Accounting is about more than balancing your debits and credits. Positioning your business for growth as an Internet Service Provider means understanding your revenue, expenditure, margins, and profit and loss.
While having a good Business Intelligence platform can provide you with an excellent starting point, there will generally be insufficient data collected in any single system to provide more than a bird’s-eye view. While hiring a dedicated accountant is an option, adding another employee to your payroll can be done prematurely. Using external resources, such as a contracted Accounting Firm can provide you with the expertise you need to bolster your business.
What is an Accounting Firm
Accounting firms are, typically, a business that offers trained accountants at an agreed rate, such as hourly rates or flat monthly rates. In some cases, you’ll have a single accountant working directly with your business, in others, you’ll work with a larger team, no less experienced, but wider ranging.
Many accounting firms will also tailor their teams to specific use cases, making sure to provide your team with the accountant(s) most specialized in a specific area. In the case of an Internet Service Provider, making sure your chosen firm specializes in telecommunications is becoming more important than ever.
How to choose the right firm
Choosing the right firm is a lot like picking the right software for your business. Evaluating competitors is not only recommended, but encouraged. Like a sales team that’s too pushy, an accounting firm that doesn’t inspire confidence is often the wrong choice.
When you’re evaluating an accounting firm, consider the following:
- The cost-benefit analysis; does signing a contract with this firm benefit me in a capacity greater than its cost to my business?
- Time investment; will signing with this firm save me time based on their documentation or record-keeping requirements?
- Expertise; does this firm have accountants with the required expertise to smoothly adjust their calculations and expectations to my specific use case?
- Dedication; will this firm be able to respond promptly when I, or my business, needs their help?
- Longevity; will going with this firm provide a meaningful long-term partnership, or will I need to shift firms after the contract period expires?
Depending on the billing platform you use, there can also be additional criteria to discuss with your firm. For example, if you use Sonar as your billing and Business Intelligence platform, making sure to clarify specific reporting and billing cycle questions might be on your mind. In the case of Sonar, some accounting firms may not be able to adjust to the automatic billing through Sonar, and would need all customers to receive bills and make payments at the same time.
Thankfully, most accounting firms will be able to review report examples, and explaining your billing scenarios to them will quickly clarify whether they can accept your business.
How to find relevant firms
Not all firms are created equal – and finding a firm that specializes in your field is a key element to a successful agreement. Most firms will advertise their telecommunication services, and a list has been gathered here to save you time:
Note that this list is not exhaustive, nor endorsed by Sonar. This is simply a gathering of some resources for you and your ISP.
- Centri Consulting offer a range of consulting services, from Life Sciences to Consumer Goods. They also offer a selection of accountants and accounting teams specializing in telecommunications.
- OlsenThielen have been offering specialized telecommunications accounting services for over 100 years, and continue to offer these services to all service providers, large and small.
- Maner Costerisan claim to offer unmatched expertise in the telecommunications sector, along with a data-driven approach to accounting reliability and insights.
- MossAdams has over 540 clients in the communications and media sector alone, with more than 85 accounting experts in the field.
- Forvis leads their offering by promoting their “people, engagement leadership, communication, and technology make the difference in delivering our services.” Forvis provides resources for all manner of telecommunications industries.
- PwC is one of the largest names in the accounting industry for good reason, and they also offer their expertise to businesses operating in the telecommunications industry.
- Turlington & Company have been offering the accounting expertise for over 50 years, and offer a staff and team used to the changing environment of telecommunications.
Your business is more than just “money in, money out”. Accounting is an essential part of your continued growth and success, and positioning yourself to leverage the right accounting firm will foster that success. If you need information about how Sonar can work with whichever firm you choose, reach out to our Sales team.