for all accounting functions, office space/equipment required to house them onsite, the distractions they face everyday, and so on.
Here are some reasons why schools tend to outsource some or all of these functions:
- Economy: The service becomes an accounts payable item rather than a payroll one. The school can claim GST on the expense rather than pay PAYE.
- Expertise: Outsourced providers can have a whole team with many skills and strengths among them to problem solve and assist the school strongly in financial processes. They are continually upskilling, but not on your time.
- Efficiency: Outsourced providers can focus on your accounts with no other distractions, and mistakes are rare. They already know the fastest way to handle accounts.
- Endorse: Providers keep up with changing laws and regulations; that same expertise can also provide confidence around compliance, separation of duties, and reduction of opportunities for fraud.
- Expand: As the school grows or change occurs, your providers can easily change their services accordingly, to expand or contract quickly. This provides flexibility that in-house staff just can’t provide.
Most of the benefits of having staff onsite can be matched with the benefits of outsourcing, especially if that provider is treated like part of your team and are great people to deal with. That ‘great to deal with’ factor can be what makes one provider stand out above the rest.