How outsourcing your finance function can help bridge the skills gap

Catriona Love

Catriona Love

Business Advisory Manager

Following the challenges of the pandemic and Brexit, the UK continues to face a finance skills shortage. According to a recent survey more than four fifths of Chief Finance Officers in the UK and US are struggling to recruit.

The ongoing adoption of emerging technologies is placing further strain on the skills gap. Recent research suggests that many finance leaders fear their businesses do not have the deep technical knowledge within their teams to identify and address complex accounting issues. Neither is increased automation a replacement for the many finance functions that most businesses require.

At Johnston Carmichael we have an established outsourced finance services team which can bridge the skills gap on both a temporary or more permanent basis, according to business needs. Our team incorporates qualified specialists who have worked in both industry and practice and can provide all the services supplied by an in-house finance department; from setting up accounting systems, to reporting to the Board, and everything in-between.

To succeed in a fast-moving regulatory environment and uncertain economic outlook, it is vital that businesses have access to real time financial information, providing accurate and timely data to inform decision making and stay on top of accounting processes, controls, and compliance deadlines.

Generally, clients seek support when they are experiencing rapid growth, having resourcing challenges, or embarking on new ventures - such as commencing projects or opening a new location - and want to spend more time on the operations. We can be an extension of the team or in some cases, especially for owner-managed businesses, we are the team. Among the most sought-after services are full maintenance of accounts payable and receivables, VAT compliance, month end processing and management accounts, cashflow, and forecasting. Other options include set up of accounting systems, audit preparation, payroll, statutory accounts preparation, provision of corporate tax returns, and secondments to provide short term in-house support. As these services are bespoke, they can be fully flexible – providing a scalable solution that saves time and money which can be invested in the business.

Regular client focus meetings take place to provide and receive updates, as well as ensure oversight of everything we do. This is especially important for owner-operated businesses where we are providing a full finance function, and senior executives do not have accountancy expertise and want to invest more time in the business. 

With almost 900 people across Scotland, the north of England and London, a key benefit of outsourced finance is that our clients can access the wider expertise across the firm, as well as international reach through our membership of Moore Global. By taking a proactive approach to fully understanding the needs and strategic ambitions of businesses we can also introduce technology and sector knowledge that adds further value.

For smaller, owner-operated businesses, outsourced finance services provides peace of mind that their finance function is in hand; helping business leaders to get on with the day job.

For more information, please contact myself, or a member of the Outsourced Finance Services team.

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