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If you were insourcing your finance department and function after years of having it out sourced to a third party, what would your approach be?

Jerry Miller's Profile


Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Start with the outsource vendor contract. I am sure there is an attachment that identifies every service performed. Take a look and decide what tasks are critical and what tasks are missing. Develop a plan to phase in the tasks as you hire. I recommend building top down. The first hire should have a broad knowledge base and be responsible for documenting policies and procedures. This approach allows you to build slowly. Depending on how long you have outsourced this function will dictate how long it will take to build the function in-house. If you rush it, errors will occur and money will be wasted. Build a plan - track, measure and adjust as needed. Goodluck

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |

Agreeing with Regis, but with a different spin:
You are not growing a finance function, but essentially transplanting one. Normally you build slowly from the middle. Here you need a team-maker, and to Regis' point, start at the top. Hire a CFO, and let them architect the shop, hire the people, etc.

What you don't want to do is insource in dribs and drabs. What systems are they going to choose? Will those systems work together? Will the people make a good team? Etc... Insource to a plan, and let the CFO architect that.

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

The knowledge transfer, overlap of resources, hand-off, and subsequent follow-up / trouble shooting should be detailed / negotiated in the transition plan.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

When a company outsources its functions the first step is to fully document the process and all transactions that get recorded. The outsourcer, whether they are local in your city or based in India, first completes that documentation step. During the documentation step, the outsourcer generally assigns staff to those areas, and during the transistion the outsourced staff will train on site with your team and refine the documentation. The end result should be a clean hand off. As process changes occur the outsourcer will update their procedures.

Acquiring the procedures back from the outsourcer, or obtaining a current copy of every procedure they handle will be critical in determining how to restaff that area.

The steps to outsource will be the same steps to in source. You will need a project manager in your accounting team, or a few depending on how large your organization is, and you will need a PM on the HR side as well to handle the hiring and help you to establish job descriptions.

If you can get the documentation back, and you should be able to, you should be able to reconstruct your department with about a 3 month getting up to speed time.

You might try hiring a project manager for the accounting side of the equation who has had experience on the outsourcing side, say from a CPA firm who has an outsourced accounting practice for mid size businesses and hire them in on a consulting assignment to help you manage the transition so you can focus on hiring.

The accounting will not be hard to transistion, the IT component will take some more thought since you probably have to reconfigure your technology on site or make a cloud decision.

Think of this project as a 3 month onboarding, while still needing the outsourcer to complete the workload, and an additional 3 month period to stabilize as the new supervisors and controllers get things under control.

Do this in Q2, not Q3 or Q4.


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