Finance as a Service: Get Grants, Access Expertise, Move Forward!

For finance teams, it hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses recently, and for businesses without an in-house finance team, it must seem like the complexities of our post-viral world have reached (and gone past) fever pitch.

The pandemic, the transition to flexible working hours (is a home-schooling lunch tax-deductible?!), wage subsidy schemes, the never-ending ebb and flow of employees periodically unable to work due to sickness and isolation… even for seasoned finance professionals, it has been utterly baffling.

And there’s more to come, as finance and business models now need to be completely rewritten to accommodate an increasingly home-based staff regime, a reliance on remote talent, initiatives to tempt back those lost to richer pandemic pickings elsewhere, and so much more that there simply aren’t the hours in the day for many finance departments – and businesses that run without one – to accomplish everything.

No wonder, then, that finance teams feel under-supported. Does it need to be this way?

No, because outsourcing the finance function is a viable alternative. Just as there is SAAS – software as a service – there’s the equivalent in the form of organisations whose network of professionals can fulfil one or many of the finance-related functions required by businesses on a permanent, per-project, additional support, or full-service basis.

So, what’s the catch?

There isn’t one – the benefits are easily demonstrable, but it’s how you go about accessing and funding them that is of course critical – and we explore both points below.

 

Save money, save money, and save more money

Firstly, whilst you can’t expect to outsource your finance function for free, you can expect to make a hefty saving compared to the cost of a new hire.

An experienced Finance Director (FD) can cost anywhere from €75k to €175k per year. By working with an organisation such as EFM, however, you can call on an experienced FD for a fraction of that cost, for as little, or as long, as you may need them.

No hidden costs, no additional overheads such as pension, PAYE, holidays etc to consider, and you’re also likely to save money on tax, as expert financial leadership also embraces business improvement advice.

Scale as needed and mitigate risk

You are in control. You choose how involved the FD and the outsourced team become, and when you need to turn it up or indeed turn down the support.

It’s a pay-as-you-go arrangement. You don’t have the worry about hiring the wrong person and all the costs that come with recruitment in a picky, post-pandemic world.

Plus, if you outsource the finance arrangement, you don’t have the set-up costs and implementation headaches associated with the complex digital applications and tools that are now all but obligatory to comply with regulatory requirements and their challenging deadlines.

Get somebody else to pay for it

But perhaps best of all, this arrangement is attractive to businesses because grants are available to pay for it!

Yes, you read that right. A €5k business finance planning grant (BFPG) is now available to contribute towards your financial planning needs, and all you have to do to apply for this is to engage with an approved outsourced financial consultant (like EFM) to deliver the finance services.

The grant is intended to provide strategic intervention and help companies to work with a third party consultant to:

  • understand their immediate liquidity issues
  • create a financial plan to secure the external finance they require
  • have a framework to manage the finances of the business

But it gets better. Because from there, the outcome can be an application to the SEF (Sustaining Enterprise Fund) for more support, with access to a non-repayable grant of up to 50% of a funding package and additional loan options.

  • 50% grant funding available.
  • Loans up to €800,000 available.
  • No repayments for the first 3 years.
  • Zero administration fee for the first 6 months – 4% thereafter.

This funding is time-limited and due to close in December 2021, so time is of the essence! It is open to manufacturing or internationally traded services companies that employ more than 10 people, that have been impacted by the pandemic. There are some further eligibility criteria to consider, but EFM can help you navigate this.

It’s fair to say that the BFPG grant is not simply a tool, however, to unlock SEF funding – it’s a valuable exercise in itself, which gives great insight into the financial health of a business that is really looking to go places.

So, in short, working with an outsourced partner such as EFM can help you save money and secure funding. It’s always comforting to know you’ve got an ally. Particularly one that comes with Government approval and pays its way!

 

Get in touch for more information – Contact info@efmireland.ie