Regular and accurate accounting is required to monitor the business cash flow and financial position over the accounting period. Though accounting is important, it is a hectic and complicated process that requires an expert and experienced accountant. A business can get an in-house team or opt for an outsourced accounting services provider.
Outsourcing is one the most preferred method of accounts management these days. It reduces the business’s stress of accounts management with the help of its expert staff and the latest accounting software. Though there are numerous outsourcing accounting services providers that a business can choose, it is crucial to go for the one best suited for the particular business. To find the best accounting outsourcing partner, a business must ask the right questions before finalizing anyone. Let us see what those questions are.
Top Questions to ask an outsourcing accounting services provider
Accounting and bookkeeping are the functions that help determine the business’s profitability, growth, current financial position, and the road map for future activities. The following are important questions to be asked:
- What is the size of the accounting services provider’s team?
- Who are the team members that will work on the business’s accounts?
- What is the qualification of the service provider’s team?
- What are the accounting services provider’s pricing model and payment method?
- What is the delivery and response time?
- When can the business expect to see the monthly reports?
- How familiar is the service provider with the industry the business operates in?
- How much experience does the outsourcing service provider have?
- Does the service provider use any technology? If yes, what?
- How long has the service provider been in the accounting outsourcing industry?
- Is the service provider up-to-date with the latest technologies and processes?
- How many clients does the service provider have?
- What is the specific expertise of the service provider in finance and accounting?
- Has the accounting services provider handled any processes similar to the business?
- What accounting processes and roles does the service provider has experience in?
- What are the outsourcing service provider’s platform or ERP capabilities?
- What security protocols and processes does the service provider follow?
- Will the business need to change its in-house processes if it outsources them?
- How long does implementation take?
- What is the longest partnership the service provider ever had?
- Are the services offered by the outsourcing service provider customizable or ready-made?
- Has the outsourcing company ever been publicly recognized for its work?
- What is the onboarding process like for the new clients?
- Which platforms can the outsourcing firm be found on (Clutch, Comparably, Glassdoor, etc.)
- What destination country and city will be for the business’s outsourced processes?
- Can the business communicate with the offshore outsourcing team directly?
- Will the business’s in-house team be able to collaborate with its offshore outsourcing team?
- Will the business have to make scheduling changes to accommodate teams in a different time zone?
- What collaboration and communication tools or software does the outsourcing firm uses?
- How often can the business communicate with the outsourcing company?
- Does the accounting outsourcing firm have any quality or process improvement certifications?
- How does the service provider ensure accuracy and quality?
- When are KPIs and quality metrics determined?
- How often are the business KPIs assessed?
- What happens if the business’s KPIs aren’t met?
- What are the industry standards followed by the accounting outsourcing company?
- What happens if the business needs to implement any change in its processes or technology?
- Will the team working on the business’s accounting be assigned to other clients?
- Will the business be able to scale up with the assigned team?
- Does the outsourcing accounting services provider offer a test run or pilot program?
Asking the right questions at the right time is crucial to getting the best accounting and bookkeeping services that a business needs. Though all the questions mentioned above are important to be asked to an outsourcing firm, getting answers to some of them is more crucial. Getting information about the team, their expertise and experience, the technology used, and the price charged for the work helps decide whether the outsourcing firm is suitable for the business.
An outsourcing accounting services provider with knowledge and experience in the relevant industry gives an idea about what they can handle. A firm with a working knowledge of accounting standards and principles like GAAP can prepare financial statements and reports accurately. Ask the service provider about the turnaround time to know whether the business statements and reports will be available on time. Check the accounting software and technology the outsourcing firm uses and familiarize the in-house staff or team that will manage the outsourcing firm. A strong communication system is a must to stay updated with the accounting process. A business must also try to contact the current and previous clients of the outsourcing firm if they share the links or permission for the same. It will help learn about the client’s experience while working for the service provider.
Before looking for an accounting outsourcing firm and asking them questions about the work they will be doing, it is best to sort out the business’s priorities. Determine the business requirements, how much and what processes the business needs to outsource, and what is the outsourcing budget. Having a clear goal and requirement list beforehand helps choose the right questions to ask to get the best outsourcing accounting services provider firm.