29 Sep 2023

Should I outsource my finance team?

The needs of our clients are constantly changing and evolving, particularly as the economic landscape shifts, digitisation develops, and the finance recruitment market becomes tougher. In the last year we have seen a marked increase in enquiries from businesses about the possibility of outsourcing their finance team. This is a service that we provide at Monahans and have seen to be extremely successfully for a number of clients. So how could outsourcing benefit your organisation?

Riding the peaks and troughs of work
Often the finance workload that our clients face, fluctuates in peaks and troughs. For example, there may be a week or two in the month when they need bookkeeper services or require support to complete their management accounts, but there isn’t enough work to justify hiring a full-time employee.

As a result, clients are often forced to either hire an overqualified employee who can complete management accounts, and support on advisory matters, but is spending most of their time bookkeeping. This not only may not interest them but is also a service which the client is overpaying for. Alternatively, they can be compelled to employ someone who isn’t experienced enough which could mean asking them for support in areas they are not trained in, for example, expecting a bookkeeper to support them in financial decisions.

This is one area where outsourced work really shows its value. An outsourced team can shift and contort to your businesses’ current needs, without the commitment of a long-term hire. Not only will an organisation have access to a team of people laser-focused on their business, but they’ll also gain knowledge in numerous specialities.

For instance, they’ll have access to a bookkeeper but areas like payroll will also be included, along with management reporting, forecasting cashflow and tax advisory. If one person was asked to cover such a range of topics, it would be challenging for them to keep their knowledge sharp. But in an outsourcing team, each member is a specialist in their field, meaning they will be abreast with recent developments and trends within the market, including new software.

Time is money
Businesses are always looking for ways to streamline their costs but with the current economic climate forcing leaders to find ways to do more with less, its increasingly crucial that budgets are made as watertight as possible. In this climate, small businesses, in particular, will likely be regularly reviewing areas such as resourcing. As a result, we’re seeing an increased interest in outsourcing, and not just due to salary considerations.

We have clients who simply do not want the HR burden of an extra member of staff. It’s easy to forget that the commitment of a full-time employee goes beyond paying their salary – for instance providing a desk space and the time and responsibility that comes with employee management. Plus, employers need to consider who can provide cover if a team member goes on holiday, is off sick or goes on maternity leave, for example.

Hiring a new team member also means ensuring there is someone to oversee and review their work. Therefore, if you're a business director, you need to ask yourself, do you have the right skills to manage that finance team member and review their work? But if you were to instead outsource the work, you can be confident in the knowledge that a certain standard is being met and checks and balances continuously applied.

Overcoming recruitment challenges
For those organisations who may be exploring outsourcing options, a clear driving force is severe a lack of talent in the market. Businesses in the finance and accountancy sector are struggling to find high-quality candidates to replace employees who may have left, or to make new hires. And if you are hiring for a very specific role, it becomes even more challenging. This is due to a combination of factors, including the impact of remote working, which has opened up the market considerably when it comes to location. And the knock-on effect of reduced numbers of trainees brought into firms during the pandemic. As a result, many are looking for alternative solutions to fill their skill shortage.

Not a passive experience
All of the above being said, when assessing your options, it’s important to remember that using an outsourcing team is not a passive experience and does require a certain level of time and commitment from your business. The capabilities of an outsourcing team are heavily reliant on cooperation and ‘buy-in’ from the wider team, so its key to ensure that there is clear communication about how this relationship will work from the get-go and that the outsourcing team are viewed as a helpful addition, rather than an intruder. The outsourcing team’s work is only as good as the information that it is fed about the business, so it does require someone within the business to take the reins and help to steer its purpose. The more a business is able to put in, the more that an outsourcer can help.

So why should clients pick Monahans?
At Monahans we are a team of small business advisory experts who work with a broad range of clients and have gained a huge amount of experience with countless different scenarios. Because outsourcing is a greater unknown than an in-house finance team, it’s even more crucial that the client has absolute confidence in that team of people.

At Monahans, our clients have access to experts from all levels of the firm, from partners and directors to those at management level. They will also gain a team member that acts as an extension to their team. Not only are we invested in our client’s success, but we spend time getting to grips with every element of an organisations financial standing, allowing us to anticipate future challenges and to tailor our service to their needs. For example, if a client is on a growth path trajectory, we would ensure to highlight any tax benefits or exemptions that would be valuable and identify any stumbling blocks in their strategy. Our team genuinely care about providing the best possible service and advice, and we are passionate about helping our clients to grow and succeed.

With years of experience in providing accounting and business advisory services, we are proud to be able to offer you an accountancy service that is specifically tailored to your needs and strives to translate numbers into meaning. Get in touch with me or the team today to find out more.

Alice Elsmore