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The Outsourced Accountant : Four Ways to Add Value

As an outsourced Accountant you can provide the professional competence necessary to ensure reliable financial statements for management and lenders. The Accountant is responsible for managing all aspects of an organization’s finance function to ensure that it has the resources necessary to achieve its current year goals and long-term mission. Successful Accountants generally have significant experience in accounting, finance, economics or business administration.

Simply put, there is an increasing demand for financial acumen and socially intelligent leaders, so it may take some time for your companies to fill their new or vacant Accountant positions. As Accountants whose roles have expanded beyond their traditional boundaries, we have the requisite knowledge of accounting and experience with our clients’ organizations and operations to perform the Accountant role on an outsourced basis. Consider the following five valuable benefits you can provide to your clients as an outsourced Accountant; they are especially important during these uncertain times.

Professional Competence

Most of our clients know “the way we do it here”(which means prior experience)—their ways and means for processing transactions with customers, vendors, government agencies, employees, and shareholders and accounting for operating activities. Unfortunately, if these processes are not effectively designed and managed, they will generate financial information that is inaccurate, inconsistent, insufficient, irrelevant, or cannot be produced in a timely or cost-effective manner. I’ve seen income statements that presented “unearned fees” as the primary component of revenue and balance sheets that included significant negative cash balances for bank accounts that had actually been closed for six months—they’re not pretty.

Strategic/Financial Planning Perspective

Influential Accountants have an important seat at the strategy table, helping to ensure that the strategy development process is robust and linked to their organization’s unique and valuable position, core competencies and activities. If companies do not have a comprehensive strategic/financial planning process, you can introduce the idea and begin to create one as an outsourced Accountant.

As an outsourced Accountant, you offer your clients an opportunity to leverage the insights you’ve gleaned by serving clients in different industries or that vary in terms of complexity or sophistication. Chances are you’ve seen certain management practices, business processes or financial metrics that are particularly useful, due in part to their innovative application or design. As an outsourced Accountant you have an opportunity to adapt and apply these insights to improve your clients’ operating performance in a way that is unique and valuable.

Continuity

Change is good, but it must be managed. You can solve your company’s C-suite turnover problems and bring continuity and focus to the organization as an outsourced Accountant. Efforts to improve the quality and availability of financial information often require a dedication of time, energy and attention ranging from 6 to 24 months. As an independent professional, you have a vested interest in staying engaged in the significant projects that will impact your clients’ people, processes and technology over the next decade. Without such continuity, significant investments in information technology may not be completed, or may be completed later or at a higher cost than originally planned.

An Expanded Network

As a practicing Accountant, you and other members of your firm have a myriad of professional relationships and referral sources that can benefit your clients who engage you as an outsourced Accountant. Your network likely includes lawyers, lenders, staffing agencies, HR and payroll service providers, information technology experts and marketing and public relations professionals. Providing your clients with credible referrals is a valuable service; you’ll score points with your clients and network, and perhaps receive some additional referrals in the future yourself.

The benefits described above are compelling reasons for your clients to consider outsourcing their open Accountant positions. As the demand for experienced finance leaders increases, outsourcing the Accountant role will continue to gain acceptance as a practical way to bring effective leadership and continuity to the finance function while managing costs.

Accountants have an important seat at the strategy table

The benefits described above are compelling reasons for your companies to consider outsourcing their open Accountant positions.

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