Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What is an outsourced controller?

There are certain business types that are well suited to using an outsourced controller in lieu of hiring a full time employee.  Knowing the attributes of an excellent outsourced controller will help you make this organizational choice a success.

What is an Outsourced Controller?
An outsourced resource of any kind typically refers to a person who is not a full time employee of the Company, instead working less than full time and being paid as a 1099 supplier.  
Unlike an interim assignment that usually has a start and end date, hiring an outsourced controller is typically an open ended engagement that provides for a consultant to act as the Company’s controller.  These are often 1 - 3 day per week assignments rather than full time.  There are several key reasons this type of arrangement is more beneficial to a Company than hiring a full time controller.

Benefits of Outsourcing vs. Hiring
The number one reason a Company chooses an outsourced controller over a permanent full time employee is to not only spend less money on this role, but to make that spending a completely variable cost.  Hiring an outsourced person for two days a week means you can hire a much higher caliber of candidate than you may be able to attract (or afford) as a full time employee.  Because this outsourced person is much more experienced, you will often see savings in other service provider fees, such as audit and tax, because the outsourced controller knows how to negotiate with and manage these resources.  Finally, you will elevate the learning environment in your organization by bringing in a high performing outsourced resource who instinctively teaches others how to make their tasks more efficient and effective.