Options in a tightening Labor Market

Several economic factors are significantly impacting the hiring and retention practices for key finance and accounting personnel in every industry. However, many successful companies are counteracting these challenges by leveraging outsourcing strategies to gain efficiency, overcome staffing difficulties and better manage costs.

A significant shift is currently occurring with some economic indicators, Salaries are rising due to an increase in hiring with unemployment subsequently falling. With these challenges in mind, competition for talent is rising, so organizations will face numerous risks when looking to attract and retain skilled finance and accounting personnel.

Organizations require several unique characteristics and skill sets to effectively manage the finance and accounting function. These include:

  • The right systems and technology environment, as well as the clerical ability to turn data into actionable information
  • Effective management to understand industry regulations to accurately record and report information
  • Resources to make strategic decisions for budgeting, forecasting and spending
  • Tax strategy and technical accounting compliance knowledge to organize financial and management reporting within the organization

Unfortunately, these skills are all different, and finding a single individual with experience in each of these areas is often a challenge. Therefore, to fill each of these roles with qualified resources, organizations are increasingly implementing outsourcing strategies to take advantage of fractional resources with a myriad of diverse skill sets.

Attempting to hire one person with all the needed capabilities and a high salary is a risky proposition. The wrong hire can require additional resources, and higher costs to augment their skills with more outside assistance. However, hiring an outsourcing firm with finance and accounting capabilities allows businesses to focus on their core management decisions.

Hiring internal resources also comes with hidden costs, including benefits and training. In addition, with a competitive personnel environment, a productive employee may choose to leave, resulting in potential opportunity costs. However, an external firm that provides finance and accounting outsourcing provides a redundant system to leverage additional capabilities if someone goes on leave, a critical situation befalls someone, or if someone leaves for another opportunity.

Outsourcing can help combat hiring challenges with flexibility and coverage by leveraging standardized processes and technology solutions that help deliver necessary finance and accounting services. It provides a diverse skill set base with technical accounting skills, financial reporting and analysis, and an understanding of the business and key performance indicators that is difficult to replicate internally without a significant cost.

In many cases, firms with outsourcing capabilities can attract and retain a strong talent base by incenting employees with diverse opportunities. A situation where personnel experiences many different circumstances, environments and industries are often more attractive to qualified professionals than working in one singular location. Firms with outsourcing capabilities have a unique opportunity to attract scarce talent, by challenging employees with constant opportunities for growth, professionally and financially.