The CFO'S Perspective

Certainty in Uncertain Times

certainty in uncertain times

In uncertain times businesses need continued access to experienced bookkeepers and accountants to keep cash flowing. Whether the need is part-time, interim, or project-based, a third-party financial professional can offer the information needed to make strategic business decisions. This need does not change when people are working remotely. In fact, with so many businesses temporarily pausing operations, the need for bookkeepers and accountants is likely greater than ever before.

While the future may be uncertain, there is one immutable certainty – businesses still have access to the reputable, qualified bookkeepers and accountants that they need to keep their organizations afloat. These kinds of key personnel aren’t going anywhere and are available to help businesses navigate today’s unique challenges.

The Benefits of Outsourcing

There are numerous benefits to outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting functions. Utilizing a third-party accounting company rather than hiring in-house staff is a practical, budget-friendly decision.

Practicality

Some companies rely on a full-time in-house bookkeeper or accountant to manage their books, but many do not. When full-time bookkeepers or accountants are not needed, a part-time consultant is the perfect solution to maximize value. Hiring a third-party bookkeeper or consulting accountant provides access to a highly qualified professional while minimizing the time required to find someone and the cost involved in maintaining the individual.

In instances where a company has lost their accountant, hiring an interim accountant is a smart way to bridge the gap until a more permanent solution can be found. Furthermore, some financial consulting firms can not only offer a short-term solution, but also help recruit someone for a full-time role at the company as well.

Affordability

Utilizing a financial consulting firm is a shrewd way to maximize value while getting a customized solution because you only pay for what you need when you need it. The a la carte nature of hiring a third-party accounting solution ensures that the invoice matches the services being rendered, reducing the likelihood of overpaying.

During a downturn, business that can no longer afford to retain their full-time bookkeeper or accountant can find a budget-conscious solution in outsourcing the role instead.

Location

With many employees working remotely during today’s shelter in place orders, the workforce is getting a taste of conducting business virtually more than ever before. However, third-party bookkeepers and accountants are already used to working remotely. Consulting accountants can work onsite or remotely, which means they already have the communication style and discipline to get accurate, timely work done from anywhere.

Duration

Hiring a qualified financial professional in-house for a limited engagement is a tough ask. Most experienced professionals are looking for opportunities where they will have some job stability, which means that they will likely ask for some sort of concession (usually a larger paycheck) to come on for a shorter timeframe.

However, outsourcing bookkeeping or accounting needs does not have the same expectation. Financial consulting firms can provide not only short-term and long-term engagements, but also project-based engagements. When the organization’s financial needs have been met, the relationship can be discontinued without any hard feelings or added cost.

Barriers to Finding Help

Companies that already have a well-established accounting system with lots of historical data may be hesitant to outsource their accounting needs for fear that they will need to migrate to a new platform. However, a reputable financial consulting firm will typically employ enough bookkeepers and accountants that their collective experience covers all the well-known accounting systems. As a result, businesses will not have to adopt sweeping changes before doing business, allowing existing employees to retain the familiarity that they already have with their existing solution to maintain productivity.

Types of Needs

A financial consulting firm can offer either full charge bookkeeping or single function bookkeeping. Businesses that only need help with individual bookkeeping functions (for instance: billing, payroll processing, accounts payable, or financial statement generation) can find huge cost savings by only outsourcing the individual tasks they need help with instead of paying for a complete solution. This is especially helpful for smaller businesses and startups because they may not require full charge bookkeeping services initially but can cultivate this need as they evolve.

Seasons of Need

There are times when business owners may need part-time, interim, or project-based bookkeeping help. Many different factors can precipitate these seasons – the transfer of business ownership, downsizing, a natural disaster, the loss of a key employee, regulatory changes, a recall, or even a pandemic.

During these seasons uncertainty dictates that it does not make sense logistically and financially to hire an in-house bookkeeper or accountant. However, the changing business landscape also necessitates leaning on an experienced professional to make critical decisions. In these delicate times, outsourcing financial functions is the best possible solution.

About the Author

Eric-Moore-practice-managerEric Moore is the Practice Manager of Accounting Solutions Partners. He brings two decades of progressive experience in Controller, CFO, and General Management roles with privately held companies, and has a broad perspective from working in environments ranging from start-ups to multi-generational mid-market companies with revenue in excess of $100M.

As Practice Manager, Eric is responsible for managing the consulting teams for Accounting Solutions Partners in all markets, for setting and executing business strategy, and acting as the primary client manager for all engagements. His experience as a consultant with both Accounting Solutions Partners and CFO Selections, as well as his previous time in general management, make him uniquely qualified to lead the firm.

Topics: Finance Accounting Hiring Change Management Transition COVID-19