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Outsourcing

The Outsourcing Opportunity: Four Attributes to Look for in an Outsourcing Partner

If you’re considering outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping services, chances are you’re looking to boost your company’s bottom line and free up the time you spend on accounting-related tasks. At a time when financial professionals face more compliance pressures than ever, outsourcing has emerged as a cost-effective option for easing the burden. According to one recent report, companies cite their top challenges as finding qualified staff and keeping up with ever-changing tax laws.

Outsourcing is a major decision, and you’ll want to find a partner that works well with your business and can offer you the convenience, flexibility and cost savings you need. As you’re shopping around for accounting outsourcing companies, here are the four most important attributes to look for.

Quality

A professional outsourced team should provide high-quality results based on the following key benefits:

  • Trust. When you’re outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping services, you’re not “losing control” of your accounting and bookkeeping services. You’re placing trust in an experienced provider to handle certain tasks — and that partner should be trustworthy, with a proven track record of delivering results for companies like yours.
  • Experience. An outsourcing provider should have experience dealing with companies of similar sizes and industry types. They should employ experienced and credentialed accounting pros with a proven track record of delivering results.
  • Training. Outsourcing comes with a pre-built trained team, which should already be equipped to handle your specific set of needs.
  • Expertise. Outsourcing partners should bring a specialized level of expertise in industry-leading accounting software and best practices.
  • Accountability. Keeping your financial operations in-house can expose your numbers to errors and fraud. Best-in-class outsourcing partners can actually boost accountability since an outside provider will be handling your most valuable and sensitive operations with multi-level process controls for security.

Security

When you’re outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping services, it’s crucial to look for a partner with top-notch security. After all, accounting data is extremely sensitive, and you want to ensure the data of your company and clients remains protected. The best outsourcing partners complement or improve your data security. Look for an outsourcing provider that meets ISO standards, the globally recognized information security standard. The outsourcing provider should have a data security scalability strategy so that as the size of your data grows, the provider has the bandwidth to continue to meet your needs.

Scalability

As your business grows, your finance and accounting team should be prepared to handle the growth. However, it can be difficult and expensive to expand your team. One survey found hiring a new employee costs an average of $4,000 and takes 24 days. And even after you’ve hired new staff, you also have to factor in costs for benefits and retention.

Outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping services create scalability, as most outsourcing partners are equipped to deal with businesses of all sizes. In fact, it can be more cost-effective to partner with an outsourcing firm than hire new staff since a full-service company can scale alongside your business as it grows.

Reliability

If your finance and accounting team has ever been short-staffed, you know what it’s like to scramble to get everything done with fewer resources. With a dedicated outsourcing partner, you won’t have to worry about that problem. At all times, your outsourcing partner will have the resources to complete tasks on time. The team structure also provides a consistent, reliable work product. If you have any concerns about the process, you’ll also have access to continuous, 24/7 support.

By John Bugh

John Bugh is Chief Revenue Officer for Pacific Accounting and Business Services (PABS), responsible for the strategic direction, planning, vision, growth, and performance of the company’s marketing, branding, and revenue streams.

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