How to Use Outsourcing to Build Future-Proof Finance Teams

October 10, 2023 Theresa Rex

finance team discussing outsourcing vendor options as a strategy to future-proof their department

In a business landscape that feels like it’s changing at a faster pace than ever before, a future-proof finance function is a true differentiator. And while all roads have always lead to the finance function, now there are new challenges to consider at the intersection of talent, automation, and data analytics.

It’s no wonder CFOs consider it their top priority to ensure that their finance teams can navigate whatever comes their way. Enabling teams to keep up empowers them to keep driving strategic decisions.

Leaders will have to explore innovative ways to transform finance and stay ahead of the curve. Forty-nine percent of CFOs say they don’t have the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) expertise they need on staff, according to recent research. And the staff they do have? Forty-seven percent say they’re burned out or moving on.

Statistical Snapshot: CFO Accounting Talent Sentiment & Challenges

Conditions like these have catalyzed investments in AI and automation, reprioritized process improvement, and ushered in a super bloom of outsourcing with year-over-year market growth hovering around 10 percent. Finance leaders are increasingly putting outsourcing to work for their teams and organizations, and you can, too. Here’s how:

Put Your Staff to Work on Unlocking Existing Finance Capabilities

accounting team looking out a building's window

Outsourcing financial tasks to specialized service providers is an excellent way to upskill your finance team for the future. By outsourcing routine tasks such as bookkeeping close, you free up your in-house talent to focus on higher-value activities, like data analytics and strategic financial planning.

You also free up the bandwidth and time required for professional development in finance and accounting that keeps employees engaged and equips them with the up-to-date skills your organization needs to stay ahead of the curve.

Checklist: 101 Tasks to Delegate to Virtual Accounting Teams

This not only enhances the efficiency of your finance team but also allows you to tap into specialized expertise and best practices offered by outsourcing partners. Outsourcing doesn’t just add top-notch accounting talent to your bench, it adds the entire spectrum of skills, knowledge, and capabilities they’ve cultivated.

Harness New Technology to Maximize Efficiency

finance team learning new technology to future proof their work

One of the key components of future-proofing your finance function is embracing technology.

Lately, the explosion in innovative tools and platforms — and the advanced technology that powers them — have CFOs feeling like they’re drinking from a firehose. There’s incredible stuff out there! But accessibility can be challenging, leaving some businesses at real risk of falling behind. Finance teams have unprecedented opportunities to enhance their financial capabilities and optimize entire systems, but talent and resource gaps keep those opportunities just out of reach.

Outsourcing bridges those gaps.

Take automation and artificial intelligence. Both can be deployed to streamline repetitive tasks, reduces errors, and allow finance professionals to focus on strategic activities. But before that can happen, someone needs to be able to:

  • Understand how AI or automation can be applied to existing processes

  • Develop the skills to build AI or RPA-powered processes or partner with an expert who already can

  • Document and deploy these newly automated processes — and then maintain them

  • Report on the results and make the required improvements

  • Implement it all at scale

The long-term benefits outweigh the short-term growing pains exponentially, but CFOs are not magicians — just preternaturally resourceful.

Podcast: The New CFO Playbook in the Age of Technology

The flexibility of an outsourcing that can absorb daily manual tasks while your team tackles top-heavy tech implementation and then pivot to supporting the results of all that work is all the magic they need.

Future-Proof Finance Planning Strategy With Data Analytics

hand touching data analytics and finance planning graphic

The current run on actionable analysis at scale (and its associated tools) feels a bit like the oil booms of last century, doesn’t it? Predictions and actionable insights derived from data are as transformative and carry similar potentially limitless returns, and fortune certainly favors the finance teams with the most proficiency in and fastest adoption of strategic data analysis.

However, building an in-house data analytics team can be resource-intensive, time consuming, and bear no fruit at all if organizations don’t know where to start. So, start by outsourcing data analytics tasks to specialized providers.

Find an outsourcing partner well-versed in handling large datasets and employing advanced analytics techniques to extract meaningful insights — or with ready access to the experts who can.

By collaborating with them, you can leverage this "digital gold" to make more informed financial decisions and "see around corners" to anticipate — and prepare for — whatever the market can throw at you.

Turn In-House Talent Into Agile, Empowered Finance Teams

in-house finance talent working in a futuristic office space

Agility is a core trait of a future-ready finance organization. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances, markets, and technologies is paramount. Strict, headcount-based SLAs have fallen out of favor in the outsourcing ecosystem, dethroned by flexible, scalable, client-focused solutions that can be executed nimbly onshore or off. Providers that provide solutions that wrap around an organization's accounting needs instead of forcing your unique business case into a rigid service structure are best equipped to help you leverage this benefit.

Moreover, outsourcing can help you create a culture of innovation within your finance team. Outsourcing partners often bring fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to problem-solving. By collaborating with them, you can infuse a culture of continuous improvement and innovation within your existing finance department.

Get Serious About ESG Initiatives

CFO explaining new ESG activities to his team

In the context of building future-focused finance as finance itself evolves in uncertain ways, CFOs can't ignore the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Whether the primary concern is in smart ESG investments or staying abreast of new and potential regulatory changes, ESG is increasingly becoming a part of financial planning and decision-making.

Outsourcing can play a vital role in helping finance teams integrate ESG considerations into strategic decision-making, updating compliance processes or internal controls, or even scenario planning. The opportunities are endless: from support with data collection and analysis to setting up the required (and desired) reporting frameworks to meet the necessary standards, outsourcing partners that specialize in accounting solutions will be equipped to hit the ground running.

To Realize Your Vision of Tomorrow, Future-Proof Finance Teams Today

finance executives discussing the best strategies to future-proof their department

Finance teams are no longer just the custodians of financial data; they are strategic partners that drive business growth. A future-ready finance organization is one that combines agility, innovation, and a strong cultural commitment to diversity and inclusion. Such teams are well-equipped to adapt to changing finance cycles, leverage cutting-edge technology, and provide actionable insights to support decision-making.

Outsourcing enables finance leaders to future-proof their operations, harness technology, access specialized expertise, operate sustainably and efficiently — and empower your finance team to unlock new capabilities and skills. It allows you to focus on what truly matters: making informed financial decisions that drive the growth and success of your organization.

Personiv has partnered with organizations for almost four decades by stripping away everything that outsourcing is "supposed to be" and providing wraparound services that support our clients' needs and goals. It's that simple: our clients tell us what they really need to focus on, and we create a solution that handles the rest to protect that focus.

Take a look at our solutions and how we've put them to work for legacy partners from diverse industry spaces in our case study library. When you're ready to get started, our finance SMEs and outsourcing experts are ready to hit the ground running — just give us a call.

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