Designing an effective outsourced finance function – beyond hiring a Bookkeeper

In the realm of financial management, our approach has always been centered around constructing a robust finance function, as opposed to merely offering bookkeeping services. While managing day-to-day transactions is an integral aspect of establishing a solid finance function, it encapsulates a broader range of intricacies.


At its core, every business function revolves around its end-users, or in our case, our clients. Each company we collaborate with exhibits distinct levels of engagement from senior personnel (such as the CEO, COO, and occasionally a CFO), diverse budget structures, and, naturally, specific core requisites to create and maintain an outsourced finance function.


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The Key Distinction


    • How extensive is the organization’s workforce?
    • Is there an existing finance department that we are aiding in expanding, or is engaging our services the primary step in that direction?


    • What degree of involvement do other staff members have in the finance function?


Once we’ve addressed these fundamental queries, we chart out processes to establish a streamlined workflow.


This might encompass:


    • Implementation of shared document repositories (such as Dropbox or Sharefile) to facilitate document sharing.


    • Creation of a unified email address for all external suppliers (e.g., finance@domain name, accounts@domain name).


    • Integration of these systems into our internal ecosystem.


    • Defining project timelines and deliverables for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, and more.


Navigating the Workflow



It’s crucial to determine the extent of involvement required from a firm like ours. For assignments necessitating a high degree of involvement, we are available on a daily basis. We actively participate in meetings, engage in banking and treasury operations, and collaborate with other departments to optimize processes.


A typical day in such scenarios entails activities like daily stand-up calls, regular dashboard assessments of critical KPIs, swift exchange of crypto to fiat currencies in response to variations or perceived risks, and participation in budget or stakeholder meetings.


In instances where the involvement is more bi-weekly or monthly, we remain in the background for regular check-ins and discussions on financial matters. While we gather once a month to deliberate on the finances of the preceding month, we remain on call for ad-hoc consultations when pressing financial issues arise. For instance, when a company is poised to make a specific hire, they may face a narrow window for extending an offer. If they require a rapid evaluation of budgetary changes for such scenarios, we’re readily available to provide insights. While tools like Fathom can pre-emptively cater to such scenarios, it’s often beneficial to have a conversation with experts who can seamlessly integrate these tools into your budgetary frameworks with precision.


The Collaborative Ecosystem


Most companies operate within their distinct internal ecosystems, leveraging a multitude of tools—Slack, Google Sheets, password management tools, Asana, JIRA, to name a few. Our approach isn’t to replace these tools but rather to seamlessly embed our functions within the existing solutions. If a client utilizes a project management system like Asana, we tailor our functions to complement that system instead of introducing a new tool from our own repertoire.


By adopting these holistic practices, we strive to cultivate a comprehensive finance function that goes beyond traditional bookkeeping, aligning seamlessly with the dynamic needs and structures of modern businesses.


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