December 3, 2019
Outgrown Your Accounting and HR? Try Outsourcing
Posted by Jenn McCabe
Building a business can be a lot like middle school. You hit that awkward growth phase and nothing fits anymore. Life gets uncomfortable.
Some of the first things companies outgrow? Their accounting and human resources. As work volume builds, it often becomes impossible for these overstretched teams to keep up.
This hurts your business. For example, consider these common scenarios that signal that a company needs ramped-up accounting or HR support:
- Financial results are regularly issued too late to be useful in making strategic business decisions. At this stage, owners want quick answers to common questions such as what the monthly run rate is, when they can hire another person, or if they can afford to lease more space. It’s scary to make a big decision in an information vacuum.
- Financials get issued, but no one has time to interpret them. The management team isn’t getting the decision support and financial leadership they want.
- Work isn’t getting done on time, or at all. The sheer transactional volume has gone up, and the accounting team can’t keep up unless they let other tasks go.
- There’s good technology in place but it’s not being fully utilized. No one has time to really learn the system or study the customized reports it produces.
- Headcount has gone up and onboarding/offboarding eats up more HR time. Labor and wage compliance issues have become apparent. Employee turnover is a problem. There’s also a lack of formal HR policies, which is risky.
- The business needs more cash. The owners want either a line of credit or investors to provide capital. These parties will, at the very least, require financial statements on a regular basis.
- There is an exit plan or dreams of a sale/merger. The financial statements need to be converted to GAAP or brought up to date.
- Fraud occurs. There is too-concentrated handling of funds by the few people who are hands-on. Separation of duties can’t be achieved.
If any of these sound familiar, the good news is that there’s an option besides hiring more full-time employees.
A Flexible Solution
Staff augmentation, aka outsourcing, has become an increasingly popular solution for businesses for several practical reasons.
First, outsourcing allows you to scale gradually. It enables smaller businesses to bring on part-time help to augment their teams in fractional steps, rather than hiring a full-time person.
If you need help in a number of areas, this also means you can get several experts for the price of one full-time hire – or less. And an expert can come in for a project and then leave without going through a formal hiring/exit process.
Outsourcing also reduces your risk in several ways. In companies with one or two back-office personnel, it eliminates the “single point of failure” scenario. With an outsourced team, you remove the threat of losing someone with institutional knowledge. Finally, by adding more bodies to the process, you can implement better accounting controls, which lowers the chances of fraud.
So if you need help, don’t keep suffering. Outsourcing is a simple, cost-effective remedy for your accounting and HR growing pains. Need some assistance? Contact our Contact our Outsourced Finance and Accounting experts.
Jenn has more than 25 years of outsourced accounting and finance experience, with a particular expertise in startups and the advertising and creative production industries. She is passionate about seeing companies utilize the latest accounting technology to maximize their efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, success.
Before joining Armanino, Jenn founded and led Team Jenn Corp., a firm dedicated to the strategic financial management of startups and small businesses, offering a comprehensive back office solution with accounting, finance and HR solutions. Previous roles include stints at advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather, and in the cash management industry.
Jenn has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pepperdine University and is a member of several professional associations including the National Society of Accountants, ProVisors and the Women’s Business Enterprise Network.