Partnering with an outsourced accounting provider has its advantages. They can save your business the hassle of managing your finances, and they’re often cost-efficient. Because providers offer expertise and resources in an area you may be unfamiliar with, it’s easy to want to step aside and let them do their thing. But, just as you’ve put a lot of effort into selecting the right provider, it’s important to continually evaluate them after the fact to ensure their services still meet your organization’s needs.
If you haven’t previously evaluated your accounting provider, now’s the time to start. Consider using the following criteria for a solid baseline evaluation.
Your outsourced provider should have the necessary experience to effectively do their job. A business’s finances are a core part of their overall success and require great diligence to remain compliant, so it’s essential that a provider has the services and expertise to add value to their work and drive results. If your provider is consistently having issues with answering your questions, repeatedly making accounting mistakes, and/or not adding value to your business’s financial strategy, it may be time for a serious level-setting conversation.
Do your provider’s services allow for growth, or are they a short-term solution? A business’s finances should be positioned to scale so that operations can run as smoothly as possible, no matter how quickly they expand. Whether your provider has additional service offerings that allow for innovation, such as forecasting and analytical tracking, or integration capabilities that promote efficiency, they should be able to meet your needs today and well into the future.
Open communication with any outsourced provider is key, but this is especially so for accounting providers. Your finances are a defining factor for your business, so you should have a provider who’s transparent with its decision-making and accessible at all times. A great provider should feel like an extension of your existing team by involving you in their services when it makes sense and ensuring you’re regularly in the loop on the current status of your financial picture.
Financial data is oftentimes private and should be handled with care. One of the more nerve-wracking aspects of partnering with an accounting provider is the fact that they have access to your business’s sensitive data, like employee information and tax documents. With cyberattacks becoming more frequent, it’s crucial that your provider has a strong focus on cybersecurity and data privacy protocols in place to protect your business from those who wish to harm it. Evaluating your provider in this area is a smart way to confirm they take data security seriously and are improving their procedures when they can.
There’s a wide range of criteria you can use to evaluate your accounting provider, but these areas provide a great foundation for real, honest conversations on whether your current option is still the right fit. When it comes down to it, your outsourced provider should always make your job easier. If you’re experiencing regular issues or aren’t getting the results you’d like to see, it could be time to take a second look at your contracts and seek other providers.
At Creative Planning Business Services, we offer a range of outsourced options, from accounting and payroll to managed IT services. Whatever business goals you’re aiming to achieve, we have the expertise and resources to support you now and into the future. Schedule a meeting with us today to learn more about our comprehensive outsourced services.