accounting-and-auditing

 

Questions to Ask When Outsourcing Bookkeeping or Accounting

Updated on:  

08 min read

A business can outsource bookkeeping or/and accounting to an outsourcing agent. Outsourcing bookkeeping or/and accounting will save a lot of time for the business proprietors. However, the business proprietors must be careful when they outsource bookkeeping or/and accounting of the business since they will share their financial details with the outsourcing agent.

Points to Consider Before Outsourcing Bookkeeping or Accounting

A business should take into consideration certain factors when it decides to outsource its bookkeeping or accounting. The outsourced bookkeepers or accountants must be trustworthy, skilled and prompt. Following are a few questions that will help a business choose the proper outsourcing bookkeeping or accounting service provider:

What is the size of the outsourcing bookkeeping or accounting service provider?

A business must find out the size of the bookkeeper or accountant. The outsourced bookkeeper or accountant may be working individually or with a team. The business should have knowledge of the whole team or partners of the outsourced bookkeeping or accounting provider. The knowledge of the size of the bookkeeper or accountant will help the business assess and trust the outsourcing service provider. 

How familiar is the outsourcing service provider with the industry of the business?

A bookkeeper must be familiar with the industry of the business. Different industries will have different bookkeeping requirements. Some industries may have to maintain only a few accounts, while other industries need to maintain many accounts. An outsourcing service provider with prior experience in the same business industry will ensure that the outsourcing provider will maintain the books properly.  

What is the experience of the outsourcing bookkeeping or accounting service provider? 

The experience of the outsourcing service provider helps the business decide whether or not to outsource bookkeeping and accounting services to them. The outsourcing service provider must maintain the accounts accurately and on time. They must have adequate experience to review their work for identifying errors and correct them. This ensures accurate maintenance of books of account.

Does the outsourcing service provider have the proper qualification?  

Bookkeeping does not require any special skills; however, the bookkeeper must have knowledge of accounts and journal and ledger entries. When it comes to accounting, the business has to check whether they are qualified or not. Thus, the business must inquire about the qualification of the outsourcing service provider. The business must outsource its bookkeeping and accounting to the outsourcing service provider who has knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting. 

Is the outsourcing service provider using any bookkeeping or accounting technologies?

Bookkeepers and accountants use bookkeeping and accounting software and apply them within the business model. The business proprietor must be aware of the software used by the outsourcing service provider. It will help the business and the outsourcing service provider as the software comes with many features like automating clients accounts, making the bookkeeping and accounting process easy.

What is the delivery and response time of the outsourcing service provider? 

An important aspect to consider when outsourcing bookkeeping or accounting services is the delivery and response time of the outsourcing provider. The business must ask when they can expect the delivery of their reports. 

The business must find out if the outsourcing service provider can provide them with a summary of accounts on a weekly or monthly basis. The business should also consider the expected response time of the outsourcing provider for any corrections, questions or queries. 

Does the outsourcing service provider have up to date information?

The outsourcing service provider must be up to date and learn new skills. They should have knowledge of the latest technologies and policy changes that will affect the business. The bookkeepers or accountants must implement the new changes to maintain accurate books of accounts of the business.

How does the outsourcing service provider protect their clients?

The business proprietor will share confidential financial information with the bookkeeper or accountant. Thus, the business proprietor must ensure that the outsourcing service provider uses a secured network. The outsourcing service providers must have a knowledgeable and credible team to manage data protection.

What are the costs of the outsourcing service provider?

The bookkeeping and accounting service providers will have different payment schemes. Some of them may charge on an hourly basis, while others may charge every month. The business must inquire about the payment terms and choose the outsourcing service provider that suits the needs and budget of the business.

Benefits of Outsourcing Bookkeeping or Accounting

  • Outsourcing bookkeeping or/and accounting is cost-effective. It saves the productivity costs of the business as they need not hire full-time employees for this job. 
  • The business will get access to experienced and knowledgeable industry professionals by outsourcing bookkeeping or/and accounting.
  • Outsourcing bookkeeping or/and accounting will allow the business to have more time to concentrate on its goals. The knowledge of experienced bookkeepers and accountants will help the business make the right decisions and policies.
  • Proper and accurate books of account are maintained when the business outsources the bookkeeping and/or accounting as the outsourcing service providers will be reliable and experienced. 

Disadvantages of Outsourcing Bookkeeping or Accounting

  • The business will not have complete control over the bookkeepers or accountants as the business does not employ them.
  • There is a lack of privacy and risk of data leak when the business outsources its bookkeeping and accounting. Protection of the financial data is essential, and there is a risk that it might be hacked or passed on to other people when it is outsourced.
  • Communicating with the outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting service provider may be difficult at times. Since they are not present in the office, it may take more time to contact them and fix an appointment to discuss the business financial reports.
  • The business may incur extra costs if there is no timely discussion of the finances with the outsourced bookkeeping or accounting service providers. The business will have to follow up with the outsourced service providers.

Outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting of a business have benefits and disadvantages. The business needs to inquire about the knowledge, skills, experience, costs of the outsourcing bookkeeping or accounting service provider before choosing to outsource. However, the right bookkeeping and accounting service providers will help to develop a profitable business.

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