Outsourcing Your Business Finances
Small business owners often end up wearing many hats. You are in charge of marketing, operations, human resources, purchasing, sales and everything else. As your business grows, one way to help mitigate performing every function is to outsource. The first business function you should consider outsourcing is finance. Finance is a cost center as it does not generate revenue, unlike the sales department. Here are several things to consider when outsourcing your business finance functions.
A Look at Costs
The first objection most people have to outsourcing is that it costs money. As your business grows and you need to give up control of different aspects of your business, whether it’s by hiring an in-house employee or outsourcing, it will cost you money. The way to get over your objection is to realize you are hiring a trained professional who can do the work in a fraction of the time you can yourself, and it’ll be done more accurately. In my experience, accounting and finance is one of the least favorite areas of any business for an entrepreneur. Use your time more wisely and invest it in the other business functions while the expert handles the finances.
As for what it actually will cost, that will be a function of how much time and how qualified of a person you find. You can easily find someone for less than a few thousand a month, and possibly even less than $1,000 a month and still have them handling all the finance and accounting functions.
How Much Control to Give Up
When you think of your business finances do you think of the day-to-day bookkeeping, or your year-end taxes? Each business is unique, and its up to you to decide what aspects within the finance function to outsource. The time consuming day-to-day tasks are where you should start, as that will free up your time and mitigate the daily frustration of doing a task that isn’t value added to your sales process. If you want to take it further you can outsource your payroll function, budgeting process, tax work, and even capital raising.
Where to Find Someone
Finding someone who fits well with your company culture is important. Even if the person works off site, which is most likely the case, you still want someone who understands your company’s values and work style. Do you want the straight shooter, strictly accounting personality, or a better-rounded finance person who can give you input on strategy? Determine this first so you can tailor your search.
Your Peers – If you know other business owners, ask around. Someone might have a highly recommended person they would be happy to endorse. You can ask around at business networking events as well.
Social Media – If you are looking for a more progressive finance type of person, they most likely have embraced social media as a way to market themselves. Look to Twitter, Facebook and blogs written by professionals. You’ll be able to get some insight into their personality before even talking to them.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the most centralized place for business professionals to network online. You have many options here, as you can post a job placement, search professionals profiles, and search in various groups. You’ll also be able to see if others have recommended them and endorsed their skills.
Determine Your Needs and Communicate Them
Finding the right fit that you are comfortable with is important. Do you need someone who checks in every day, or just once a week? Do you want to see them face-to-face; can they work remotely, maybe even in a different city or country? Determining your needs first will again help you narrow down the field and find someone who fits exactly what you are looking for. You only want to go through the hiring process once, so spend the time up front to make sure you determine those needs, communicate them to prospective candidates and in the end you’ll be happy that you got what you wanted.
Taking the leap to outsource any function is a big one. It means your company is growing, but it also means you are giving up some control. Once you get comfortable with the idea, you’ll reap the rewards of less day-to-day workload you are responsible for and being able to spend even more time growing your business.
Chris Benjamin founded Rogue CFO Management Consulting in 2007 after spending 12 years in the corporate world as a CFO to both public and private companies. Leveraging his experience & education, Chris currently partners with growth stage companies who are in need of CFO management talent on a part time basis to help them grow and eventually become publicly traded. In his efforts to help the small business community, Chris has also created video courses, webinars and articles to help educate entrepreneurs & CEO’s, and guide them to success.