Costs of Outsourcing Controller Services for Small Businesses

Think about your company for a second. It’s thriving and revenue is coming in, but amongst all the growth, there are questions about your future. You find yourself wondering what to do about financial decisions like are you pricing your jobs right. Is it time to hire more staff?

You have the cash flow but should you spend the money? When is it the right time? Which clients and services are the most profitable? Which teams should get more people? What marketing spend will provide the most ROI and drive growth?

There are a lot of tough questions to answer. Successful businesses need to see beyond just selling more business and hiring additional employees.

Before you make big decisions, are you receiving meaningful, timely and accurate financials about your business? If not, you are probably wondering whether the foundation is already get to the next level by being set to make smart business decisions.

Your business might have a person with the title of controller who’s in charge of creating reports and analyzing data that helps guide the business through critical changes. If they are a true controller, they review information that a bookkeeper or accountant provides to predict future information for a business or company.

If you don’t have a controller, or the person with that title isn’t providing you with the relevant information you need to make data driven decisions, outsourcing controller services might be a smart move for your business. By outsourcing your controller services, you could gain much higher levels of reporting and analysis.

Outsourced Controller Services vs. Traditional Controllers

A traditional Controller is different from what an outsourced controller services offer your business. Either way, a true controller is a degreed accountant who manages accountants and bookkeepers on their team. For a small company where a full charge bookkeeper is the sole member of the accounting team, managing data entry, account reconciliation, and providing reports to their CFO or CEO, there’s also a material weakness in internal controls. One person should not pay the bills and reconcile the bank account.

Outsourcing your controller services allows a company to pick and choose services that a controller would provide. It’s important to distinguish between the CFO and Controller function. The CFO looks forward, the controller looks back.   But a good team works together to use the history to predict the future.

Sometimes the business has needs that require someone to be in-house who knows everything from the ground up. Then you need to find a flexible outsourced provided to complement your in-house staff. You don’t need to outsource everything. However, outsourcing allows for increased accounting expertise in areas such as job costing, month-end accruals, revenue recognition and more.

Why Your Business Should Outsource Controller Services

The four primary reasons companies are choosing to switch to outsourced controller services are confidentiality, turnover rate, single-point-of-failure, and cost. Outsourcing controller services can help consolidate tasks, increase efficiency and produce more accurate results for your business.

1.     Outsourced Controller Services Allows for Confidentiality

Most small business experience is a lack of separation between departments. When employees work close to the accounting department, confidential information has the capability to get in the wrong hands. If this happens, information could get shared that is detrimental to an employee or the business.

Avoid the potential risk and liability of data sharing by outsourcing your controller services.

2.     Control Turnover Rate by Outsourcing Controller Services

Many companies have regular turnover in the bookkeeping, accounting or controller positions. Why? It’s not a core competency of the management team.  The time and money that goes into finding and training someone to fill a position really adds up if you are filling a position every two years. By outsourcing, you eliminate the hassle of posting the job, interviewing, and training a new employee.

Outsourcing controller services allows you to focus on making money because you have someone you can rely on day in and day out. You can trust the results they produce and have comfort knowing you always have access to financial intelligence.

3.     Outsourcing Controller Services Stops Single-Point-of-Failure

A single point of failure is when one person is in charge of a function or process, and when they aren’t there, the duties don’t get accomplished. And when the bookkeeping isn’t completed, billing doesn’t get done and cash flow suffers.

If your accountant or controller goes on vacation for two weeks, who will complete their work when they are gone? If they were to quit, is there a system in place for someone to pick up where they left off? By outsourcing your company’s controller services, there’s no risk involved. It all just happens.

Controller services go beyond just bookkeeping and accounting, they provide critical oversight and account management ensuring the right policies and procedures get implemented and timely accurate financials are produced. A good accounting system with a good controller should help you make more money.

