Vol. 1 Knowing when to outsource your accounting
I was on a call with my CEO and he addressed some common challenges to which every GovCon leader can relate. How can we turn these trials into a teachable moment to help our constituents and clients? We can be our best to you not by charging a consulting fee to share our experiences and offer advice, but by crafting a dialogue where we trace lessons learned from those who have walked in your shoes and share with you a new perspective so that you can, in the immortal words of Fleetwood Mac, “Go your own way,” and be successful!
Requiem of a dream
A government contractor is born out of the expertise, initiative, or creation of a product, and the dream is realized when that skill or product becomes marketable. Our team can relate. The leadership team at Parabilis all share at least 1 thing in common, they each were federal contractors before starting our company; with unique expertise and shared realizations of the challenges they faced. Parabilis was built out of a desire to change the marketplace because of the lessons learned as contractors.
For instance, one of our leaders had a government contracting company and like most, needed working capital, found an option available and was subsequently taken advantage of by a predatory lender that almost squashed the realization of his dream. This was the “ah-ha” moment that became the catalyst for change and inspired our service at Parabilis. We aspire to share experiences like these periodically so that there is no need to make the same mistake twice, even if the first time it wasn’t your mistake. If you can learn from another and save yourself the heartache, then mission accomplished!
Don’t mistake confidence with wisdom
Our CEO also shared that most business owners don’t know when to start looking for team members to manage parts of the business, like finances for instance. So, when is it a good time to outsource your accounting needs? He explained that as a determined business owner you essentially take your expertise and create success by driving the need for what you do best. Most CEOs are functional officers of the business, and although they are the best in what they do, they can’t do everything at that same level. Ironically, the confidence that gets the business going and creates growth, is the same confidence that can lead to a deficit if you try to do too much and miss crucial aspects of your business.
What is outside the scope of the business owner’s expertise should be outsourced. For starters, the second you start your business, you should utilize an accountant or hire a Fractional CFO to assist with maintaining your finances, and keep you in compliance with regulations pertaining to government contracting like FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) as it pertains to finance. If you are doing what you do best, you don’t have time to manage your money, and if you can’t see your money, you can’t run your company.
Having an attitude of, “I’m smart, I can figure it out,” can get you into trouble. Starting your business may rely on your subject matter expertise, but it is not the only component important in helping grow and sustain a scalable rate of success. If you ask leaders of successful businesses how they feel about outsourcing they will tell you that although it is hard to loosen the reins, having a strong team of experts handling different departments outside their realm of knowledge makes all the difference.