Outsourcing the Finance Function- Benefits and Shortcomings

In today’s dynamic landscape, running a business has become more challenging than ever. Entrepreneurs have to keep up with technological advancements, digital marketing trends, and evolving customer demand. At the same time, they have to stay on top of the company’s finances to ensure optimal performance. Unfortunately, managing everything single-handedly can be pretty arduous. So, why not hand over a few responsibilities to experts?

Today, business owners can outsource the company’s finance function. It means a third party would handle all your money-related matters. An outsourcing accounting firm will maintain records, prepare financials, and give insights into a business’s financial performance. Such firms have highly accredited specialists who are well-versed with financial procedures. In turn, entrepreneurs can spend time on other worthwhile tasks without worrying about finances.

Here we are highlighting some of the benefits and shortcomings of outsourcing the finance function.

Benefits of Outsourcing the Finance Function

Previously, almost every company had an in-house accountant, but that’s no longer cost-effective. New technologies are automating routine accounting functions, making work processes efficient. As investing in high-tech applications isn’t feasible for every business, outsourcing is the best choice. Here are some of the benefits.

1.    Improved Internal Controls

The finance department has a lot of confidential information that raises security concerns. Surprisingly, you can reduce the risk of fraud by outsourcing the accounting function. The responsible team of experts will check transaction reports, closing doors for manipulation. Likewise, they ensure creditors and debtors are genuine to reduce the possibility of default.

However, if you are not confident about giving all financial data to third-party service providers, why not train and develop your existing finance team. You can look up eLearning programs to ensure the employees remain abreast of changing trends while honing the essential skillset. If they already have a bachelor’s degree, lookup for an online MACC degree to ensure they master the latest finance knowledge. It will equip them with financial know-how and expertise to regulate and monitor data circulation.

2.    Advanced Knowledge & Expertise

When it comes to employing outside help for accounting needs, you can get the best accounting services for your company. In addition to bookkeeping, third-party service providers offer financial consulting, cloud software, and controller services. Hence, whether you want to reduce expenditure or increase sales – the service providers will present all financial data. It will give an insight into your company’s current performance and prospects.

Moreover, the outsourcing companies will notify whenever they notice problems or glitches in the systems. For instance, they can immediately inform you if the cash flow suffers because of the supplier’s delayed payments. Having all the essential information would give business owners confidence to make intelligent financial decisions.

3.    Cost-Effective

Contrary to the traditional school of thought, outsourced accounting is cheaper than hiring an in-house accounting team. Typically, companies hire a finance manager, analyst, bookkeeper, accountant, and strategist to run the finance department. In addition to salary, you have to provide benefits, vacations, and training to every employee. With an outsourced team, you only have to pay a standard fee to keep your financial operations running smoothly.

They have the best-in-class software and applications that fulfill all finance and accounting needs without costing a fortune. Therefore, conduct a comparative cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the benefits of outsourcing beats in-house finance teams.

Drawbacks of Outsourcing the Finance Function

It might seem like outsourcing is the most convenient option; however, there are a few drawbacks. Many business owners feel they have lost control over finances. In contrast, others are afraid of hidden charges imposed by service providers. Have a look below.

1.    Lack of Control

Believe it or not, communicating with an in-house team is far more convenient. Whenever you have finance-related questions, you only have to ask the accountant and get things sorted. Unfortunately, this isn’t how things work when you have an outsourced team handling your finance function. You have to make an appointment and then have a formal meeting with the service providers.

In addition to being time-consuming, entrepreneurs lose control since they become dependent on a third party. However, you can prevent this problem by setting policies and terms before signing the contract with them. Perhaps, you can introduce a period where an outsourcing company will be liable to provide information whenever requested.

2.    Hidden Costs

As the accounting and finance world is vast, service providers leverage this to overcharge customers. Usually, when businesses get bookkeeping services, they think data compiling and visualization come with it. Well, that’s not how it works. Almost every company charges separately for different functions and assumes that their client knows. These costs pile up without notice, and businesses end up spending a lot of money.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, you have to ask in advance about additional and hidden costs. Likewise, develop good communication with the service providers and discuss all the expenses and service charges beforehand.

Final Thoughts

The decision of whether to outsource finance functions or not is a tough one. Many business owners feel comfortable since they don’t have the financial know-how, whereas others are afraid of data breaches. Therefore, it is always viable to measure the pros and cons against your business model. You have to understand what risks can arise and if they outweigh the benefits of outsourcing. It will help you make a decision that works best for your business.

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