Frequently Asked Questions
Can I afford to hire someone to do my bookkeeping?
You might be surprised to learn that our bookkeeping services are very reasonable, and the cost remains the same from month to month, so it’s easy for you to budget.
If I hired ARI to manage my books, how would I get started?
Over the years, we have helped thousands of small business owners share their financial information with us. ARI has processes in place that make getting started simple and hassle-free.
Find out more information, here.
Can I maintain control of my bookkeeping?
Definitely. In fact, with ARI, you will have more control. Your accounting software can be hosted on our secure server, so you can access your accounts anytime. And, each month, you’ll receive an easy-to-follow summary that helps you understand the state of your business financials.
What’s more, you will have one point of contact – a financial professional who will help you interpret the health of your business each month. He or she is always just a phone call away – ready to answer your questions or discuss your concerns.
Will I be locked in to a long term contract?
With ARI, you are never locked in. We operate on a month-to-month basis with our clients. If you ever want to end our relationship, simply give us 30 days’ notice.
How can I be sure I’m compliant with sales and use and property tax requirements?
Dealing with governmental agencies is stressful for all small business owners. Tax laws are not something most people are well versed in — and they change frequently. Leave the responsibility of filing these forms to us. Then, you can rest easy knowing your taxes are filed on time and, more importantly, that they are filed accurately.
I received a tax notice from the state or IRS. How do I handle it?
This is one area where our clients quickly realize the benefits of having an experienced accounting professional on their side. If this happens to you, simply forward the notice to your team lead and he or she will determine how best to handle it.
I have an internal bookkeeper. What more do I need?
We’re more than just bookkeepers. We provide oversight and support and become a trusted member of your team. We offer in-depth accounting and analysis of your business results and provide CFO-level expertise as needed. In fact, many of our clients rely on us to present to their board of directors and shareholders, liaise with their CPA firm and attend meetings with their banks.
I don't think I can afford to outsource my accounting.
When you calculate the cost of sourcing in-house talent and paying salary and benefits, you will likely find ARI’s sophisticated accounting offerings to be very comparable or even less expensive than an internal bookkeeper. And, rather than one individual, you get decades of collective experience and expertise from a team of people dedicated to your accounting needs.
I want my accountant to be physically in my office.
Although we’re not located in your office, we are always just a phone call away. And, of course, we’re always available to meet with you at your location upon your request. However, by working in a central location, we eliminate travel time and have access to state-of-the-art technology and accounting systems. And, because several members of your team are familiar with your business, you will always have a professional to turn to with a question or concern. We pride ourselves on our quick, informed responses to our clients’ questions.
My organization often receives state/federal grants, but I'm not sure we're tracking them correctly.
Our team understands that each grant has unique tracking requirements and restrictions. We’ll work with you to ensure costs are allocated correctly to the appropriate program and funding source.
My team needs help compiling and managing reports for multiple grants.
We will guide you through the entire grant cycle, including generating budgets for grant proposals and ensuring timely, accurate filings. Of course, everything we do is in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Annual audits are so time intensive and overwhelming.
We are deeply familiar with the audit process for non-profit organizations. In fact, several of our team members were auditors earlier in their careers. We understand what auditors are looking for. That’s why, throughout the year, we’re organizing your accounts, so we’re prepared for your annual audit and any state or federal compliance audits. We strive to make the audit as pain free as possible by taking the lead with your audit firm. That way, you have more time to focus on your agency’s mission.
I spend so much time on budgets and I still don't have the information in the form I need it.
We can deliver budgets at multiple levels — at the agency level, the program level and the grant level. We can provide a multitude of monthly reports comparing budget to actuals to ensure that program managers always have the information they need to understand how their respective programs are performing.
Tracking and managing restricted funds can be overwhelming.
Managing restricted funds comes down to creating and implementing systems that ensure all restrictions are documented and addressed at every stage. We’ll help you manage net assets with donor restrictions, so they comply with all grant stipulations, and we’ll oversee GAAP reporting for your organization’s audits.
Sometimes members of my finance committee and board of directors ask questions I can't answer.
With ARI, you will not only work with a staff or senior accountant, you will work with an experienced CFO who is well versed in the unique aspects of your non-profit organization. At your request, a member of your ARI team will attend meetings with your finance committee and/or board of directors and will address any questions or concerns that arise.
I have an internal resource to handle my bookkeeping.
We have non-profit clients that retain an in-house bookkeeping resource and clients that rely on us for everything, including bookkeeping support. We will work with you to determine the solution that best fits your needs.
With ARI, you get a team of accountants — with years of collective experience, so you reduce risks related to turnover and eliminate a potential single point of failure.
How much with ARI's service cost?
To enable our non-profit clients to budget accurately for their accounting needs, we structure our relationship on a flat, monthly fee – based on the complexity, scope of services and specific needs of the organization.
Clients often report that our services are less costly than staffing a full-time bookkeeper or accountant, especially when one calculates total costs, including payroll taxes, benefits, recruiting, training, office space, IT, management and turnover expenses.
However, we realize that change can occur in any organization so, when you partner with ARI, there are never any long-term contracts.
Do I need Human Resources?
No matter what size your company, you need HR expertise to effectively manage in today’s rapidly changing environment.
And if you’re dealing with employment law, employee training, terminations, hiring, and employee relations, you may not need a full-time person; a qualified, outsourced HR consultant can make CHRO- (chief human resources officer) level expertise affordable.
What is the advantage of outsourcing my Human Resources function?
Many small- to mid-sized organizations typically have someone who is “handling” HR duties in addition to many other responsibilities. In some cases, this responsibility falls to the company owner or executive.
ARI can be a cost-effective resource to ensure your organization is in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, maintain ongoing communication with employees, and implement best practices around HR processes and procedures.
Outsourcing the HR function also provides consistency, which can reduce liability, improve company culture and employee morale, and enrich overall communication within your organization.
ARI will assume your organization’s administrative HR burden, thereby enabling owners and managers to focus on their core responsibilities.
How will you ensure my company is operating under best practices?
We will do a full review of your handbook, employee files, benefits, policies, and procedures, onboarding/offboarding, recruiting and compensation. We focus first on compliance and then make suggestions for best practices.
And, we stay up to date on constantly changing laws to ensure your organization remains in compliance. Having a seasoned HR professional on your side is a great way to reduce legal risk.
How does ARI communicate with the employees, managers, and executives if you are not permanently on site?
We are accessible to our clients via phone, email, virtual meetings, or onsite visits whenever needed. We understand that situations arise in the workplace that require immediate attention and we are ready to jump in. Harnessing today’s technology, it is easy to be present even if we are not physically in your facility.
How can ARI help me with my recruiting efforts?
Recruiting top talent that fits your organization’s culture can be challenging and time-consuming. In small- to mid-sized companies, much of the recruiting process falls on the manager’s shoulders preventing him or her from doing the work they were hired to do.
Managers’ and executive directors’ time is not best utilized by posting job openings, reviewing resumes, scheduling phone screens/interviews, preparing interview questions, checking references and conducting background checks. ARI can handle all the details related to recruiting – leaving managers free to interview only the most qualified candidates.
Our team can also help onboard new employees to ensure their first days, weeks and months are a positive experience, minimizing turnover expenses and positioning them to succeed in your organization.