Many businesses today struggle with whether or not to hire a Chief Financial Officer and perform their accounting functions in-house. And it’s not just small companies – medium and even large businesses sometimes find that ensuring proper financial reporting, supported by prudent accounting systems, is just beyond their abilities.
A growing trend is to outsource CFO/accounting functions to a third party. In the past, this has commonly been done on an interim basis – such as when a company is looking for a new CFO, or the business hasn’t grown enough to support such a position. Essentially, it was seen as a Band-Aid approach.
But more and more, businesses are finding outsourced CFO functions to be a permanent solution to their accounting and financial reporting needs.
Outsourcing can come in many different forms. Some companies may keep their own CFO on staff but delegate the nuts-and-bolts bookkeeping work to a Audit firm. Others may have an accounting department, but look to someone else for management and oversight. And some prefer to have all their accounting and financial reporting responsibilities handled by an independent party.
Here are some common circumstances in which outsourcing is used:
The company lacks the ability to hire and retain a qualified CFO.
A business has outgrown its bookkeeper and needs controller-level oversight, but isn’t yet big enough to fund a full-time CFO position.
The previous CFO leaves employment, and while the search is ongoing for a permanent replacement, they need someone to stabilize their accounting functions for several months.
The business wants to outsource its entire accounting needs.
In the latter scenario, companies generally want turnkey solutions that take the entire accounting burden off the plate of the CEO or other senior management, so they can focus on things more warranted by current business demands — such as sales, production, marketing, etc.
As a resource many of our clients have turned to for this executive-level service, VidyaSunil Group can put together a highly customizable package of services responsive to the needs of the company, including facilitating financial reporting requirements. In most cases, fees are billed on an hourly basis using a monthly retainer system based on an agreed-upon scope of services.
The benefits of this approach are obvious. Management is rid of the responsibility for meeting financial deadlines in favour of a third party, allowing them to concentrate on more critical endeavours to build on their success. They know they can pick up the phone and hold one person accountable for all their bookkeeping and financial reporting needs. The working relationship with the outsourced accounting firm is strengthened, lending trust for any other types of engagements
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