In any company, finance and accounting is perhaps the most essential and sensitive internal function of all. The operations of every other team run through it and rely on it. Investors, consumers and government regulators depend on the accuracy and quality of the work done by accounting and finance teams. So why would today's CFOs be so willing to pursue outsourced accounting and entrust these critical business functions to a partner? As outsourced accounting has evolved over the years, it's become clear that when the right outsourcing partner is chosen, the benefits of the arrangement can be significant.
Tap into talent
"Outsourced accounting services help CFOs tap into talent that's hard to find."
Access to top-tier accounting and finance expertise is among the most frequently cited reasons for signing onto an outsourced accounting solution. A 2016 study from the National University of Malaysia found that among business leaders surveyed, the most common reason given for outsourcing a firm's accounting and finance function was to tap into talent that is in short supply. It can take months to recruit and hire even a single talented and experienced full-time accountant, controller or fractional CFO. Even once they are found, the high cost of retaining them rarely matches up with the value they bring to the table.
On the other hand, outsourced accounting firms can be brought onboard quickly and immediately begin implementing more efficient processes and controls. At the same time, business leaders benefit from greater cost controls with a contract-based outsourcing arrangement.
Focus on strategy, not tactics
The most capable members of any organization can only reach their true potential when they are given the freedom to focus on strategic initiatives, rather than get bogged down in routine tactical work. A recent report from Ernst and Young found that even in the private equity industry, where operational control is paramount, outsourcing key accounting functions has become a primary growth driver.
"To maintain operational success and enable scalability, firms are seeking to strategically enhance the operating model through outsourcing and further automation," the study's authors wrote. "Based on the survey results, CFOs are hoping that by spending less time on back-office operations, employees will have more time to focus on client-facing and portfolio related analysis."
CFOs surveyed for the EY report found the most value in outsourcing accounting and finance tasks that are as mission-critical as they are time consuming. The most ideal functions to outsource, according to these finance chiefs, included:
- Accounting and bookkeeping.
- Tax planning and preparation.
- Regulatory compliance.
- Technology management.
Outsourcing and contract work has always afforded flexibility to businesses that utilize it. That's never been more true under the software-as-a-service, cloud platform model that's so ubiquitous across every industry. Partnering with outsourced accounting firms like Consero, executives gain time back from their days spent pouring over reports, while actually gaining more control over their finance and accounting function. Modern technology has allowed businesses to scale their accounting department in perfect harmony with the rest of the company, and this may serve as the ultimate testament to the value of outsourcing.
Get in touch with Consero to learn more about the most tangible benefits of outsourced accounting in 2018.