4.     Outsourcing Controller Services Cost Less Than a Full-Time Controller

Employing a controller is expensive.  If you have an in-house controller providing the desired results for your company, then you might not need to make any changes by outsourcing their duties. Just make sure it makes financial sense, and you have the right person in that seat.

However, make sure you aren’t paying your full time controller for part time controller work. You don’t want to pay a controller salary to do the bookkeeping, accounting, and controller duties. You will end up paying too much for the routine jobs they are performing.

If your company doesn’t have enough work for a full time controller, outsourcing can be a solution. Outsourcing allows for as much or little work to get accomplished per your company needs.

Outsourcing controller services fees typically start at Rs 25,000 per month. The oversight provided and the improved reporting package delivered will usually be well worth the price. Fees are dependent on the needs and size of your business. At the end of the day, outsourcing will be cheaper than a full charge in-house controller for most businesses.

PAYG Strategic Consulting is well equipped to serve as your outsourced controller service department. We provide outstanding client service with a India based team of a bookkeeper, staff accountant and accounting manager who provide the expertise you need to run your business. Put your numbers to work!

BIQ’ (Business Intelligence Quotient): 5 Things Your Company Can Do NOW

With a multitude of IQ’s being used in trying to measure peoples’ all-round success, namely, IQ, Emotional IQ, Social IQ, and the most mystic of all, the Spiritual IQ – it seems to make sense to do the same for business or companies – in order to quantify their performance 360-degree, not just from a ROI perspective, but from a customer/end-user experience perspective. As trivial as it may seem, this is by no means an easy task. Viewing a company as a conglomerate of people performing in various roles, and driven by a set of business processes, the accuracy of such an IQ extends beyond numbers. The words “win-win” create business value only when the business benefits of easier, faster, simpler, sharper decision-making capabilities by all users – from the corporate to the front desk – are realized when they are needed most. To this effect, here are a list of High-Fives that enables companies of any size and industry vertical to raise the bar on BIQ or Business Intelligence Quotient:

1. Encore the fact that BI is everybody’s business: This is a key driver in BI adoption and empowerment by all users of a BI solution – from the corporate staff to the customer/end-user. Hence, educating that better BI means better decision-making that lead to efficient actionable analyses, across the company spectrum (i.e., about the why and what of a BI Solution) is a KPI in getting all of them eye-cued. A unified view of the contextual customer is the KPI for a higher BIQ.

2. Data, Data Everywhere! But I Can’t See It No Matter How I Do My Search? Follow this as both the means and ends of adopting BI: Companies must be able to trace and track the silos of data that is present in various forms – from paper to prediction – across the length and breadth of the companies’ resources. Then a robust BI Solution can help all of this data to be “refined” to derive the right information that is useful to the right user at the right time. So, the sooner your company gets going for the “gold data rush”, the faster the time-to-insight which is the taken to analyze and arrive at “decision points” that when implemented can help in a better business/operational efficiency.

3. Enumerate the potential of BI as an innovative invention of a superior customer experience: BI helps in providing autonomy to the customer/end-user by way of self-service functionality combined with interactive and responsive controls that place the power to drive the business solution in those users’ hands. And companies should focus on differentiating between customer and end-user in terms of Power Users and contextual business roles. This is the new dynamics of being “customer-centric.” Proper enlisting of users vs. roles vs. business needs and maintaining the “independence and isolation of data/metadata access and presentation” is vital to a higher BIQ. And this is where managed-metadata comes into play by allowing some of the business context to be custom-defined by the end-users! By correlating customer/end-user centric aspects with their existing BI Solutions in place, companies can efficiently manage their metadata and streamline their business processes, companies.

