A Finance Intern can be a valuable addition for startups across any industry in the Philippines.
As startups in the Philippines look to scale, things move fast and tasks, activities and roles are often not as clearly defined as a traditional corporate business. It can be very helpful to have a flexible, eager and dynamic intern who is willing to learn and contribute as much as possible for the business during the short period of their internship.
In this article, we outline two key items that a business should consider before hiring a Finance Intern to ensure a successful collaboration for both the startup and the intern!
We then identify 4 key areas where a Finance Intern can add real value for a startup in the Philippines.
Further, feel free to check our previous articles that we have written to help startups in the Philippines with the management of their finances:
- 10 key items to include in your Investor Pitch Deck
- 4 key questions to consider when selling your startup business
- Venture Capital Financing: Considerations for startups and SMEs
- Measures that startups can take to support business continuity during COVID-19
- Attention Founders! This is what investors want to know about your accounts and finances
2 Key Items To Consider Before Hiring a Finance Intern
A decision to hire a Finance Intern should not be taken lightly. Interns must be managed, reviewed and paid. They are also seeking to gain significant experience on the accounting and finance side of a business.
So, the startup’s recruitment and mentoring process should be treated with the same importance as any other type of employee or consultant engaged by the startup.
Remember! While an intern might only be with a startup for a short period of time, they may return to the company years later with ideas that can add real value for the business!
Here are just a few questions that a startup in the Philippines should consider when selecting a Finance Intern candidate:
- Does the candidate have a positive attitude? A candidate with the right attitude is far more likely to add value for a startup than someone who is just ticking a box to make their University happy!
- Is the intern candidate motivated to succeed?
- Does the candidate understand the startup’s mission and vision?
- Is the candidate willing to grow, learn and support the startup across various functions? Are they willing to be flexible in their role?
- Does the candidate have any relevant experience or knowledge? For example, if the business is an outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services provider, it would be helpful if the Intern already understands the purpose, business model and objectives of that business and the industry.
- What can the startup teach the Finance Intern?
- What can the Finance Intern teach the startup?
In summary, the selection process for a Finance Intern is a critical part of ensuring that the internship is successful for both the PH startup and the intern!
The PH startup must have the resources in place to be able to mentor and teach the Finance Intern during the internship.
At a minimum, someone within the startup should be designated as the intern’s mentor. This ensures that the intern always has a reporting line and someone to provide direction and guidance. At a minimum, the mentor should:
- Present the company to the Intern when they first start. This might include explaining the model, objectives, mission, purpose, industry, market, etc. If you have a recent Investor Pitch Deck, it might be helpful to share this with the intern for background.
- Identify the intern’s role within the company (but ensure they are aware that they need to be flexible in a startup..!)
- Explain the processes that are followed across the company. This gives the intern a view of the company’s entire ecosystem.
- Ensure that the intern is aware of the impact of his work. How does it benefit the company? What are the next steps? By understanding the purpose, the intern should have a greater sense of responsibility and ownership.
In summary, in order to provide the highest level of value, a Finance Intern needs to understand what is required of him or her during the internship. This is best achieved by having a direct mentor and reporting line. This is usually easier to achieve by a larger corporate with plenty of resources but can often be overlooked by startup businesses.
4 Key Areas Where a Finance Intern Can Add Real Value
Sometimes, the startup management team have so many different tasks to perform that other important tasks can fall through the cracks!
Here are 4 specific activities where a Finance Intern can really support a startup and complete value-added tasks that support business growth.
- Pricing Model
For every startup, a fundamental consideration will always be the pricing of services and products. What should the pricing be given your projected cashflow situation? What impact might a different pricing model have on your budgets and forecasts? What is the effect of your current pricing model on your sales margins?
These questions can be answered by regular monitoring and review of the startup’s pricing model. Often, startup founders and owners can develop their pricing model but then fail to monitor it on a consistent basis. A Finance Intern can support here by reviewing the company’s pricing model and identifying areas of issue or opportunity.
This will require financial data from various parts of the business – from sales, to operations, to HR, to product. It will also require support from management who can provide certain assumptions. A Finance Intern can help with putting all of this data together and then performing the analysis.
- Resource Allocation
A startup must constantly review the efficiency of its internal operations. This can come in the form of an employee capacity assessment considered on the basis of new sales, average time spent on projects, number of clients handled, regular capacity levels, etc.
By using data at their disposal, a Finance Intern may be able to help develop a “resource allocation” model for each department in the startup in order to understand areas of over-utilisation or under-utilisation. This is particularly helpful in a service-based startup company where employees are servicing a wide range of clients with competing interests and time requirements.
Remember – when identifying the cost of your internal operations and employees, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with tax deductions and statutory contributions in the Philippines, including in particular, 13th Month Pay!
- New Products/Services
A Finance Intern may be well placed to understand areas for improvement in relation to existing products and services and in particular, how such products or services might be able to generate additional revenue for the startup.
The Finance Intern may have an outside perspective based on previous work experience or education. They may also have personal experience of using a similar product or service that the startup is offering (e.g. mobile apps).
The Finance Intern could be asked to perform an analysis of the company’s current offerings and identify where there are areas for add-ons, changes or new offerings and identify, using data available from the startup, how this can add value for a company’s bottom line!
- Industry Analysis Per Revenue
A startup must know its industry and market in order to succeed. The data should already be available to the startup – it’s just a matter of putting it all together and then performing a detailed analysis!
A Finance Intern will be especially well placed to review a company’s customer portfolio, break down the customers on an industry and revenue-per-industry basis and identify which industries are the most valuable to the startup from a revenue perspective.
This can also help when preparing forecasts and budgets!
This will help the startup to understand in which industry it is highly leveraged, if the business is too dependant on one particular industry and also, identify which areas of the market it might make sense to focus additional marketing efforts!
CloudCfo – Digital Accounting, Bookkeeping and Finance Services in Metro Manila and The Philippines
At CloudCfo, we love working with startup businesses here in the Philippines! We understand the various business models, the requirements from a compliance perspective and the ways in which a startup can scale quickly while ensuring that the back-end finance function scales too!
The CloudCfo team offers outsourced online accounting and bookkeeping services specifically for startups and SMEs here in Manila and the Philippines.
We are also always on the lookout for intelligent, talented and motivated people to Join the CloudCfo Journey!
So, if you are interested in working with a dynamic team of people who are pioneering the use of cloud accounting services in the Philippines, send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know why you would make a great addition to the CloudCfo Team and to the CloudCfo Journey! You can visit our Careers Page also to explore existing opportunities!