Most company owners have at least entertained the idea of scrapping the idea of pricey, full-time, in-house controllers and hiring someone outside the organization to take on the task. In today's leaner-is-better economic environment, entities of all kinds and sizes are opting to move away from in-house controllers. What are the three basic situations where this strategy makes sense in relation to the size of the company doing the hiring?

  • Outsource controller for small businesses: Few small companies need to employ a full-time controller. In fact, the smaller the entity, the more common it is for owners to hire a third party to perform all or most of the controller functions.
  • Outsource controller for medium-sized businesses: Middle-sized firms often choose to outsource specific controller duties, like audit or acquisition prep, but keep an in-house accounting professional like a CFO to handle the remainder of the work.
  • Outsource controller for large companies: You'll typically find an outsource controller for large companies in situations where bigger organizations want to focus on core capabilities, like manufacturing or research, while hiring out the bulk of accounting-related controller duties to a third-party specialist.

Bringing In Outsourced Controllers

In truth, there are as many reasons to hire third-party controllers as there are companies. But speaking generally, organizations decide to hire an outsource controller for small businesses, an outsourced controller for medium-sized businesses, or an outsource controller for large companies based on one of five factors or a combination of factors. Below is a list of common factors

  • Support for an in-house CFO: An outsource controller often acts as support for an in-house team during periods of peak business or special company events.
  • There's no need for an in-house controller: Companies that just don't have the work volume to keep a full-time controller busy on a full-time basis usually turn to outsourcing the pertinent duties.
  • Transaction prep: If you need to prepare for an upcoming audit, sale, acquisition, merger, or special fund-raising activity, a third-party controller makes sense.
  • To cut expenses: Startups and smaller firms routinely hire outsourced controllers to reduce expenses for a few years until they've grown enough to justify the need for an in-house controller.
  • You need someone fast: An outsource controller often takes on complex tasks with little or no warning. Third-party controllers already have the training and skillsets to handle your controller-related chores in a "hit the ground running" fashion. That means you need not spend weeks or months searching for and hiring an in-house professional when you have a need for immediate help with a major job or special project.

Making the Decision

Our team here at Fusion CPA can act as an outsourced controller for companies of all sizes — we have the staff and the expertise to get the job done. Simply contact one of our team members to discuss your specific needs. Perhaps you just emerged from a growth spurt and need a temporary hand with putting your books in order, or need to prepare for an audit or merger. Regardless of the reason, we'll be happy to offer you a no-obligation consulting session so you can get a clearer idea of how to proceed. We look forward to hearing from you. You can learn more about our services by clicking the button below to schedule a complimentary discovery call today!


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