To achieve the level of productivity and efficiency that allows a private equity firm to maintain financial stability and ability to scale, many PE firms have decided to outsource accounting for their portfolio companies. Using the ‘as-a-Service’ model has become a standard in almost any industry, and it should be no surprise that Finance-as-a-Service has become a popular option in private equity.
While a good accounting team is essential to your portfolio’s financial operations, maintaining an in-house finance department can take its toll on any organization. It burdens human resources and recruitment because it requires them to find skilled experts for their accounting departments. With outsourcing, an outsourced professional team handles some or all of the accounting processes, relieving you from managing full-time employees. Here are the top ways outsourcing finance and accounting can help your portfolio companies.
Outsourcing saves money. This is not just a statement; it is a fact. Hiring and maintaining a finance department in your portfolio companies is time-consuming, and doesn't always guarantee the desired results. This requires several full-time employees and internal controls, which in turn slows down the whole business process. Outsourced accounting is quite the opposite. The fractional use of finance lets you spend more time scaling without the high costs of maintaining an accounting staff. The outsourced team takes care of your financial reports and managing while you only pay for the services provided.
Another big factor is efficiency. Having a third party handle your finance means more time for your staff members to focus on essential tasks rather than handling repetitive accounting processes. Companies that need flexibility and scaling can benefit from being freed from tedious manual activities. Tasks are distributed more efficiently, and all of your resources are allocated depending on your goals and needs.
Outsourced bookkeeping usually comes with advanced technology and systems. Small and mid-market companies in your portfolio may find it hard to keep up to date with finance in general. There are constant changes in the system, making it challenging to keep up will all new information. Accounting service providers offer complex software solutions that closely monitor your cash flow and accounting activities. A cloud-based accounting solution could be one of them. You don't have to worry about the costs of acquiring specialized accounting software, which can be expensive. Outsourcing to the right service provider means that you gain not only access to their expertise but also their technology.
Outsourcing financing and accounting allow better process and accuracy. Manual accounting is replaced with streamlined workflows that will help you scale. Rather than handling everything on your own, a team of professionals will work on the best scaling strategy for you. They will also handle time-consuming tasks like analytics calculations, risk assessment, and many more. This means less room for errors and better workflow within the organization. The CFO will only need to focus on core business growth in this scenario.
Having an in-house accounting team limits your talent choices. Hiring staff members will require them to come and work in the office, which means that your options become limited. This is not the case with outsourced financial teams. They have access to global talents and are only willing to work with the best because they want to stay competitive in the market. Thanks to the advancements in information technology, their team members can work remotely and provide support to their clients around the clock.
Traditional solutions vs outsourced solutions
Updating outdated finance and accounting systems is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of work. Usually, a recruiter would onboard new talent and test with a few different candidates. This results in a long process of reforms that may or may not bring the desired results. This gives no guarantee that at the end of the day, you will have a staff that is capable of managing your finance and accounting.
If you outsource your accounting, you may opt for Finance as a Service (FaaS), and this comes with a lot of benefits. On-demand financial reports, transactional processing, efficient financial management, and a professional management team are just a few that are worth mentioning right now. But what exactly does your portfolio get from such an approach?
New and updated systems - the very best systems and processes are mapped to your portfolio company in one to three months, in turn, reducing their operating costs significantly. Apart from the financial aspect, these new systems can dramatically improve efficiency within their staff that will have more time to focus on the important stuff.
Accurate reporting - When you outsource your finance department, you can count on timely and very accurate financial reports that are standardized with SIMPL©. With timely and accurate reports, your portco executives have a clear view of the financial situation within the business, which can lead to better decision making.
Scalable teams and repeatable results - By outsourcing, you take a big step toward scalability. The team doesn't depend on company scaling, so if your portfolio companies continue to scale, they can be supported with enough resources. An outsourced team has a working management plan already in place, so if they had great results with previous clients, you could expect the same.
Outsourcing finance and accounting for your portfolio companies can be an excellent boost for your private equity firm. It provides more time for scaling and growth while at the same time giving the CFO peace of mind. Management reporting becomes completely autonomous, and your requests are handled promptly. With a clear overview of your financial capabilities, you will be able to make better decisions and scale accordingly.