As businesses expand their services, it may become necessary to realign and add additional staffing. The finance department may require personnel such as a CPA, controller, or CFO to assist the business and give recommendations for the efficient allocation of resources. Many businesses are also reaping the benefits of outsourcing these financial positions rather than recruiting them as permanent in-house staff, by teaming up with the Nealson Group.
The Role of the CPA
Growing small businesses may consider hiring a CPA when owners cannot devote the time to doing the financials themselves. Additionally, many business owners may lack the expertise to file taxes or handle other complex financial aspects. It’s important to note that the CPA’s role differs from that of a bookkeeper, who records daily transactions and maintains the general ledger.
The CPA is a financial professional better equipped to analyze and report financial data and make recommendations that can affect a company’s profitability. Generally, CPA services by the Nealson Group includes some of the following:
• The preparation of financial statements, tax returns, and other reports to assist managers in allocating resources.
• Establish and maintain a system for the business to track transactions through spreadsheets or accounting software.
• Perform periodic audits to ensure accurate financial reporting.
The importance of recruiting a CPA should not be underestimated. These knowledgeable personnel must pass rigorous testing and are a valuable asset to the success of the business.
CFO or Controller?
Recruiting a financial controller or CFO to assist in more detailed responsibilities is also often a consideration. But selecting which one would be the best choice and what role would they play are dependent on the existing financial department operations.
The most common controller responsibilities and CFO services are as follows:
• Oversees bookkeeping to ensure the accurate reporting of debits and credits.
• Monitors and controls cash flow.
• Ensures compliance with tax laws and government reporting requirements.
• Supervises payroll, benefits, accounts receivable, and accounts payable areas.
• Supports the CPA, especially during tax season or for audits.
• Interprets financial metrics and decides on actions to take that benefit the company.
• Participates and often leads financial strategy decision-making involving pricing and long-term projections.
• Development of tax strategies that would benefit the company.
• Prepares financial reports and budgets and advises owners on trends and best practices.
The CFO and controller require distinctly different backgrounds and skillsets. The decision on who to recruit depends on the financial needs and complexity of the business. These roles may also differ depending on the company and the industry.
Many businesses outsource CPAs, controllers, and CFOs from outside consulting firms like the Nealson Group to ensure they have the necessary background and experience. Outsourcing also reduces the costs of hiring outside permanent staff who are only needed temporarily.
Benefits of Outsourcing Financial Professionals
Hiring and maintaining permanent in-house financial staff can be an expensive endeavor. This is especially the case for small businesses and those that are newly established. A recent survey reveals that 24% outsource personnel to increase efficiency with 18% outsourcing for access to greater expertise. There are several other benefits to recruiting services from specialty agencies.
• Frees in-house staff from the day-to-day accounting tasks which can be redeployed for other functions that assist the business.
• Specialized outsourcing agencies have a large pool of highly trained professionals who have extensive experience in many aspects of finance.
• The most highly qualified outsourced professionals who are not local can work remotely from any location.
• Outsourced financial professionals have greater access to advanced technology that may be too expensive for small to medium-size businesses. These may include project management and accounting solutions that can help them work more efficiently for the business.
• By outsourcing financial specialists from the Nealson Group, their functions are specifically directed and scaled to the needs of the business. For example, if an accountant is needed just for tax purposes, these professionals are brought aboard for that function only, saving costs on having a full time in-house one.
• There is assurance of attention to security, confidentiality, and compliance issues. Experienced outsourcing companies like the Nealson Group have very high standards for protecting their clients’ data and other confidential information.
Recruiting a CFO, controller, or CPA can result in substantial cost savings to the business as well as liberate owners from the headaches of day-to-day tedious financial tasks and projects. The decision on which professional(s) to bring aboard is dependent on the needs of the business. However, outsourcing these responsibilities ensures that businesses are receiving the expertise they need to help increase profitability.