Replacing an In-House Finance Team With the Right Outsourced Accounting Solution is Easier Than You Think

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If you resource your finance team in-house, it’s hard to know when to manage your expectations, and when to ask for more. You may not be sure what “more” looks like, anyway. All you know is that you need more insight and more modernized processes than you have now. But because your current team ensures your clients are billed, while paying the bills and your employees on time, is that asking for too much?

Bob’s Your Uncle (BYU) didn’t think so. This integrated marketing agency took a chance with Finally, and replaced their in-house solution with our 100% outsourced accounting model.  

It’s been almost 2 years and we’re not looking back! We now have a fractional CFO who challenges us and guides us through our monthly financials. As leaders, we are more focused on key financial success measurements and benchmarking with our industry. Our team has  day-to-day contacts who are very responsive and proactive, and we spend less time on the administration of our finances with the new systems and streamlined processes.

Cora Brady, President of Bob’s Your Uncle

Bob’s Your Uncle’s Primary Business Problem

While there’s much to appreciate about an in-house solution, after many years, accounting systems and processes are likely to be stale and ineffective for timely financial analysis. Financial performance becomes impenetrable, and instead, the business ends up focusing on compliance.

Like many agencies with in-house accounting, BYU worked with desktop accounting software, physical docket bags, paper filing cabinets, and paper cheques. The Account team also didn’t have ready access to their financial reports: any time they needed information, they needed to request it through their accounting team. Without the agency knowing it, their systems were designed so that they had little transparency over their financial data.

BYU was looking for more progressive leadership who could guide their agency to work more effectively. And Finally knew that modernizing their processes was essential to building more transparency around their financial performance. 

Bob’s Your Uncle’s Accounting Goals

To take the leap and replace their in-house accounting solution, BYU needed assurance that an outsourced solution like Finally could meet their goals. Here’s what was on their list:

  • More transparency over data for the whole business. In the past, finance was historically a black box of information made only available on an as-needed basis.
  • Increased accountability of the business leads to the clients’ outcomes 
  • No barrier to entry when it came to team members’ ability to engage with their finances
  • A finance team who embraces efficiency and effectiveness, just like the rest of the team

In short, BYU’s finance team needed an update to evolve with the rest of the business. And because of Finally’s extensive experience supporting agencies and professional firms, we knew exactly how to bring them up to speed.

How Finally Helped Them Get There

Within 1 month, Finally had created a smooth transition process between the old and new guard. BYU’s daily interactions with their financials were faster and more transparent, and their clients could feel the newfound efficiency, too. Nothing slipped through the cracks.

After a month, we:

  • Moved BYU off legacy desktop systems and onto QBO and Function Point
  • Digitized the entire accounting cycle: no more docket bags, no more writing cheques, no more printing paper
  • Created transparency around the accounting data, empowering the account and production teams to assume more ownership of their clients’ financials
  • Incrementally replaced cash accounting with accrual accounting
  • Formalized the budgeting and forecasting process so BYU had much better visibility into the future
  • Empowered the leadership team to make informed decisions regarding requests for proposals (RFPs), fee negotiations, compensation design, and capacity management
  • Implemented much more timely and robust financial reporting. This allowed the management team to understand where to focus their efforts to increase profitability

It may feel like “rocking the boat” to replace your in-house accounting solution with an outsourced one. But settling for outdated systems and less transparency isn’t the answer, either. And as BYU learned, once you outsource your accounting team, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them:

The Finally team is quite simply awesome! I can sleep at night not worrying about what we may or may not know or understand when it comes to finance leadership and operations. Using tools like Slack, the Finally team is extremely responsive and on top of all our needs. Having lived the transition and now just over a year in, I honestly can’t think of a reason not to go with an outsourced model.

Cora Brady, President of Bob’s Your Uncle