By Michelle Jenkins, CPA
If you remember the TV show, “The Office,” they had an accounting and payroll team. It included Angela, Oscar and Kevin. When accountant “Angela” went on maternity leave, that department was essentially short staffed. Short staffing is a burden for owners, leaders and existing staff when it is temporary. What if the problem persists?
The U.S. unemployment rate, which is the percentage of eligible people actively looking for work in the country, was at 4% in January 2022. While some may argue that the pandemic has kept people away from applying for work, analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that declining labor force participation is going to happen anyway. As the youngest Boomers reach retirement age in 2030, they are not being replaced by new workers.
Among the solutions for ongoing staffing shortages are outsourcing as well as automation.
There are several advantages to outsourcing accounting services, payroll and other back office functions when you find the right third-party provider:
- Ongoing support for in-house accounting and finance leaders
- A finance department with strong internal controls
- Quickly adopted technology tools and automation
- Data organization, storage and security
- Less risk in the event of in-house staff turnover or retirement
Although you can select public accounting services that are separate from your outsourced payroll provider, you can also work with a CPA firm that delivers a full suite of client accounting and advisory services (CAAS). At Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, we offer CAAS through our comprehensive Solutions Advisory Services group.
Outsourced Advisory Guidance Through CAAS
CAAS is an outsourced professional service arrangement that goes beyond basic bookkeeping, reconciliation and tax compliance. It brings a consistent advisory component to owners and finance leaders through an experienced accountant, controller or CFO consulting. It is a tiered, one-fee arrangement with different levels of service (compliance, advisory, visionary) that helps organizations scale their finance function, especially when hiring is challenging and competitive.
If your company already has in-house accounting or finance leaders, our Solutions Advisory and our CAAS team deliver additional capacity as well as consulting supported by our CPA firm. We know your world and can act as a sounding board and independent consultant for important tax planning and business decisions.
For example, bringing an issue to the CAAS team can validate the finance leader’s decision, point out pitfalls and/or provide more options for that leader and stakeholders to consider. It is a far richer advisory experience with your CPA.
By automating certain functions of accounting and tax services, CAAS can also deliver efficiency and security that the organization may not be able to implement on its own — or as quickly. New tools require capital outlay, but also staff training and adoption. The CAAS team can identify the right tools for the organization while also supporting in-house team training and comfort level.
Transformation Through Real-Time Business Analysis
With more automated data and CFO-level oversight by the CAAS team, finance leaders and owners can transform the finance function from historical data reporting to real-time data analysis and forecasting on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Development of tailored reporting templates and algorithms can help your organization track specific key performance indicators, productivity, anticipated expenses and investments. Your finance team now has the capacity to run scenarios and plan ahead for expenses, investments and tax impacts.
Ultimately, a CAAS team relationship helps the organization operate with fewer manual transactions, a well-trained staff and more available data for forecasting and planning. This outsourced arrangement does begin with a set-up investment, but over time it can contribute significantly to your cash flow and profits.
In anticipation of a prolonged staffing shortage, making the move to CAAS through our Solutions Advisory Services can bring your organization financial clarity and peace of mind for the future.
If you have questions about how to get started with CAAS and how it might work for you, reach out to Michelle Jenkins, CPA, Partner and Department Head of the Solutions Advisory Services group here at Anglin.
View our Solutions Advisory Services