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Q&A Forum

Accounting & Finance For Multi-Location Companies

Your company has multiple locations, both in-state, out of state and out of country.

How would you deploy your (accounting/finance) staff?

If you were to decentralize, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

What about just having a central staff?


Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Some pointers:
1. Domestically, how complex and large are your state based reporting needs? In some states maybe you outsource to a CPA firm.
2. Internationally, make sure you know local regulations around nominating a "responsible person" to handle local compliance reporting (could be a local CPA firm); also do you need a good person on the ground to manage the financial decision making with local management?
3. System wise: can you deploy your system in multiple countries and still keep your data intact? Does it support 1. multiple entities, 2. FX translation, 3. Inter- company transactions.

Central staff need to learn how to engage with remote colleagues and become good at it, to cope with different time zones, cultures, GAAP rules locally. They may need to travel there on occasion to succeed in this.

Ross Anderson, CPA, MBA
Title: Controller
Company: TFS Capital
(Controller, TFS Capital) |

I have worked for a multinational corporation in the corporate office, and boy can it be nuts. We were highly decentralized, meaning that consolidating everything could be. The consolidations manager is now in a different country integrating an acquisition. Figuring out inventory for tax purposes was nuts. But it made the job interesting, that's for sure.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

New accounting systems (and dare I say apps...and technology in general) negate the need for decentralized environments. It may NOT be a fully centralized environment but something in between.


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