Let’s start with a quick explainer. To maintain any level of success and growth for your business within Australia, or around the world, it is essential to have a component within your company that oversees and guides it’s financial operations and strategy. This role often involves strategic financial guidance of the business, maintaining a full finance function and domestic tax compliance and legal requirements are met. Traditionally, this takes the form of a full-time employee known as the CFO (Chief Financial Officer). Indeed, many business owners may believe employing full-time staff to be the only pathway to executing these tasks.
There is an alternative, however, and it may prove far more suitable for many businesses. A number of, though not all, domestic accounting firms including our team at Equil Advisory, have been offering Outsourced CFO services for a number of years. As the name might suggest, this means allowing a trusted third-party to oversee and perform the tasks that an in-house CFO would be expected to. Utilising your accountant in this way, depending on the position your business is in, may provide a number of distinct advantages as compared to the traditional full-time CFO, or even a separate third-party bookkeeper.
- Cost Efficiency
A full-time CFO just simply isn’t affordable for many businesses, especially for young start-ups that might have high growth aspirations, but limited cash in the bank. It’s understandable considering the cost-pressures placed upon many fledgling business owners as they attempt to scale up. Regardless, these essential functions still need to be performed or risk impact to long term success of the business.
A key expected benefit of outsourcing these tasks is a reduction in overhead costs, whilst still being able to adequately execute a full-finance team operation. Full time employees are often expensive and their pay isn’t directly correlated to their productivity. In weeks of downtime or slow revenues they still command the same paycheck, regardless of a diminished workload. Outsourcing offers a certain degree of cost flexibility along with limited overheads.
The Equil Advisory team also offer an additional benefit being their cost structure. With all clients on a fixed retainer model there are no surprises with costs each month. Driven and focused by outcomes, the team seeks to maintain consistent and regular communications as to obtain vital information about the business, which will help financial performance.
- The Keepers Of The Numbers
Keeping with a similar theme, there is even greater potentiality for cost-efficiency if you are able to outsource your CFO role to the accounting firm or financial services provider that currently looks after your year-end compliance needs. This offers the capacity for unparalleled transparency and clarity throughout financial operations – from your books, through payments and bill management, to strategy and future budgeting. When the financial grunt work is being well executed eternally business owners have a far greater capacity to extract valuable insight and determine their next move.
Consolidating bookkeeping and CFO operations under the one (outsourced) roof should also provide additional assurance that all compliance requirements are preempted and promptly met, and there are appropriate risk mitigation strategies in place. Equil Advisory has a great depth and range of knowledge across their team and this wealth of experience is something that businesses might not otherwise be able to afford to access with a full-time employee.
Equil Advisory also prides itself on having a proactive approach with all clients. The team are constantly identifying new ways to grow and improve the businesses worked with, rather than just focusing on the day to day numbers.
- The Unvarnished Truth
Direct and unbiased advice is priceless when it comes to financials for businesses. Using a third-party provider creates the necessary professional distance to prevent the misdirection that is often associated with traditional CFO roles. There have been many instances of internal employees focusing unevenly on misleading reporting, and board or management composition, in order to protect their own role and income security. Regularly this results in the slow identification of, and resolution to, a number of avoidable issues.
Outsourcing these operations to an accounting firm gives a greater sense of confidence that the information you’re being given is unfettered and fully invested in your success, as there is not the same threat of individuals aspiring to maintain or improve their place within the hierarchy of the business. Accounting firms such as Equil Advisory are focused on partnering and working with businesses to achieve success.
- People Change
There can be a considerable loss of time and investment whenever a painstakingly well-trained and qualified full-time employee decides to depart the business. Moreover, within the current domestic workforce, employees are more likely to change jobs, and industries, more rapidly than ever before.
Engaging with third-party providers, especially those with multiple employees of their own, has the capacity to lessen the reliance on any one individual. An appointed third-party CFO from a company such as Equil Advisory has the benefit of an entire infrastructure of support from within their own business, from both the Director and supporting team members. In this way, the CFO operations provider can maintain security and continuity of financial practice over the long-term; from the way that books are kept, to the reporting that comes through to ownership. There is a greater potential to standardise the way that these functions are performed. ——————
It’s important to note that these advantages are only relevant if the third-party CFO operations provider is reliable and trustworthy. The success of outsourcing any operations to any given third-party is still contingent upon their output and quality being upheld to the highest level. Equil Advisory continually set the highest standards of work and communication to ensure client’s every financial need is accounted for. As such, Equil Advisory have seen resoundingly positive feedback from clients for their work as an outsourced CFO, as both the efficiency and financial clarity that their expertise can provide is recognised, in addition to their stellar business and tax advisory record.
The larger point is that these are absolutely essential operations to maintain within your business, even when cash flow issues may present themselves. When you find that team, the financial partner that actually understands your business needs the way that the team at Equil Advisory can, take advantage of their experience and expertise. With the right partner in place and transparency from top to bottom throughout the financial operations of the business, you’ll be establishing the best possible pathway towards long-term success.