The Comprehensive Guide to Outsourced Finance Departments: Benefits, Costs, and Best Practices

09 January 2024

In an era where efficiency and expertise are paramount, the concept of an Outsourced Finance Department has emerged as a game-changer for businesses of all sizes. With the promise of reduced costs, enhanced efficiency, and access to top-tier financial expertise, the allure of outsourcing finance functions is hard to ignore. But what does it really entail, and is it the right move for your business?
^Can we squeeze in the term Finance as a Service (FaaS) – an emerging term.

What is an Outsourced Finance Department?

An outsourced finance department is a third-party service provided by expert firms to manage your business’s financial functions. This arrangement differs from traditional in-house finance departments in its flexibility, scalability, and often, a more comprehensive range of services. And it differs from your traditional accountant, who’s focused more on red-tape, compliance and tax filings. An outsourced finance department can consolidate all these services, with minimal fuss through a single provider.


Benefits of Outsourcing Your Finance Department

  1. Cost Savings: Outsourcing can be more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
  2. Access to Expertise: Benefit from top-level financial expertise without the expense of hiring full-time senior finance professionals.
  3. Focus on Core Business: Free up internal resources to focus on your core business activities.
  4. Scalability: Easily scale your financial services to match business growth without the need to hire additional staff.

Exploring Key Roles in a Finance Function: Essential Players in Financial Management

In the intricate world of financial management, the finance function plays a pivotal role in steering a company’s fiscal direction. Understanding the key positions within this function is crucial for businesses aiming to establish a solid financial foundation. This article explores five essential roles in a finance function: Chief Financial Officer, Finance Business Partner, Financial Controller, Accounts Technician, and Payroll Specialist.

1. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

  • Overview: The CFO holds the top financial position in a company, providing strategic leadership in financial decision-making.
  • Key Responsibilities: Overseeing financial planning, managing risks, record-keeping, financial reporting, and guiding senior executives in making critical financial decisions.
    ^Acting as your voice managing key stakeholders.

2. Finance Business Partner

  • Overview: This role involves a strategic blend of financial expertise and business acumen to support and guide different departments.
  • Key Responsibilities: Advising department heads on financial planning and budget management, interpreting financial data to inform business decisions, and fostering a link between finance and other business areas.
    ^Key contact with people across business, project manager to make sure things get done.

3. Financial Controller

  • Overview: The Financial Controller oversees the day-to-day operations of the finance department, ensuring accuracy and compliance.
  • Key Responsibilities: Managing accounting records, overseeing audit and internal control processes, preparing financial statements, and ensuring compliance with accounting standards and legal requirements.
    ^Making transition from cash to accrual accounting.

4. Accounts Technician

  • Overview: This role encompasses the responsibilities of accounts payable and receivable clerks, focusing on the management of incoming and outgoing funds.
  • Key Responsibilities: Processing invoices, managing company ledgers, handling payroll, preparing budgets, and maintaining accurate financial records.
    ^Others might call this bookkeeping.

5. Payroll Specialist

  • Overview: Payroll Specialists ensure that employees are paid correctly and on time, and they manage all aspects of payroll processing.
  • Key Responsibilities: Calculating wages and applicable deductions, processing payroll, maintaining payroll records, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and tax obligations.
    ^CIMA whitepaper – importance of process and changing where we are spending time.

The Benefits of a Well-Rounded Finance Team

1. Diverse Skill Sets

  • Overview: A team with a mix of skills can handle a wide range of financial tasks – from basic bookkeeping to strategic financial planning.
  • Impact: This diversity prevents the overreliance on a single individual, ensuring that both routine tasks and complex financial issues are addressed competently.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

  • Overview: Hiring a team with varied levels of expertise can be more cost-effective than employing a single high-level expert.
  • Impact: Small businesses can allocate resources more efficiently, paying for the level of expertise needed for each specific task.

3. Flexibility and Scalability

  • Overview: A team can adapt and scale its efforts according to the business’s changing needs.
  • Impact: As the business grows, the finance team can adjust without the need for drastic restructuring.

4. Collaborative Problem-Solving

  • Overview: Teamwork fosters collaboration, bringing different perspectives to financial problem-solving.
  • Impact: This collaborative approach can lead to more innovative solutions and robust financial strategies.

5. Continuity and Risk Management

  • Overview: With a team, the departure of a single member doesn’t leave a knowledge vacuum.
  • Impact: This ensures continuity in financial operations and reduces the risk associated with dependency on one individual.
    ^Covers segregation of duties and cover if people move on.

Enhancing Existing Finance Teams

For businesses with an existing finance expert or team, the goal is not to replace but to enhance and complement:

  • Integration and Support: We can work alongside your current finance expert, integrating additional skills and support to cover all financial aspects of your business.
  • Building Around Strengths: By understanding the strengths of your current team, we can build around them, filling in gaps and providing a more comprehensive financial strategy.
  • Collaborative Growth: Our approach fosters a collaborative environment, encouraging knowledge sharing and professional growth within your existing team.
  • Addressing the Challenge of Limited Training and Development: If you’re the only finance person it can be lonely, with no-one to bounce ideas off.
  • Peer Learning: Team members, both existing and new, can learn from each other, sharing knowledge and skills.
  • Professional Development: A team can collectively participate in training and development programs, keeping everyone updated with the latest financial practices.
  • External Support: Supplementing your internal team with external advisors or consultants can bring specialized knowledge and training.

^If you’re looking to grow your own internal team, we can help with the recruitment process.

Choosing the Right Outsourced Finance Partner

Selecting the right partner is crucial. Consider their:

  • Experience and Reputation: Look for firms with a proven track record.
  • Technology and Security: Ensure they use up-to-date and secure technology.
  • Compliance: Check their adherence to regulatory standards.

The Process of Transitioning

Transitioning to an outsourced model involves:

  1. Defining Scope: Clearly outline the services required.
  2. Selecting a Provider: Based on thorough research and vetting.
  3. Transition Planning: Work closely with the provider to ensure a smooth transition.

Cost Analysis

While costs vary, outsourcing can lead to significant savings compared to the salary, benefits, and overheads of a full in-house team. A detailed cost-benefit analysis can provide a clearer picture.



Q: How secure is financial data with an outsourced partner?
A: Reputable providers use advanced security measures to protect data.

Q: Can outsourcing handle all sizes of businesses?
A: Yes, providers typically offer scalable services suitable for any business size.



Outsourcing your finance department can be a strategic move, offering cost savings, efficiency, and access to expert financial services. By carefully selecting the right partner and planning the transition, businesses can reap significant benefits.

Ready to explore how an outsourced finance department can benefit your business?

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