Staffing the Accounting and Finance Function – An Argument for Outsourcing

Companies with revenues less than $10 million typically have an accounting and finance function that is not optimized. This is simply the nature of the business – they are too small to hire all of the skill sets needed. During the year, most companies require the services of a CFO, a top notch controller, a financial reporting manager, a forecasting and budgeting whiz and some good clerks. However, with the exception of the clerks, there isn’t a need for any one of these people on a full-time basis.

We commonly see smaller companies staff the finance function with a full-time controller in the $60-$80K salary range, supplemented with possibly a clerk or two. The controller is typically not a CPA, with limited or no public accounting experience. They are incredibly hard working and dedicated, but because they are alone on an island, they often struggle to meet all of the deadlines. This is especially true during periods of peak workload such as year-end and during the budgeting cycle. Their background has typically exposed them to only a handful of companies. This can cause them to be overwhelmed by situations and fact patterns that they haven’t dealt with before. The chart of accounts can get out of control and is not optimized to deliver the reporting needed by business owners to make timely and informed business decision making.

And what happens if the controller gives up and walks? The situation gets even worse while the business owners seek out a new controller. Once hired, that new controller works hard to dig themselves out of the hole, but the fundamental issues persist.

What if a company could get access to all of the accounting and finance talents that are needed at the same cost as a traditional full-time controller? This is the value proposition that Rivers & Moorehead offers. By turning the keys over to us, we optimize the finance function in the following way:

Access to experienced, qualified accountants – We bring a team of experienced CPAs and consultants who have exposure to dozens of businesses and the proper training with our proprietary tools and methodologies.

Improved reporting – We begin by looking at the outputs that business owners need to make informed business decisions. Then, we revise the chart of accounts and processes to deliver the proper reporting on a timely basis

Quality in the monthly financial close – Too often, companies see wild swings in profitability because there isn’t enough discipline in the month end cutoff and accrual processes, thereby clouding the true state of the business. We implement repeatable, reliable processes to ensure proper reporting.

Scalable staffing during peak periods – We are able to add and scale resources during the year as the workload may dictate.

Reduced risks from employee turnover – Every business experiences turnover, but because we deploy a team of individuals that employ consistent methodologies across all our clients instead of one single consultant, any turnover in our peopleis mitigated immediately with no disruption to the deliverables that our clients demand.

Responsiveness to special projects – Whether its prepping a company for sale, evaluating a target acquisition, performing an internal control evaluation, going public or selecting a new general ledger package, our clients can find the right skillset among our seasoned partners and consultants who have participated in almost every type of special project imaginable.
Our new clients sometimes struggle with the fact that they don’t have a controller in their offices on a full-time basis. However, we strive to be accessible to business owners and operators at any time and where possible, we deploy cloud-based solutions to make financial information readily available. We challenge our clients whether it is really necessary to have a full-time individual. After all, what would you rather have… an optimized finance function or a butt in a seat?

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