If there’s one thing economists can agree on, it’s this: We may or may not be headed toward a recession, at some undetermined point in time. It might be brief or prolonged. It could be mild or severe. We might even be in a recession already.
Today’s economic uncertainty is both unsettling and difficult to plan around, especially when it comes to staffing. The pandemic-fueled Great Resignation, and the fact that fewer people are entering the accounting profession, has left many organizations and firms struggling to attract and retain talent. And while sectors like technology are already seeing layoffs as companies grapple with rapidly rising costs, others need to staff up — yet they face a dearth of qualified candidates.
For CFOs and accounting firm managing partners, it makes for an incredibly challenging time from several perspectives:
Finance teams are under pressure to forecast the business’ performance accurately amidst this unprecedented uncertainty.
Finance and accounting teams aren’t immune to the turnover problem, as qualified employees capitalize on a tight labor market to gain more money, more responsibility, or better work-life balance.
Ever-changing tax regulations and requirements are creating year-round tax seasons that are driving those in public accounting to look for more predictable industry positions.
Long-standing, inaccurate, “number-cruncher” perceptions about the job performed by accountants is leading those choosing a career to pursue other professions.
In this environment, many are taking a fresh look at the outsourced model as a potential solution to these challenges.
What’s driving finance outsourcing
At one time, outsourcing was perceived solely as a way to replace in-house full-time equivalent with a lower-cost, more flexible contract workforce. Today, it’s viewed more holistically as a strategic approach that can help businesses and firms achieve their objectives and gain a competitive advantage by supplementing (rather than displacing) in-house teams and finding alternative options for hard-to-fill roles.
When finance and accounting functions are outsourced, reasons like the following are often the impetus.