How big should your finance team be in a small business?


When you start your own business, you might not consider just how many areas of the business you need to cover which includes finance. However, a finance team is vital for handling different areas such as payroll, bookkeeping, collecting, preparing accounts, and producing important documents for HMRC. This is only a fraction of the different tasks a finance team carries out within a business.

Once you recognise that you need to organise a finance team, the next question is: 'How big does it need to be?' You might not know of the different roles that make up a finance team or understand what they actually do for your business. We are here to break this down for you to help you find the correct option for you.

What are the roles that make up a finance department?

Three different roles create an ideal finance department. This includes a Bookkeeper, a Financial Controller, and a Finance Director (or CFO). Each of these different roles focuses on different sections of the finance department. Here is a brief idea of what each role includes:

A bookkeeper is responsible for recording and maintaining a business's financial transactions. Any purchases, expenses, invoices, or payments go through the bookkeeper.

A Financial Controller has a much wider responsibility set which will vary depending on the size and scale of the business. However, a large majority of the role includes providing financial management and assisting with creating accounting plans.

A Finance Director will take the strategic lead in the finances of the business. They will oversee cash management, take the lead on raising finance & help guide business decisions.

Although these roles are entirely different from one another, a lot of small businesses make the mistake of hiring one with the expectation that they can complete the tasks of all three roles. Unfortunately, it does not always work like this if an employee is an expert in bookkeeping, they are unlikely to match in the expertise of the strategic analysis side of the department.

So, should I hire in-house or outsource?

Now you know that each role is fundamental in making up a finance department, how do you go about filling those positions?

If you are running a small business, you might be in a position where you do not have the money to have a full finance team therefore, outsourcing could be a great option. By doing this, you can have a snippet of each of the roles combined into one package for your business. Along with this, you receive the expertise of somebody who has been in the accountancy field and knows about handling businesses from start-ups to scale-up businesses.

Outsourcing allows your business to grow whilst growing with you making it extremely scalable. You can take what you need from outsourcing and add/minus responsibilities to suit the business needs. This is compared to hiring in-house and paying somebody a full salary when you might not need them full-time. Therefore, if you are weighing up your options from a cost perspective, outsourcing could be a much more affordable option to help your business grow.

How can we help?

At Crisp Accountancy, we firmly believe in working in partnership with our clients instead of simply being hired by them. Within this, our key focus is on both independence and accountability meaning that we are quite comfortable having tough conversations if we believe it is best for you and your business.

If you are looking to build a finance team of your own and would like some advice on how to choose the best option for you, you can contact us here.