One way to address the talent shortage

Deloitte’s Chris Chiriatti walks through the business case for “cosourcing.”
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· 4 min read

We get it: Your teams are overworked, understaffed, and taking on tasks outside of their typical purview.

Enter cosourcing. It’s not a cure-all, but the teaming approach, in which external finance and accounting professionals work alongside internal teams, can help CFOs pledge more time to strategic initiatives, according to Chris Chiriatti, managing director in Deloitte’s national office accounting and reporting services group. Here, we chat with Chiriatti about the benefits and key skills associated with cosourcing.

This interview has been condensed for length and clarity.

What are the basics of cosourcing as a teaming approach?

I think it’s maybe best to describe an example of some of the things we’ve done. One example is a company lost a technical accounting reporting director, and the organization was looking to fill that need until they [could] find a permanent replacement. What we did is we really understood what that individual’s role was: what their responsibilities were, and what were the outcomes they were driving toward. And that individual might be reviewing in one quarter revenue contracts and in a different quarter lease contracts, and might then have to prepare financial statement disclosures and update it for new accounting standards. And it might be very hard to find an individual that can do all that.

But we developed a cosourced solution where we have maybe a revenue expert look at revenue contracts, and a lease expert look at lease contracts, and someone who has good acumen in financial reporting help with the disclosures and financial statement reviews. So it’s taking the needs of a lost resource and replacing it with a service that delivers the same outcomes with maybe different resources that are appropriately skilled to really address the client needs.

What are some best practices or key skills that teams should keep in mind and look out for in a cosourcing relationship?

From our standpoint, best practices is meeting our clients where they are, [and] recognizing that every organization’s needs are going to be slightly different. I think from a skill set standpoint, what we do is we recognize and identify maybe the missing skill sets and get the right resources deployed against those. And then as we engage with our clients, [it] creates opportunities to unlock additional opportunities where maybe there’s other areas where we can look at things a little bit differently or deploy a slightly different skill set, all with an auditor’s mindset because we are leveraging the breadth and depth of the audit insurance practice to kind of bring that type of mindset and skill set.

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So, it’s not a one-skill-set miss. It's really identifying what are all of the potential areas that a cosourced solution can provide optimal outcomes to?

If you were to sit down with a CFO and give them the ultimate business case of why they should consider cosourcing, what would your big picture argument be?

It’s recognizing that the financial reporting landscape continues to evolve, and with resources being constrained as they are, it’s very difficult for anyone within an organization—CFOs in particular—to be able to see all and be all. And leveraging the service provider who has the breadth and capabilities of really all the different disciplines can bring the right resources to the right needs at the right time.

And at the same time, provide industry insights to help really guide an organization through change, or even just address the status quo if that’s where they are in their life cycle. [It also releases] capacity for the CFO to go focus on more strategic things, and that’s that's really a key benefit of cosourcing. It’s being able to leverage down workstreams not to an individual FTE but to an organization who can address the needs differently to unlock that capacity for the CFO or CEO to focus on on more strategic initiatives.

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CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.