Outsourcing finance and accounting to a third-party service provider is advisable for any company that has gaps in their in-house finance and accounting department. An experienced and knowledgeable third-party accounting and finance service provider can help support your daily business operations, provide true financial visibility, improve operational efficiency, increase scalability, and free up time and resources to focus on business growth.
As accounting and bookkeeping software and tools become more advanced, companies that continue to use outdated accounting systems will find themselves left in the dust as their competitors race past them to achieve the financial stability that will allow them to scale. And when you take on private equity funding, the investors will want an entirely digital processes. You need to ensure your processes and systems achieve the investors reporting requirements.
But how do you find a great outsourced Finance as a Service provider that is right for you? In this guide, we will discuss the different areas of your finance and accounting that you can outsource and the qualities of an excellent and reliable outsourced accounting service provider.
What Finance and Accounting Functions Can Be Outsourced?
You enjoy the benefits of outsourcing and high ROI when you start by assessing your company’s immediate needs and gaps in your financial operations. While the best full-service outsourcing companies can take over your entire finance department with services that range from a fractional CFO, controller services, and comprehensive finance services, they can also customize solutions to only deliver the function where you are lacking in time and experience.
The best Finance as a Service providers will offer a wide range of services that can help leaders and decision makers, such as the CEO, CFO, and investors. Here are the primary areas of your finance department that you can outsource:
Bookkeeping and Back-Office Support - Outsourcing bookkeeping and back-office support helps lower inhouse staff costs, gives you more time in the day to focus on financial strategies, reduces employee turnover, and improves financial decision-making through enhanced data visibility. Some bookkeeping and back-office support services and reporting include account reconciliations, customer billing and payments, financial reporting, tax reporting, reporting automation, and vendor invoice processing and payments.
Controller Services – Busy, proactive CFOs may need the support of experienced controllers who can provide timely and accurate audit reports, management reporting, and financial analysis. They will also use best practices to oversee transactional processing, streamline employee and vendor communications, and ensure policy and procedure adherence.
Financial Planning and Analysis – Comprehensive, in-depth financial analysis and evaluation help improve a company’s financial position, as they guide financial decision-making and planning. Financial planning analysts will work alongside your organization’s leaders to provide internal audit support, plan, budget, forecast financial strategies, and support business decision-making with transparent communication and reporting of financial data analysis.
What to Look for In an Outsourced Financial Solution
When comparing third-party Finance as a Service providers, look for a company that will give you peace of mind by guaranteeing industry excellence. You want to outsource to a service provider that will enhance your business operations, complement your existing finance department, and ensure you are poised for growth. Here is what you should be looking for in an outsourced financial solution.
The Right People – Whether you require transactional accounting, month-end close, monthly financial statements and financial planning & analysis, or an interim CFO, the right outsourcing company will have the right financial expert equipped with the relevant financial expertise and experience to fill your finance department’s gaps.
An experienced team will be made up of individuals who specialize in specific finance functions and can leverage enterprise accounting software. They will not only execute finance functions like financial reporting, transactional processing, and perform administration services but also provide financial analysis and insight.
Advanced Software and Solutions – Beyond cost savings and guidance of finance professionals, outsourced Finance as a Service means having access to the most advanced accounting software solutions that would be too expensive for you to purchase and maintain in-house.
Top Finance as a Service providers leverage AI-powered software and cloud-based solutions. With cloud computing and automation, your bookkeeping and accounting is less likely to have multiple, recurring errors and missed deadlines. Your reporting will also achieve compliance thanks to automated processes and controls.
Improved Financial Visibility and Transparency – To make better financial decisions for your company that will move it in the right direction, you need a comprehensive picture of your business’s financial health. A great outsourced bookkeeping and accounting services provider has systems that give you a holistic view of your finances.
The best Finance as a Service firm will likely be using cloud-based accounting, allowing you access to your business’s finances from a convenient dashboard where you can easily see all your accounting information. And by integrating financial systems into a consolidated financial platform, you have a centralized system where all those who work on your accounting systems can enter to seamlessly share data and communicate.
Proven Processes and Controls – As industry experts, experienced Finance as a Service providers implement enhanced processes and controls that aim to reduce redundancy errors, eliminate overpayments, mitigate risks of becoming a victim of fraud, and avoid transactional processing inaccuracies and delays. When you hire the right Finance as a Service provider, you benefit from the processes and controls that they have tried, tested, and established as high-level financial processes.
Metrics and KPIs – The accounting company you outsource should also have metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure the effectiveness of the finance function. From accounts payable KPIs and accounts receivable KPIs to internal accounting indicators, metrics and KPIs help you measure and monitor everything from compliance and department performance to cash flow. Tracking and comparing KPIs allows you to take proactive measures to get your finance divisions back on track.
The best outsourced Finance as a Service provider should provide the necessary people, process, and technology to meet your financial needs, support executive decision making, and improve operational scalability.
When it comes to finding the best outsourcing company for your accounting or bookkeeping needs, it’s best to start with determining what gaps in your finance department need to be filled. Look for a finance and accounting services provider that will give you confidence and peace of mind that your company’s finances are benefitting from enterprise software solutions and data management and security. Read client testimonials to see how the service provider helped them achieve their business goals.