Benefits and Drawbacks Of Using Temporary Accounting Resources

By: James Elder

James Elder

Director

Benefits and Drawbacks of Temporary Accounting Resources

It’s that time of the year again when finance professionals and accountants begin to realize what they are and are not going to be able to accomplish before the end of the year with their current resources. You may have already committed to putting a new system in place, implementing new processes, changing the budget cycle or catching up on the backlog of items on your to-do list. Should you stretch the current staff to the max to get you over the finish line, bring on some interim resources, or hire someone full time? Or, implement some combination of all three solutions?

You don’t want to overburden your staff, and bringing someone on full-time means a lot of hurdles to jump through, and will have a lasting impact on the organization. So, you’re seriously considering adding a temporary staff member to the accounting team to get through the busy season. What are the benefits and potential drawbacks of this solution?

Benefits

Ability to bring someone on at a higher level than you need. This allows you to hit the ground running with this resource. Not only should you be bringing on someone that has done the type of work before, you should be adding a resource with the communication skills to keep things moving forward.
Take excessive burden off your team. There are only a certain number of hours in a day and people are the most important resource of any organization. With year-end fast approaching the calendar gets booked with everything from budgets, to year-end close, and preparing for the Audit and Tax work. Your team is already going to need to ramp up productivity to deliver on the basics. It will be difficult to start a new project and finish before year end.
Flexibility. Demands constantly change. You may want your team to focus on the day to day and have a consultant tackle the project. Or vice-versa. There are situations where new systems are being implemented and the focus of the existing accounting group needs to be on the upgrade. Having a resource take on daily responsibilities allowing existing resources to focus on process improvements is huge.

Drawbacks

Finding the right person. You need more than a ‘box-checker’ or ‘task-master’. Leveraging your network to find someone who has the same urgency as you is critical. This is easier said than done – focus on abstract thinking skills and a consultant that will take ownership of the problem/project. Bringing on the wrong person can be costly and ultimately add more burden to your existing team.
Cost. An interim resource may be more expensive than a full time one. This is a function of their knowledge, skillset and flexibility. The right resource for you should be one that brings value to your organization in whatever assignment they are tasked with.

Clearview can help you determine what the best solution is. We can identify the right resources that will fit with your requirements and your culture. Additionally, Clearview is a full service accounting/consulting firm, so no matter what resource we provide they have the full backing and support of our organization. With questions on this topic, feel free to reach out to us at info@cviewllc.com .

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