Accounting in an IT company: who will put financial reporting in order Control over the finances of an IT company not only requires the appropriate expertise but also consumes a considerable amount of time. Not to mention the quarterly and annual reports to government agencies, understanding of which is far from every leader's forte. However, official businesses with legitimate accounting can't avoid paperwork hassle.
In the initial stages of agency development, the issue of financial accounting is often tackled by the director themselves. However, as the company grows, an increasing workload overwhelms them. Even if they use online services like "Kontur.Elba" or "Moe delo", they still spend their time on routine tasks that don't contribute to profitability. Moreover, as practice has shown, competent personnel are also needed to work with such services.
If we highlight the main signs indicating it's time to turn to an accountant, the following points emerge:
- financial and staff growth of the agency,
- company accreditation and the use of benefits,
- the need for prompt resolution of accounting issues,
- constant fines/penalties when using automatic services,
- monitoring changes in the tax code.
OUTSOURCING OR IN-HOUSE ACCOUNTING
Collaborating with an outsourcing company or a specialist is advantageous when you're a sole proprietor and don't want to burden your schedule. The tasks and reports are not overwhelming, and there's no immediate pressure on deadlines. You can calmly provide the information requested by the external accountant and monitor their work in your free hours.
However, when transitioning your business to an LLC or another form of activity, the situation changes drastically. Documentation increases, financial and personnel processes become more complex, and the outsourced accountant may not have the necessary expertise. This leads to chaos in reports, stress for company leadership, and a lack of informed consultations on your specific economic activities.
IDENTIFIED DRAWBACKS OF OUTSOURCED ACCOUNTING BY US
- Additional responsibilities for collecting primary data and sending it to outsourcers.
- Constant delays and procrastination in submitting reports until the last working day.
- Incompetence in many IT-related matters.
- Paid time for providing explanations in response to tax authority queries.
- Issues with the prompt issuance and payment of invoices.
- Staff turnover in outsourcing, resulting in a "passing the buck" instead of taking responsibility for errors.
- Lack of interaction with personnel: explanations on financial matters, salaries, and bonuses.
Outsourcing is a makeshift solution for a growing agency. Its aim is not to optimize processes but merely to complete and close the matter. Therefore, without an in-house accountant, the leadership has no one to turn to for expert consultation to promptly identify and address the company's risks.
OUR EXPERIENCE IN SEARCHING FOR AN IN-HOUSE ACCOUNTANT
We were planning to conduct a comprehensive audit of the entire accounting department, so we based our candidate selection on skills not only in accounting but also in the ability to reconstruct it using our systems. We primarily focused on the accountant's experience in IT companies or related fields.
- understanding the agency's activities based on real cases; Working with preferential regimes for IT companies;
- proficiency in the "Kontur.Buhgalteriya" program or another online service;
- skills in systematizing accounting;
- ability to manage assets and obligations;
- confident knowledge of accounting, labor, and tax legislation of the Russian Federation;
- successful experience in passing desk audits and audits;
- responsibility and promptness;
- relevant education.
In the cover letter responding to the job vacancy, we emphasized the candidate's openness and honesty. If they provided information in a detailed manner and supported it with cases, we saw their interest in the position. Responses without a cover letter took a back seat, but they were not completely ignored. Candidates with very brief resumes or no work experience had little chance.
A candidate without experience is a delayed-action bomb. We had previously hired accountants on outsourcing with little experience. And what did it lead to? After 1.5 years, the leadership faced serious problems that consumed a lot of time and resources. If you plan to hire someone without proven practical skills, then the company should already have a chief accountant. They will delegate some tasks and ensure their completion by the young specialist.
Our recruiting process is not a conveyor for hiring employees. We carefully studied the information about each candidate, and then invited those who fit our criteria for an interview. During the interview, we thoroughly examined the declared skills and explored the corresponding requirements.
- What is your real experience working with IT companies?
- Which accounting tools do you use and why?
- Can you optimize expenses for accounting?
- Have you had experience resolving contentious issues with the tax authority?
- Are you willing to take on the role of the chief accountant and completely exclude the involvement of the CEO in accounting processes?
- Tricky question: Are you ready to work exclusively for us, or do you plan to have side jobs simultaneously?
TEST ASSIGNMENT AND PROBATIONARY PERIOD
After a successful interview, we would propose a test assignment. Typically, we asked candidates to conduct an audit of the company's current activities, identify flaws and issues. We already had a prepared answer, allowing us to compare solutions and assess the candidate's level, so we focused on the promptness of execution and the quality of analysis.
Once we identified specialists who fit our criteria, we moved on to the probationary period. It served as a unique test, demonstrating not only professional skills but also the person's willingness to work towards results. It was crucial for us to streamline the company's accounting and fully transition it to a digital format. However, some candidates viewed this primary task as an additional service, not within their working hours. This was despite the fact that even during the probationary period, the specialist's rate was covered according to their request.
For six months, we searched for a chief accountant with relevant experience: reviewed dozens of resumes and conducted around seven interviews. The most significant outcome of the search was finding a specialist who has been handling tasks related to financial, commercial, and personnel activities of the company for a year now.
If you operate as a sole proprietor, having an in-house accountant is not mandatory. You can independently address all issues through online services or utilize an outsourcing employee's time. However, when transitioning to another business form, you enter a new reality where constant specialist involvement is required. Finding them before critical situations arise is highly beneficial.