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Team Talk: how outsourcing is working for CFG

In 2022, as we headed out of the pandemic and into a cost of living crisis, CFG outsourced part of its finance function to enable the team to focus on broader challenges and opportunities. Read on to find out what we did, how we did it and what we learned.



Everything we do at CFG is led by our goal to enable purpose-led organisations to deliver more impact to their causes, so it’s essential that our own operations are efficient, streamlined and innovative.

Typical of many small to medium-sized charities, CFG relies on a team whose responsibilities often involve more than one function or discipline. CFG’s Director of Finance and Operations, Rui Domingues, is responsible for finance, technology, HR, risk, governance, facilities, insurance and more.

Rui explains: “Charity leaders often find themselves wearing many different hats and stepping into different roles and tasks when needed, especially in the smaller organisations. In my role, I might be working on forecasting one day and overseeing a recruitment or election process the next.”

Following a three-month period of market research and due diligence, CFG asked business service specialist SKS to support them by taking over some the day-to-day finance functions. Their role was to backfill tasks such as invoicing and payment runs, enabling a CFG finance officer to study for ACCA qualifications.

Rui continues: “During the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis, business as usual was anything but. We were seeing much more complexity within the business and at the same time we were looking to take advantage of more opportunities, such as loans, grants and new income streams.

“The decision to outsource some of our financial tasks wasn’t taken lightly. It was crucial to us that we selected the right partner, one who shared our values and operated ethically. We did a lot of due diligence to ensure the right fit and feel confident in our choice.”

One of the areas Rui and his team have been working on in the past two years is CFG’s people strategies, including recruitment, retention and resourcing. For many charities, attracting and retaining the right talent – and shaping organisational culture post-pandemic – has been a significant challenge.

“With SKS taking care of the day-to-day business of finance, it has meant that I am able to focus on many of those other, vital, aspects of my role and spend more time on the strategic directions of the organisation, and support my team. Since we took that decision to outsource, we haven’t looked back.”

Our approach and what we learned

  • The right fit for us: First and foremost we needed to find an accountancy firm that we were confident would offer a personalised level of service and efficient responses to queries. SKS is a medium-sized company with a senior UK team that is available to attend client, finance team and board meetings and every client has a dedicated account manager.
  • Finding the right expertise: SKS seemed a good match for us, as the company works with more 200 charities and not-for-profits, and has expertise in areas such as restricted funds and Gift Aid.
  • Shared values: Their team comprises UK and India-based employees. The team in India receive above-average salaries and regular training, ensuring they are chartered and fully qualified. It was vital for us that we worked with an organisation that shared our same values and ethics.
  • Communication is key: We hold weekly video calls with a dedicated SKS account manager and an India-based team of finance specialists. They also carry out six-monthly service reviews to ensure that high service standards are maintained consistently.
  • Value for money: The experience of partnering with SKS has been a positive one and has enabled us to utilise our funds in a very effective and efficient way, maximising the skillset of our staff and enabling them to grow.

Has outsourcing been effective?

Rui continues: "The partnership has worked very well and currently we retain a team of three SKS accountants to help us with statutory accounts, management accounts, VAT returns, data processing, and audit readiness.

“SKS seamlessly runs our day-to-day financial operations in the background. We can count on timely and accurate reports and consistency of service.

“I find I enjoy my role much more now that I don’t have to do two jobs when someone is away. I can concentrate on putting CFG in the best financial position possible to support our charity members."


With thanks to the team at SKS Business Services for contributing to this Team Talk case study. If you would like to find out more about SKS and outsourcing, visit the SKS website.



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