A few regular scenarios for the small business that relies on the services of a single accountant to manage their accounting and bookkeeping function that probably sound familiar:

• You come into the office to find a resignation letter from him/her citing better prospects and thanking you for the opportunity.
• Your accountant has reached breaking point in terms of their skill relative to the volume of work that they have to manage and simply does not show up for work.
• Your accountant is on leave, you have to do some of the urgent accounting work yourself and you start to uncover irregularities.

These are just some of the situations that small businesses find themselves in when one of the most critical, but sometimes neglected, person has to be replaced. And of course it happens when the business can least afford it, both financially and from the point of view of the time that management has to spend on the issue.

If the need for replacement is sudden or out of the control of the business, the disruption can be immense. Suppliers are crying out for money, Customers have to be chased to pay bills, nobody knows what the bank balance is, salaries are due next week and the list goes on. Unfortunately the importance of the function, especially in businesses that rely on a sole person for it, is only realized at that point of distress and this distress can filter through to other areas of the business and in the worst cases, affect its viability. One key supplier not paid can be a recipe for business disaster, for example.

How do you recover from this position?

If you were in most parts of the world you would call your external accountant and he would dispatch someone to your office, help you through the vacuum left by the departure of the company accountant and assist with a replacement or continue on assisting you externally.

In the UAE, small businesses do not generally have that immediate relationship with an external accountant, so it is usually a mayday call to the recruitment consultant or worse, posting a job advert on one of the many market place websites. You then wade through an ocean of CV’s and applications, a large proportion of which are not even closely qualified to what you need. Frustration can set in and you hire the first qualified person that is available to start immediately because the backlog of accounting in the office is reaching breaking point. Safe to say, that decision sometimes works but mostly it wont and there is an unsatisfactory relationship from the start and potentially the person not even making it through the probation period. Back to square one but several months down the track.

At TLB Business Advisory Services, we can be mobilized quickly to fill the gap of the departing accountant and ensure that there is a seamless migration of duties either on a temporary or full time basis. An experienced and qualified accountant can fill the shoes of the incumbent whilst you make the decision on whether to search for a permanent replacement or continue to outsource the accounting function permanently to us.

Outsourcing the accounting functions has many other advantages when structured properly and in line with the business needs and complexity. To find out more on how our Accounting Outsourcing Services can deliver benefits to your business contact us at gidday@tlb.ae or 04 3609477.

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