Checklist for evaluating Outsourced Financial Accounting companies

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How do you evaluate your financial accounting company?

There are a number of very good reasons why you might be thinking of outsourcing your finance department or certain functions within your finance department, some of the ones we more commonly hear are;
1) Want to free up time for self
2) Tired of doing everything yourself
3) Not able to hire someone full time
4) Don’t want to hire someone on a payroll
5) Need more expert financial analysis for growth
6) Want someone who can provide future focused forecasting.
7) Help you with cost savings, investing better and make more informed decisions.
Some of the points you must look out for in an Outsourced Financial partner are listed below. Keep in mind that they are by no means exhaustive but suggestions of the qualities your Outsourced partner should have:
1. Skill, capability and expertise
Ask about the team members who are likely to work on your business. Will the work be completed more efficiently? Will they be able to take advantage of the time savings? Will they have to deal with staffing and labour issues? Are they qualified and certified to take up work for you?

2. Cost-effectiveness
You might have chosen to outsource to ensure certain processes within the department are more cost-effective. However you must ensure that the team members assigned to your work will not cost you more than a hired employee and that any time saved can be focused on other value adding activities.

3. Size of Outsourced partner operations
Choose well between large vendor partners and medium sized companies. Sometimes smaller and medium-sized financial Partners work better than large ones in that they are typically less bureaucratic, more versatile and more customer focussed.

4. Agility and turn around time
The partner team should be sharp, quick and agile. They must be constantly aware of changing regulations, and rules and adapt to them. Advice changes accordingly and helps you generate the right reports to make the most well informed decisions.

5. The technology they use
Find out about the software throughout the business for various reasons. It should be cutting edge, utilised properly and should offer benefits to your business. If you are transitioning from an existing mid size or large business you should try to figure out the compatibility of who they work with and why.

6. Go paperless
Going green is necessary for our environment, but more importantly it can get cumbersome logistically if paperwork has to go from office to office. Understand how they work so that you can work things out to see if they fit your requirements. Their processes should be optimised enough to ensure all transactions are recorded in the accounting software accurately and quickly with a minimum of physical paper involved.