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5 Important questions to ask your outsourcing provider

Your outsourcing provider can make a positive difference to your business

26 May 2017

1. What accounting/bookkeeping software will you use?

The selection of bookkeeping software has never been as important as it is right now due to the variety of integrations available, particularly with Xero software. These integrations can help reduce administration and improve efficiency within your business, for example, integrated CRM and credit control modules. You can also benefit from increased visibility of business performance and reduce your bookkeeping workload. If you are using an outsourcing provider, software that increases efficiency could potentially result in lower fees.

2. What is or are the best payment collection methods for my business?

Different business types are suited to different payment collection methods, for example, GoCardless allows businesses to collect monies via Direct Debit, which is particularly useful where regular amounts are collected, such as a subscription based services. Another example is Braintree and Stripe which allow clients to take payments via their own websites, with the payment information and charges integrated directly through to the bookkeeping software.

3. What other outsourcing services are you able to provide? Are you able to assist with forecasting/billing/payment collection?

Some providers may only offer the bookkeeping and accounting services that you associate with a traditional accountancy firm. However our outsourcing function is able to assist with a range of other services, for example, software implementation, supplier payments and billing on behalf of clients. Using an outsourcing provider to manage these areas may be time and cost effective for you particularly if volumes are high.

4. What is the most efficient way for me to provide you with my invoices/receipts?

There are several ways to send accounting information to your outsourcing provider. The most efficient method that we have identified is providing us with access to a dedicated accounts email address or access to a hosted storage solution, such as DropBox, Box or SharePoint. Providing all of the data is stored on this platform, it reduces the time spent chasing for information and is also useful where the management of the business are not in one fixed location or where the business is paperless.

5. When can I expect to receive the management accounts of the business?

It’s important to discuss this early on with your outsourcing provider. Agreeing the dates that you will provide the accounting information, such as purchase invoices and receipts, and the date you can expect to receive the management accounts; helps both parties by setting clear expectations. This means the outsourcing provider can plan for completion of the work and provides management with a deadline for the collation of the accounting information.

In our experience clients who provide complete information on a regular basis to an agreed timetable are likely to receive a better product, potentially at a lower fee, due to fewer queries and follow ups.

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