In view of the volatile business environment in South Africa, it makes sound business sense to outsource some of your company’s financial functions. Few positions in a company are as easily outsourced as those in the finance department and in particular, your financial projects. This is great news for small companies looking to add strategic skills or for larger companies looking to cut full-time staffing costs. Most companies can benefit by strategically outsourcing their financial project management.
Many companies currently outsource monthly statutory return (PAYE & VAT) as well as provisional and annual tax return preparation and submissions. Because these returns are generally ad-hoc in nature, having an expensive resource all year round is usually not cost effective. The same applies to a financial project manager. Why employ a full time project accountant when you only need the resource for certain projects on a part time or interim basis?
Benefits of outsourcing your financial project management
Access to skills
Outsourced project accountants have specific knowledge and skills that are necessary for projects to be completed timeously and effectively. This is one of the greatest selling points for engaging these financial experts. Their knowledge and skills have to be ever evolving to stay abreast of changes within their chosen field. Many companies do not possess all the knowledge and experience in-house and certainly don’t have the resources to employ this expertise on a full time basis. Before engaging or employing an outsourced financial project manager make sure you have a good understanding of your needs. If you have, or will have, a need for more than one financial professional to work on a project it is advisable to use one outsource company that can provide for this on a team basis. The last thing you want is to split duties between unrelated contractors. This will cause more confusion than it’s worth. The outsource company will be able to provide the skills you need while keeping the communication lines open and the work streamlined.
Focus On Core Activities
Using an outsourced financial project manager allows management to focus on their core activities. In small companies the company director is usually responsible for sales, marketing and finances. He / She is often stretched to capacity and unable to keep up with the responsibility of keeping accurate financial records for the business. Current staff are also usually stretched to capacity and are not able to keep control of certain aspects of the project. A good project accountant will ensure all aspects of the project are effectively monitored and assessed by providing up to date financial data at all times and meeting deadlines / milestones as and when required. This will free up current staff and management so that they are able to concentrate on their Key Performance Areas.
Save money for the business
By using an outsourced financial project manager, the upfront costs usually associated with recruiting and training can be avoided. This should not be taken lightly as these costs can be substantial.
Enhanced financial project control
Projects whose costs are running over budget are prime motivators for outsourcing. The company’s financial department may have evolved over time and be poorly managed or resourced but by using an outsourced financial project manager, it will bring better financial project management skills into the business.
By using a reputable financial outsource organisation it will allow for continuity of service over time. The outsource company should ideally give you access to the same project manager for the necessary projects over time, thereby ensuring continuity as they will be aware of and have an understanding of how your company operates and the systems that are in use.
Match the right financial project manager to the project
When investigating which outsourcing company you would like to engage, make sure that they have resources that are the right fit for your business. You want financial professionals that are able to add value, provide effective and professional results and are able to work effectively with your current financial departments or leadership executives. Getting the most from an outsourced financial project manager is more about good communication and delegation than anything else. Early in the relationship, establish an expectation for weekly and/or monthly reports. After all, the core value of the finance department is to provide you, the business owner or manager, with the information you need to manage your projects effectively. Use an outsource company whose leadership are accessible, hands one and experienced.
For more information regarding outsourced financial project managers contact The Finance Team www.thefinanceteam.co.za