4. Right time information is the NEW BI imperative and it prevents the data burst: From real-time to right time, time and data truly don’t wait for any user today! This can be both real-time and point-in-time, or just-in-time-relevance and authenticity of information enables efficient use of the same and is essential to a better BIQ. And the ability to integrate/inter-operate with multiple existing solutions and data sources provides a value beyond revenue. Nothing is more critical to a business than the consistency, currency, and protection of all of its data-cum-information in a way that is secure, reliable, and available anytime, from anywhere, and by anyone authorized. To this effect, companies must layout security & GRC policies as per requirements, right from the early stages in their operational life cycle (A typical plan starting from concepts all through to customization). This ensures that the data/information life cycle goes in sync with the business process life cycle. Enforcing multi-factor authentication, distributed data replication, and/or data federation/syndication; rich search analytics, and industry standards-based architecture go a long way in getting the right data at the right time in the hands of the right user, or what I call the R-R-R rule.

5. Consider BI as a strategic solution for your business: BI is more than just a decision making tool. For any company, it is an evolving solution that re-invents itself based on customer/end-user experience, to adapt to the customer/users’ changing needs from time-to-time. Thereby, it extends beyond intelligence to become a strategic decision-making enabler. Companies must keep this focus when deciding on a BI Solution – one that can adapt to current and future business requirements. By doing this the return-on-customer will be higher, which is an intelligent metric for quantifying Success-both in terms of business value and customer/end-user experience. This requires a self-adaptable BI solution that enables a greater degree of self-service BI. A “best-fit” IT solution based on gap-fit analysis, in terms of access optimization, embedded analytics, SaaS-enablement, and operational BI capabilities accelerates the operational efficiency. This again raises the BIQ – BETTER INSIGHTS YIELD BETTER RESULTS.

Raise your Business Intelligence Quotient (BIQ)

In your quest to grow from a good to a great company, and ultimately an ‘intelligent’ company, there are some specific steps you can take to ensure BI success. Keep in mind that a successful increase of your Business Intelligence Quotient will not only measure ROI, but all around company-wide performance as well. Viewing a complete 360 degree picture will allow you to see your company as a whole, with each individual performing in various roles, driven by a specified set of business processes. The accuracy of your BIQ extends beyond the numbers. Value is ultimately created when the benefits of your solution are realized by each person and throughout every process, making a more efficient, streamlined organization overall.

1. Business Intelligence is everyone’s business.

Start with educating your staff on how better BI will improve decision-making and efficiencies across the board. Knowing why it’s important and what it will improve will increase the likelihood of buy-in and a higher BIQ at the end of the day.

2. Success depends on how well you can make your data work for you.

Having access to data and numbers will not be useful unless you have a way to refine it into useable information and analytics. From paper to prediction, there are many different silos of data within your company. The right BI solution can help you better organize this information in order to make it work for you. This results in a faster time-to-insight which is the time it takes to analyze your data and come to a conclusion about what your next steps should be.

3. Business Intelligence is more than an internal solution.

While many focus on BI as a way to improve information and analytics, it can and should also be utilized to enhance your customer service capabilities. BI can provide your customer/end-user with self service functionality through interactive and responsive controls helping your organization become more ‘customer-centric’.

4. BI provides access to information when you need it.

The authenticity of information enables the efficient use of data to improve your BIQ. Further, the ability to inter-operate with other software solutions will provide for a well-rounded 360- degree view of your organization. The greatest value of your BI solution is the consistency, currency, and protection of all of your data, maintained in a secure, reliable and always available format.

5. Business Intelligence is not just a solution, but also a strategy.

Your BI should always be evolving in order to ensure that the changing needs of your organization and your customer are being met. It therefore extends beyond just an intelligence solution, but becomes a strategic decision-making tool. It is crucial that you implement a BI solution that not only meets the current needs of your company, but will also do so in the future. This will insure the best value that continues to provide the appropriate levels of efficiency going forward.

Ultimately Business Intelligence should be used not only to analyze your data, but to improve your decision making process, thus providing a strategic value to both your organization as well as your customer. The future of BI will be driven by customer-centric imperatives that provide right-time information, enhanced self service, adaptability, security and compliance. Practicing the principles outlined in this article will help you continue to raise your Business Intelligence Quotient, improving your decision-making and customer service capabilities across the board.

PAYG Consulting can help improve your Business Intelligence Quotient.