For a business that is growing and ready to move to the next level, the benefits of an external Finance Director or department are clear both in terms of knowledge and expertise and in the resultant cost savings.
Where accounting requirements are becoming increasingly complex as the company develops, the advantages of an outsourced service, drawing on a range of disciplines and specialisms become clear.
An outsourced finance team, such as that provided by J Sweeney Accountants in Northampton, means that a firm is not relying on just one employee but has a cost-effective alternative available five days a week, 52 weeks of the year, to take full control and management of the accounting requirements of the company.
The external team will operate as if it were part of the client company, with phone systems that allow calls to be answered as the client’s own finance department giving customers, creditors and suppliers advice and assistance direct from the finance team.
Joseph Skinner, from J Sweeney Accountants, said: “The main benefit to a client that is considering hiring a finance director is that an external solution in a much more cost-effective option. Without any of the employment costs, you get not only a dedicated person, but one that has access to a whole range of specialisms and expertise through their colleagues, making it so much easier to draw up and implement a financial procedures protections programme that ensures all financial regulatory and company safeguards are met, across the board.
“For a company that has reached a certain size, there’s a need to shift towards proper financial reporting and forecasting, with updated information and accurate reporting readily to hand.
“As part of our duties we implement a fully reporting ISO:9001 accredited finance function process chart and reporting manual to satisfy the requirements of the individual company, and outsourcing also ensures both efficiency and that your processes are fraud and error protected.”
J Sweeney Accountants uses cloud technology and time saving apps to offer:
- Access to its cloud system (Xero) that allows it to monitor, review and implement the accounting procedures.
- Fully trained in- house Xero operators to ensure clients have full support for any inputting or reporting requirements.
- A daily reconciliation of bank account, sales and purchases ledgers giving live information available five days per week.
Extensive financial reporting and forecasting for the client includes a monthly management pack for review by the CEO, to be presented at the monthly executive board meetings including:
- Monthly profit and loss and balance sheet, with budget v actual visuals and commentary of above and below budget targets.
- Cash flow forecasts based on budget, forecast and actual real time information, allowing for foresight on any peaks and troughs on the cash of the business to allow adequate planning to be enforced where necessary.
- To assist with cash flow, pay runs would be produced to be signed off by the senior management monthly/bimonthly, to allow for adequate cash to be allocated, and also reduce bank charges by running a one-off BACS payment.
- Treasury management – J Sweeney Accountant can assist with ensuring the cash reserves of the business are utilised, to allow for maximum return, but also maximum access at all times.
Joseph added: “Many businesses face a dilemma when they get to a certain size, when they’re not quite ready to take on a full-time finance director but they have needs that are more than the remit of their existing accounts department.
“We meet that need by putting in place robust financial procedures that safeguard the company, making sure they are on a sound footing and meeting all regulatory requirements, and preparing them for the next level. Each client will have a dedicated account manager, who they will get to know, and who will get to know their business, but who can also call upon the services of colleagues within the business where required, providing access to a comprehensive range of expert knowledge.
“All of the services listed above are, therefore, available at a more efficient cost and level of expertise. We pride ourselves on getting to know your business so we can guide you to the next level and create an exit strategy when applicable.”