FAQ

 

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about outsourcing and BTQ's services.  If you don't see your inquiry here, please contact us and we will be happy to get back with you with a reply.

  • What are the benefits of outsourcing back-office operations?

    Three reasons why organizations outsource their back office operations include:

    1)  Increased Quality

    An investment in outsourced fiscal systems aligns job functions with highly-skilled team of professionals. This translates to increased quality in input and output of financial data; better systems; cross-trained staff; better supervision and review of operations; and access to sophisticated technology to improve work flow. 

    Additionally, at BTQ, each client has contact with a team of financial problem solvers.  In-house CFOs may have a limited professional network whereas outsource CFOs have many fiscal professionals within the same office who often face similar obstacles and challenges. This access to expertise allows strategic decision makers the ability to test and refine policies and practices with a supportive group of colleagues.

    2)  Improved Internal Controls

    Outsourced fiscal departments are capable of obtaining a higher quality of internal controls through segregations of duties, fiscal transparency, and fraud prevention.  BTQ is better able to separate critical job functions, develop strategies and processes to protect your financial data, and perform internal auditing and external reviews to reduce the likelihood of fraud. BTQ's platform offers the highest industry standards for supervision and oversight of financial data.

    3)  Reduced Costs

    Comprehensive outsourcing allows a more cost effective mix of finance professionals than a smaller in-house team. For example, the job functions of fiscal staff can be distributed among a junior accountant, senior accountant, and CFO. While this allocation better fits the needs of the organization and skill level of the required staff, more importantly, it allows transactional work to be done in a more cost effective way. An outsourcing model allows you to hire just the amount of staff you need for each job function. 

    In addition, outsource providers have made capital investments in integrated and sophisticated fiscal systems that streamline workflow and lower transaction costs. This investment allows BTQ to take advantage of efficiencies of scale in processing financial data.  At the same time, nonprofit clients receive the benefit of a high level system without the additional infrastructure cost.

  • What gives BTQ its competitive edge?

    BTQ is majority nonprofit owned and nonprofit focused.

    BTQ was founded to deliver quality financial management to the nonprofit sector. We are committed to improving the quality and usefulness of financial reports and at the same time lowering the cost of accounting and financial services for these organizations. Our breadth of knowledge ensures that we are prepared to respond to the unique challenges of the sector.

    BTQ can handle all aspects of a nonprofit's fiscal operations.

    BTQ offers a comprehensive suite of services that can meet the needs of nearly any nonprofit organization.

    BTQ has a proven track record of success.

    Our clients range from start-up firms requiring all-new financial systems, to well-managed nonprofits looking for efficiencies and cost savings and established organizations in need of fiscal turnaround.

    New clients are typically referred through word-of-mouth from our satisfied nonprofits and client board members. Our reputation for quality, performance and leadership within the nonprofit community is something we take pride in.

    BTQ is located in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. 

    Our company has access to an experienced pool of finance professionals and retains the most qualified and personable professionals in order to deliver unparalleled service to our clients.

    BTQ's staff is comprised of mission-driven professionals who understand nonprofits' double bottom line.

    The firm's founders have spent their careers working within and for the social sector.  Our Client Managers and Operations Team are committed to helping our nonprofit clients deliver on their missions. 

  • What makes BTQ's approach different or more effective than others that provide the same or similar services?

    BTQ believes that it goes far beyond the expectations that an organization would have for a contracted consultant.  BTQ sees itself very much as a partner with its clients and that means “doing what needs to be done” to ensure a client's successful operations.  BTQ staff understand and relate to the mission of its clients (sometimes far more than they do to the mission and purpose of BTQ!). Of course, the client sets the ground rules, but BTQ staff like: to attend staff meetings; board meetings; be involved in planning; and setting up new initiatives, so that they can provide the real “value-added” services in which we take great pride.

    BTQ was founded out of a consortium of nonprofits, government agencies and foundations that were seeking a new approach to managing the finances of nonprofits. It is the only finance and accounting company in the country of its size that is majority owned by nonprofits. A significant outcome of its inception and ownership is that it is focused on expanding and innovating its services far more than making a profit.

    The business and social mission of the BTQ enterprise is to positively transform the huge, important and expanding nonprofit sector. Organizations in the nonprofit sector have long focused on their core missions while paying less attention to the administrative and financial functions, both as a result of the understandable pre-disposition by both management and boards of directors to apply most resources to meeting mission, and the lack of sufficient revenues to provide both excellent service and pay for professional management. Increasingly, though, the sector is being pressed to operate in a more “business-like” manner. Even without the external pressures, managers increasingly see the benefits that bottom line management and strong analysis bring to the delivery of their mission. The nonprofit challenge is to improve business management without sacrificing the social mission. The BTQ model attempts to provide a great solution to this challenge.

  • How does BTQ handle the transition from an in-house department to an outsourced model?

    We are often asked about the transition process. Many organizations come to us with 20 plus years of accounting records and books and naturally, there is apprehension about the ease of converting to a new model.

    BTQ offers a team-oriented approach to all contract start-up and project initiation. We partner with your staff and work on-site at your offices to gather information from diverse stakeholders such as senior executives, board leadership and front-line accounting staff.  BTQ specializes in transitions and we are sensitive to the needs and issues that arise for organizations embarking on strategic change.

