How to Choose an Outsourced Accounting Firm

Organizations and small businesses are trending toward outsourced service providers, including technology, human resources, marketing and accounting. The benefits of outsourcing are numerous and can include financial savings, streamlined procedures and strengthened internal controls.

Outsourcing provides the opportunity to access a full-service team with a wide-ranging breadth of expertise at a fraction of the cost. When looking for an outsourced firm in any capacity, consider the following attributes to ensure you find the best fit.

  • Values drive organizational behavior, so it’s crucial to ensure there is a congruency between your company and the firm you choose.
  • Expertise is one of the main benefits of outsourcing, so you should ensure the firm you choose offers experience and knowledge that will enhance your organization. For instance, an outsourced firm focused on construction companies might not be the best fit for a nonprofit organization. Instead, they would benefit from a full-service CPA firm that offers a broader view of compliance, reporting and accounting standards.
  • Responsiveness is a key factor to consider. Many outsourced providers operate in a virtual environment, and effective, timely communication is critical. When interviewing a potential outsourced firm, ask what responsiveness policies are in place to ensure you receive timely answers to your questions.
  • Team size and breadth is also a relevant consideration. One benefit of outsourcing is that organizations don’t have to hire, train or terminate employees, nor do they have to fill in when employees take time off. Ensure your outsourced partner has the capacity to provide consistent, uninterrupted services at every skill level.
  • Scope, scope and more scope! A clearly defined scope, timeline and fee structure are a MUST, as these answer many questions before they arise and provide a roadmap for who is responsible for what and when. Also, ensure you know the protocol when additional services are needed so you aren’t surprised with an extra invoice. Many firms split services into recurring and project-based fee structures, so it’s important to define what is included in each.

The SST Client Accounting & Advisory Services (CAAS) team mirrors an internal accounting department and provides services ranging from transactional processing to CPA-driven fractional CFO services. We enjoy serving organizations that serve others, including nonprofits, associations, educational organizations and small businesses.

For more information on how an outsourced accounting partner could streamline your organization’s activity, contact us today.

Thanks to SST Partner Emily Cook for providing the content for this post. Click here to learn more about Emily.