Small and medium Enterprises (/Businesses) (SMEs/SMBs) worldwide are driving significant growth in today’s economy and have a cumulative influence on the agility of the marketplace. To keep pace with the current exigent market scenario, SMEs should try to optimise their technological foundation and delivery & operational models. For instance, finance executives looking for new approaches to optimize business performance should start with easy processes and low hanging fruits of the finance & accounting which are not core to the business but are important functions on their own, and in an attempt to save precious little time and resources for everyday activities. One major challenge in F&A is that organisations are trying to drive quality, standardisation and transparency across fragmented processes.
According to a research by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), UK in 2015, SMBs are losing nearly £2.9 billion due to unqualified finance staff which implies there is skills gap which can be easily fulfilled by an external service provider rather than going through a tedious and costly hiring and training process.
SMEs need to consider the value they are getting out from outsourcing, rather than just follow the trend or because they just do not want to do it. For SMEs, outsourcing processes would be beneficial when these fall into any of the following three categories:
In addition, the presence of an external, objective and expert vendor can reduce the possibility of fudging of numbers, and thus improve the corporate governance process. Finding the right contractors is not easy for SMBs, nevertheless they should take into account someone who can offer the right value combined with the way the outsourcing arrangement is managed, rather than thinking on the lines of who is the biggest or where the service provider is. However, for both client and vendor to be on the same page, it is essential that they have clearly-defined key responsibility areas (KRAs) and confidentiality agreements. SMEs need to partner with vendors who can achieve automation of time-consuming mundane tasks; leverage data science to provide reliable, predictable and accurate financial information, alongside maintaining transparency over both internal operations and customer preferences.
Author: Debaleena Debnath and Suraj Poddar
Debaleena is a digital media consultant, and Suraj is the founder and CEO @ speradigital.
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