Controlling your finances: 4-plus advantages of outsourced accounting services

We at O’Donnell, Ficenec, Wills & Ferdig live our tagline of “more than accounting.” As such, we offer myriad advisory, consultative and value-added services to help your organization grow in a smart and sustainable manner, including (or especially) controllership services.

Now more than ever, competition is fierce. Resources are stretched. Efficiencies are a “must.” Our team members, as an extension of your team, fill in the gaps that exist between demand for your products or services, and the capacity to supply that demand.

Quality controllers, courtesy of OFWF

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) defines a “controller” as the “Chief Accounting Executive” tasked with “organizing, directing, and controlling the work of the accounting personnel …” That work, they note, involves the collection and interpretation of financial data, which can then be used by managers, creditors, investors, and tax agencies. As an important role within the management team, controllers develop forecasts for proposals, deploy metrics that quantify performance (against plans and standards), and provide valuable insights into operational results – at all management levels.

Our team can “step in” to this important role seamlessly on an “as needed” basis. We regularly travel to business sites, or we do so on an “on demand” basis for special projects or to supplement internal teams and resources during seasonal fluctuations, or whenever the need may arise. As outsourced controllers, our team has had the privilege of supporting partner-businesses by:

∙ Preparing management reports

∙ Completing quarterly payroll report

∙ Fulfilling bank reconciliations

∙ Providing consultative guidance on asset management

We have been in a great position through our 70-plus years to add considerable value to our existing client relationships by providing outsourced talent. As CPAs, we have significant familiarity with each of our client’s financial records, respective industries, sector and business nuances, and unique operational considerations. So, it makes sense for us to perform functions that are conventionally handled by the firm’s internal accounting and financial staff. We are already in a great position to know what practices and processes are in your team’s best interests, because we know where you have “been” operationally, your “present” situation and progress, and where you are “headed” – projections and the variables that can alter your future business picture.

Additionally, we bring with us a substantive depth and breadth of accounting and financial knowledge and experience. So, you know that your personal wealth and sustained business success is in good hands. There is no question as to our capabilities with the technical elements of accounting and financial functions; we consistently stay abreast of the latest compliance requirements, for instance, that can dictate processes and procedures, and have implications for everything from taxes to the reputation and strength of your “brand.” You cannot afford to have compliance oversights that risk placing a black mark on your company’s good name.


Transparency

As with most any engagement that our teams embark upon, we abide by the standards set forth by AICPA as it relates to consulting services and the associated Code of Professional Conduct. As such, we communicate our responsibilities clearly to each business. So, we are all on the same page and can enhance our loyal partnership – not weaken it. It is important for both parties in controllership and other consulting arrangements to:

  • Be aware of the possibility of exposures that can arise when setting forth with consultative arrangements of this kind.

  • Clearly define those activities that exclusively fall at the feet of the client and its in-house management.

  • Establish those functions that the external/outsourced controller should not perform.

  • Put a clear line in the sand; note exactly where the external controller’s responsibilities as a consultant stop, and where they start.

  • Discuss those additional supportive services that accompany an outsourced controller partnership. These services and resources may include our specialized software and other technologies to promote complete and quality work, and additional staff to tend to specific onsite functions or within specific timeframes.

In our seven decades of experience, numerous different types of organizations have benefited from our financial, accounting, and consultative expertise. Controllership and related services have represented the keys to their unlocking real business potential and efficiencies.

Advantage No. 1: Get back to what really matters.

Congratulations, your business has been growing rapidly! With that, though, comes “growing pains.” Back-office needs and demands on your human capital and financial resources can dwarf those services, differentiators and functions that enabled your company to perform and grow in the first place. By handling those necessary yet often tedious functions, we free up the time for you and your team to rediscover and to sustain the elements that make your organization so vital. Through our outside perspective, we can also help to “kickstart” those features of your organization that have started to stagnate. So, we can help to deploy the strategies that elevate your business to the next level of growth – to new heights.

Advantage No. 2: “Find” more savings.

By turning to our team for controllership services, your business gets quality work that you can trust without the expense associated with onboarding a full-time, in-house controller. As a key financial position, controllers in our area reportedly earn around $110,000 to approximately $208,000 each year. To attract an experienced and top candidate, you must offer a competitive salary. You must also consider additional compensation to recruit (and retain) top talent, from bonuses to a rich employee benefits package. Of course, these considerations do not account for the time and resources that are also spent on searching for, vetting, and onboarding the right candidate. These constraints on your budget, time, and “brain space” are avoided by leaning in on a team with experience and expertise across specialty areas and industries, and whose services and resources evolve with you. With outsourcing arrangements, there is peace of mind that you always have the right type and level of expertise at the right time. So, you can continue to provide the level of service and quality product that your clients expect – without missing a beat.

Advantage No. 3: Boost workforce morale, loyalty, and skills

CPA firms who provide outsourced talent, such as controllers, can be tremendous assets for your workplace culture. Attempting to “shoehorn” talent who do not possess the technical skills you need can be both frustrating for the employee and you, the employer. By bringing on talent that don’t require onboarding and additional professional development, there is an immediate sense of relief. The pressure to perform tasks correctly and compliantly is instantly lifted. Additionally, the presence of and relationships with in-house staff can only enrich the knowledge, skills and experience possessed by FTEs. Such support to your teams provides multi-fold rewards; staff feel more capable and equipped to take on their day-to-day functions and drive the organization forward. This environment fosters a strong workplace culture. Your brand becomes the “greener pastures” that other talent seek, and not the other way around (what they seek to flee).

Advantage No. 4: Efficiency and Scale-ability

You as an organization can fill gaps in expertise, and you can do so quickly. This assures continuity of operations. There are no disruptions in service, or downtime that can quickly cost you money. Additionally, we can just as quickly reduce our level of engagement or augment it and otherwise adapt with the turn of a dime. We evolve with you. So, our partnering provides “built-in” agility, nimble-ness and the ability to pivot. These characteristics are particularly beneficial when you consider that we never know what tomorrow can bring. The ability to pivot was truly a lifesaver for many businesses over the past year, and is always a beneficial attribute – in good, bad, or otherwise indifferent times.

We are hardly indifferent about our partner-businesses. We take on your responsibilities as if they were our own, with utmost integrity, professionalism, technical skill and resourcefulness. When we operate as an extended member of your “family,” the transition to our controllership offerings isn’t really a transition at all. It is seamless. We look forward to lending support to your business as it grows and adapts. Contact us today to get the conversation going.


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