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CFO Outsourcing: A Solution to Accounting’s Talent Shortage

Have you recently considered adding an accountant to your company’s team, only to find out that applicants are few and far between? Well, it’s not just you. There’s a massive talent shortfall in the accounting space — a problem that some firms are solving by outsourcing that work.

JD Supra, a leading repository of insights from legal experts, recently outlined a dearth of talent suffered by accounting firms themselves.

This complaint should be familiar to anyone in almost any industry. The U.S. job market is tight, forcing companies to become more competitive on pay, benefits and perks just to keep up with the Joneses.

“Almost all are offering salary raises and bonuses, along with flexible work arrangements, individual check-ins, and stay interviews,” writes Russell Shapiro, corporate partner at Levenfield Pearlstein.

However, the reasons behind the shortfall in accountants means most companies — not just accounting firms — could struggle to hire skilled staff.

“One reason for the talent shortage is a decrease in the number of people sitting for the CPA exam,” Shapiro writes.

Bloomberg, which cites a 2019 report from the American Institute of CPAs (the most recent data available), adds that “the number of accounting graduates in 2018 dropped nearly 7% since the number of students earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees peaked in 2012.”

For small and midsize businesses, there’s no quick cure for the accounting talent gap. Especially given the issues that appear to be causing it.

But there is a way to get the accounting services you need.

What Outsourced CFOs Can Do for You

Think of outsourced CFO, accounting and bill pay services as one of the handiest tools in your operational tool belt.

Let’s say you’re a small business with no accountants. You tackle most of the financial duties in what little spare time you have. Then, one day, you decide you don’t have the time to keep pounding away at the numbers. You want someone to do it for you.

Well, you could go out and hire a full-time accountant — a member of your staff, which means you need to set aside resources for salary and benefits. Problem is, you might not have 40 hours a week’s worth of accounting duties for this person to absorb. In fact, you probably aren’t even close. The result is that you end up buying a lot more accounting horsepower than you actually need.

That’s one option. You also could consider outsourcing your CFO, accounting and bill pay.

When you outsource these duties to a local accounting firm, you can buy only as much accounting bandwidth as you need. They can help bridge the gap between having no accounting staff and hiring your first accounting staffer. They also can help supplement existing accounting staff until you’re ready for your next hire.

Importantly, outsourced CFOs and accountants aren’t just one-trick ponies. They can handle a wide variety of one-time projects or ongoing duties, such as …

  • Providing strategy, due diligence and advising on capital raises
  • Managing cash flow
  • Analyzing input costs and pricing to improve margins
  • Processing payroll
  • Timely bill pay services
  • Advising on growth strategies
  • Financial forecasting
  • Even training new accounting staff

That level of flexibility, as well as the ability to keep accounting costs down, is a win-win situation for small and midsize businesses. That’s the case whether they can’t find accounting staff right now or simply don’t have the budget to invest in a full-time role.

Your Outsourcing Source

McManamon & Co. has decades of collective experience providing outsourced CFO, accounting and bill pay services. If you want to learn more about what we can do for your firm, call 440.892.8900 or contact us online today.

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