There are many moving parts in a manufacturing business which places a premium on highly qualified accounting and finance professionals. Yet, these professionals are in high demand across a range of industries, and that reality has made it increasingly difficult for manufacturing businesses to attract and retain full-time CFOs, controllers or bookkeepers.
This presents a potentially big problem for manufacturing businesses—and yours may be no exception. Qualified accounting and finance professionals offer experience, abilities, and insights that help maintain efficient and compliant business operations. This, in turn, facilitates profitability and enables future growth. Yet, without qualified professionals on staff, businesses must somehow fill that gap.
More and more, manufacturing businesses are turning to outsourced accounting service providers to fill this need. The reasons are clear:
- Qualified accounting service providers from established and respected organizations offer a significant depth and breadth of experience and expertise operationally.
- Many accounting services providers customize their services to meet the specialized needs of manufacturing businesses.
- In many cases (if not the majority), outsourced accounting services offer significant cost savings over a full-time CFO, controller or bookkeeper.
- In select cases, the providing organization offers tangential consulting services (e.g., business consulting, valuation and litigation, audit and assurance, technology solutions) that provide holistic benefits for a manufacturing business.
- Successful accounting service providers have a strong knowledge of, and experience with, all widely used accounting and finance platforms. You’ll gain the benefit of accounting/finance professionals who know their way around accounting and finance systems. This means a much shorter learning curve for your business—and more time devoted to performing essential duties.
- Qualified accounting service providers from established and respected organizations often identify and recommend valuable process improvements to the contracting organization as a result of their past experiences in similar organizational settings.
- From a human resource (HR) and budgetary standpoint, leveraging outside accounting services saves the time and expense of a traditional hiring process. Additionally, you’ll save on benefits, disability insurance, and other HR-related costs.
Could your business benefit from outsourced accounting services?
To find out, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you seek to augment existing business and accounting staff?
- Are you not yet ready to bring someone on full-time?
- Do you need a strategic, CFO-level person at the table when you are making major business decisions?
- Do you need a resource to help you comply with financial reporting requirements?
- Are you or another key person having your time, energy and resources being consumed with these types of tasks?
- Are you confident that you’re capturing all your financial data accurately – i.e., recording revenues and expenses accurately?
- Is your business being run efficiently and profitably—are costs streamlined to the extent they can and should be?
- Do budgetary constraints hamper your ability to bring someone on full- time?
What to look for in an outsourced accounting provider
- Manufacturing experience: a qualified provider for your business will understand the challenges that manufacturing business owners face. They’ve worked in manufacturing environments and know the territory.
- Reputation: this applies to the provider’s standing in the business community, as well as the community at large.
- Forward-leaning technology: don’t choose a provider that runs outdated software or kick-starts age-old hardware each morning. Their IT game should be strong and align strongly with your business needs.
- Breadth of service/product offerings: e.g., QuickBooks (and the requisite training), cloud hosting services, accounting services, CFO services and more.
- Breadth of capabilities: the provider you choose should be able to work as an extension of your in-house finance department, or fill broad roles as needed.
- Flexibility: services that are tailored to fit client budgets and requirements.
- Culture fit: this is two-fold. The outsourced firm you choose should align with your company culture, and the individual or individuals who work every day with your people should also be good fits.
- No surprises: the provider you choose should clearly articulate the scope of services to be provided at the outset of the engagement.
Note: This content is accurate as of the date published above and is subject to change. Please seek professional advice before acting on any matter contained in this article.