Ideas & Insights

The Unexpected Benefits of Outsourcing

While outsourcing is often thought of purely as a cost-cutting measure, organizations are finding unexpected strategic and operational benefits as well.

Today’s corporate leadership faces significant challenges and opportunities in a quickly evolving economic environment and increasingly complex business functions. Worldwide, financial organizations are feeling the impact of higher volatility, uncertainty, changing regulatory environments, and a socio-political climate with pressure for predictable bottom-lines.

Charged with the stewardship of the enterprise, CFOs in particular, are expected to create sustainable growth strategies, bring about value and an appropriate return on assets, ensure effective risk management, and more. The finance function faces data proliferation, complex commercial and operating decisions, to find and implement breakthrough technologies, improved people practices, and the adoption of innovative and transformative thinking.

As we try to work smarter, showcase great practices, and be the best example of finance leadership, it’s important to utilize all resources available. While outsourcing is often thought of purely as a cost-cutting measure, organizations are finding a variety unexpected strategic and operational benefits as well. In looking for a framework to improve processes and ensure financial stability, outsourcing offers a compelling approach to drive significant, meaningful solutions.

Scale & Efficiency

As a critical member of leadership, you can increase your own efficiency by eliminating time spent to manage staff. You should be able to focus on business functions without conflicting priorities, which can lead to lost business.

Operations will not only be more efficient but will cost less. When you have part-time tasks, an outsourced staff will eliminate lost productivity costs. You won’t need to schedule regular hours for staff, whether the work is there or not, and you’ll save on employee benefits costs as well as office space. When the workload grows to full-time, an outsourced staff provides the ability for fractional increases in staffing and systems. There is also a significant time savings when you forgo written company policies, training manuals and time spent molding an accounting staff.

Strategic & Competitive Advantage

Having a highly skilled staff with a wide range of experience is at your fingertips when you outsource properly. You gain access to experts with a field of experience related directly to the needs of your organization with the right level of understanding for your specific projects and tasks, not only now, but as your needs evolve. As well as being experienced, an outsourced staff is oriented to deliverables and deadlines. They work with a service mentality.

There is no need to make hefty investments in technology internally and along with outsourced staff comes access to proven, reliable accounting systems, configured to your industry and customized to your business. Data is managed securely and at off-site servers. You don’t need to worry about stable connectivity or additional IT support, plus nightly back-ups and a disaster recovery plan are often part of the package.

Control & Stability

When this work is outsourced properly, you no longer need to worry about theft and separation of duties. There is no need to periodically rotate staff and conduct outside reviews or audits. Cash handling and bookkeeping, manager approved write-offs and adjustments, purchasing and credit functions are all separated, bringing confidence to your business functions. You’ll have better accountability and control of company assets.

Ultimately when you outsource finance and accounting functions, you are hiring a company, not a person, which limits risk, avoids the problem of turnover, and provides back-up for many positions. It also gives you access to senior finance professionals who will understand performance, budgeting, cash flow tools, and give advice. You’ll enjoy lower stress, be better able to manage risk, and can enjoy confidence that you will pass audits. Outsourcing your finance and accounting functions means bringing on a partner that will protect your business interests. An outsourced partner can clear obstacles that might otherwise divert time and attention away from strategic objectives and growth initiatives.

There are companies that outsource across the functional landscape and end up with sloppy work produced in remote geographies by unqualified personnel. Outsource intelligently and you’ll balance risk and reward while evaluating what work will be outsourced and what will remain in-house. The scope of services that should be outsourced can vary considerably, but almost any combination will provide significant relief in time and cost savings while delivering measurable value and process improvement.

Many CFOs have already eliminated, consolidated, and standardized many processes and operations. They continue to face expectations for lower cost and higher performance while setting an example in their own operations. Better control, improved efficiency, time and money savings, effortless accountability, and access to critical insight and expertise – all benefits of outsourcing. Outsourcing allows the CFO to act more strategically and make decisions that will support the overall organization rather than a single business function. Overall, the economy has improved, and we are seeing a rise in revenue in human resources, finance, accounting, customer relations management and insurance sectors. Ongoing pressure to optimize business performance has prompted leading CFOs to look for new approaches and solutions.