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Helpful tips for building and maintaining successful outsourced accounting relationships

Helpful tips for building and maintaining successful outsourced accounting relationships

Accountants and bookkeepers are responsible for capturing the data related to day-to-day expenses and incomes or the transactions that take place regularly in the business. This information has to be maintained with accuracy and completeness. Additionally, they also have to keep track of payment of bills to the creditors, manage the payroll, and timely invoicing for the goods and services provided. These are the most essential and crucial business functions, and if you plan to hire an in-house accountant or a bookkeeper, then the question of expertise and experience will always arise.  

But, if you decide to outsource these services to a third-party service provider, you can rely on such business partners as they often hire well-experienced experts to cater to the needs of different types of clients from various industries and build a brand image for their organization.  

Besides this, the outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping service provider will use the latest technological advancements to keep up with any changes or upgrades in the business environment’s newest market trends, rules, regulations, and policies.  

Generally, the presence of expert human resources and the latest technologies with third-party service providers may offer you the satisfaction that your work is in the hands of some professional experts, allowing you to focus on various other essential aspects of your business. But just having the best of the resources may not be enough; you have to look for a reliable outsourced accounting service provider and build a relationship of trust and mutual understanding with them. 

Establishing a relationship and nurturing it becomes essential to get the best results from your outsourced accounting partners or service provider. Sheer professionalism might get your work done with utmost accuracy, but only to the extent you agreed within the scope document. While if you focus on building, promoting, and maintaining a relationship with your outsourced accounting service provider, then there is a very good possibility that the service providers will go an extra mile to assist you in the best way, providing optimal quality services so that you can achieve your pre-determined business goals seamlessly.  

This article briefly talks about the tips you can follow to build and maintain a successful relationship with your third-party business partners, assisting you with accounting and bookkeeping services. Let us have a look at the same.

Helpful tips for building and maintaining successful outsourced accounting relationships

Tips for building and maintaining a successful relationship with outsourced accounting partners 

Enlisted hereunder are the five most valuable tips that you can refer to build and sustain successful outsourced accounting relationships that favor business growth.  

While onboarding a third-party firm for outsourced accounting, it is very pertinent that the business-critical requirements, the expectations from the service provider, and your organization’s protocols are communicated. 

Transparency between the teams while conveying the requirements and agreeing upon the contract terms and the scope of work is a must. It is always good to have a service level agreement signed between the parties, spelling out the roles and responsibilities of each party. Documentation of the expectations and critical information about the business’s current financial position is crucial. For clarity of thoughts and ease of understanding of the counterparty, references to graphical representation, flow charts, and other creative formats can be made. 

It will ensure smooth and hassle-free functioning of the outsourced business function. It shall reduce the confusion or miscommunication around the scope on the part of the service provider. However silly the task may sound, there must be in-depth conversations about all services or jobs you expect the service providers to carry out, the quality of services expected, and the timeliness of the given project. All such clarity of scope and thoughts would help both parties achieve the target efficiently and effectively while maintaining the overall productivity and without hampering the business.  

Once you have partnered with third-party agencies to support you on your accounting and bookkeeping services, you should regularly schedule a meeting with them to understand the status of the work and whether your requirements are getting fulfilled or not. Further, regular exchange of dialogues between the parties is also essential from the service providers’ perspective. The data requirement should be communicated on a timely basis, and any doubt about the information or interpretation should be clarified by the business owners on a priority basis, etc. The communication gaps should not impact business operations or the accounting/bookkeeping functions. 

Depending on the business’s size and the project’s lifecycle, a Project Manager may be appointed, who shall coordinate with the service provider and oversee the overall progress of the work. 

Furthermore, it would help if you also kept an eye on the outsourced accounting relationships as the inherent nature of the service providers being a third party external to your organization may affect your business operations. It may not be accurate for every service provider, but irrespective of how efficient the employees of service providers are, they may try to take a chance to get undue benefits out of your organization.

Hence, it is always wise to regularly check such outsourced work. Also, service providers can access the ERP systems or the cloud computing software; it is good to overview the codes assigned to them regularly or limit the permissions, where merely the minimum data required to carry out the tasks are accessible to the third-party’s employees.  

Concerning the ongoing check upon the service provider’s employees, senior partners shall be requested to carry out these checks on their employees on your behalf. 

For any business to work effortlessly and in continuity, it must communicate business-critical information promptly. Sometimes, it has been observed that many organizations fail to make accurate and modest decisions because they got their hands on the essential information a little late. Occasionally, the repercussions can be irreversible, and you cannot do anything once the damage has been done. Hence, it would help if you focused on having excellent policies and controls to transfer critical information on time, allowing you to make precise decisions without missing out on opportunities. 

We have captured two very critical points that would help you ensure the timely transfer of desired and valuable information.  

  • Quite often, we overlook the need for and importance of being organized, explicitly maintaining the data in organized ways, using folders and sub-folders. Suppose the data is kept or stored systematically, where appropriate categorization has been done for all the essential documents and resources related to your business. In that case, you can readily exchange the required information with the recipient when needed. 
  • Instead of doing everything manually, resorting to cloud computing and storage software will make the data more easily accessible and on a real-time basis. They will save you valuable time exchanging bulky data over hard drives or mail. For example, when the outsourced accounting service provider asks for any information, you can share the link where the data is stored (without actually exchanging the data over mail), from anywhere in the world, without having to access your office or desktop. Easy accessibility is one of the primary benefits of cloud computing and storage software

While the third-party accountants and bookkeepers will be managing your business’s accounting and financial aspects, you still have to pay attention to other managerial functions, such as production, selling, and distribution.  

If needed, financial inputs of your company may be sought from the service providers, who would have access to your books of accounts, to effectively manage the production, procurement, selling & distribution, customer relationships, etc., to run your business smoothly. Keeping track of all other aspects of the business is crucial as it will help you manage and overview the cash flow movements across the company.  

Strategically planning your business activities will save you from undesirable and unforeseen circumstances. Strategic decision-making is not easy but rather critical and thought-provoking, which requires a thorough analysis of your business, tracking your commercial performance, understanding the competitor’s tactics, and analyzing the market movements/trends or the overall business environment in which you are operating.  

You must make sustainable strategic decisions that improve your company’s performance and helps your business grow organically in the best possible manner. For instance, the financial statement prepared by the service provider for your business will guide you through the cash flows position of your business, which will allow you to decide whether there is a need to reduce the cash outflows and increase cash inflows or any additional measures required. 

Final Words 

Transparency in the communication and thoughts would go a long way in developing a healthy relationship with your outsourced accounting service provider. These relationships will leave no stone unturned in helping your business to reach its determined business goals.  

Some outsourced accounting firms behave professionally, without being cooperative, even when you are ready to follow the abovementioned tips to nurture a good working relationship. However, suppose you are looking for a proficient firm that appreciates your efforts and can reciprocate in the same manner in building a relationship to accelerate your business growth. In that case, CFO UAE is the right choice for you. We are not just a team of professionals who know their job in and out but also a team of enthusiastic and socially cultured experts. 

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