    All organizations must comply with a uniform set of financial and accounting requirements. BTQ is able to implement a baseline platform to meet these needs. We are also uniquely able to customize this application to meet a wide variety of complex and unique accounting necessities.

    After several meetings with BTQ Principals to determine the parameters of the working relationship, a project initiation and start-up phase is initiated. This consists of securing control over financial systems and establishing new reporting mechanisms.

    The key initiation services include:

    • Establishing a work plan for modification and restructuring of the fiscal system
    • Transitioning general ledger systems, if appropriate
    • Developing an annual agency budget by cost center or department and detailed 12-month cash flow projection
    • Providing analysis of receivables and develop collection strategy
    • Providing analysis of billing systems and develop appropriate billing system as needed
    • Assessing functionality of the current general ledger system
    • Designing a format of a monthly report and other appropriate management reports, including individualized agency benchmarks and other key indicators
  • How accessible is the team and how frequently will staff be available?

    BTQ adheres to regular business hours. However, if a project deadline demands us to stay after regular hours we happily comply.

    Client Managers serve as your CFO and therefore they are available as often as you need them. They correspond frequently by email, attend staff and board meetings and schedule teleconferences as needed. Many of our clients consider BTQ Client Managers members of their staff.

    Our technology solutions enable our team to collaborate with clients on documents in real-time and provide you with answers to your questions when you need them.

  • How does BTQ manage cash flow?

    The role of the Client Manager is to provide our nonprofit partners with the objective information and sound fiscal analysis they require to make timely and appropriate management decisions. The Client Manager monitors clients' cash position including bank balances, receivables, payables, etc, and makes recommendations on disbursements.

    The Client Manager acts at the direction of the agency’s executive leadership and Board of Directors. At all times, our client agencies maintain sole and exclusive control over their funds, budgets and disbursements.

  • How are fees determined?

    Rather than billing hourly, BTQ uses a fixed monthly fee, which is easier for clients to manage and ensures no cost over-runs. Our fee is based on the level of staffing needs.  It is determined through a series of informational meetings and analysis of basic accounting information. A one-time transition fee may be necessary to cover the conversion of necessary fiscal systems and, if relevant, complete prior year audits or compliance reporting.

    When evaluating a prospective client, BTQ undertakes an analysis of the level of effort required. It provides the prospective client with an analysis that reflects the full time equivalent level of staffing and qualifications of the required staffing level. We offer a fully transparent pricing model. There are no hidden fees or add-on costs once a contract has been finalized.

    In general, BTQ’s fees are between 80% and 90% of what it costs for an in-house department. Although there is little in the way of definitive studies, most industry analysis indicates that high quality fiscal management cost between 3% and 7% of a nonprofits budget. There are clearly many variables to the cost of fiscal management, including the number of cost reimbursed contracts, number of staff, as well as size of budget. BTQ is often able to provide the services at 2% or less of its clients’ budgets. It is the small organizations with budgets of $500,000 to $2 million where it is most challenging to achieve significant savings, but the quality provided can be significantly higher and more consistent.

  • How does BTQ measure a successful client relationship?

    BTQ establishes performance benchmarks with its clients that are revised annually.

    Benchmarks may include:

    • Indicators such as length of time to process invoices
    • Number of days to issue monthly budget to actual financials
    • Number of management comments on audits
    • 100% spend down on all government contracts/grants, etc.

    BTQ also conducts ongoing evaluations and surveys with its clients to determine the level of satisfaction.

    BTQ measures its success both in terms of meeting all the fiscal and accounting requirements as well as evaluating how BTQ supports the mission-focused programs and services of each client.  To that end, BTQ measures the extent that the client achieves the following:

    • A sense of well-being in terms of its financial management
    • Maintaining positive funder relations;
    • Ensuring the highest level of accounting, internal controls and financial reporting.

    Most of BTQ’s clients have ongoing one year or two year contracts which are consistently renewed.

  • How does BTQ ensure the security of a client’s financial information?

    Client data is kept on a server in a secure facility with remote video monitoring and backup generators, as well as high speed and secure data access. BTQ digitally archives all paper files, including checks and invoices sent by you for deposit or payment. Our document retention policy ensures that we keep 2 years of files on-site before returning them to you for storage. BTQ follows stringent best-practices procedures for hiring and management, including regular background and credit checks on all employees. Staff may only disburse funds with proper authorization from both the client and BTQ management.

  • Can BTQ give a presentation to my Board of Trustees?

    BTQ staff is happy to present at board meetings. We would need to meet first with senior management to better understand your financial and accounting needs.

    We are also able to schedule preliminary meetings with your Board Treasurer or President and meet with them one-on-one as needed.

  • How can my organization receive more information about BTQ’s services?

    We invite you to download brochures and the sample reports that we have available on our website.

    If you have a specific inquiry regarding our service, please email us and we will get back to you within five business days.

    You may also contact David Terrio or Kevin Quist to discuss in more detail our outsourcing solution and how it might work for your organization. 

Learn More

Request Information

Contact us to receive a comprehensive information kit about our suite of services.