The decision to outsource your business’ accounts can be a big one. Moving this important, but non-core, function offsite raises many questions but getting two main things right will ultimately bring it all together – systems and communication.
Great systems are key to the outsourced accounts process working efficiently and effectively. Many business owners and/or senior executives are unaware just how disorganised their accounts system may be simply because great systems and technology haven’t been utilised and/or enforced.
Some examples of great general systems we utilise here at The Finance Dept for our clients include centralised accounts email addresses, paperless filing systems for all accounting data and clear workflow charts to avoid any confusion around roles. Great systems are critical to be able to leverage the relationship and, as the outcome should be, allow everyone working within the business to continue to do so with minimal disruption.
Communication can often be neglected as it can be seen as harder with an outsourced accounts team. In reality, communication should be just as simple as dealing with in-house staff. A change in mind-set and an open communication policy by the offsite accounts team are important to breaking down this barrier.
A reason for holding back on communicating with offsite professionals can often be the assumption of additional costs. A fixed monthly fee for services removes this barrier and assists with nurturing a better business relationship. You want to know that you can pick up the phone or fire off an email as normal to request some information from your accounts team without it costing you, after all an in-house team member wouldn’t charge you extra for their time would they?
Regular communication in the early days is always recommended to nurture and fine-tune systems and raise any concerns for both parties. Once things are running smoothly, communication can be cut back to less regular and more spontaneous to keep the same sort of relationship as you would have with an in-house financial controller or accounts team. It’s worth noting that technology such as Skype and Go To make screen sharing easy these days…just like sitting with your in-house staff member.
So really it’s not too different to the way you would go about things normally – get organised with great mutually beneficial systems and communicate with your offsite accounts team in virtually the same way as you would an in-house team. All of the benefits of outsourcing your accounts will flow on from there. (Read our article – Ten Reasons To Outsource The Accounts)
The Finance Dept is a Brisbane-based accounts outsourcing firm providing minimum degree-qualified accounting staff to our clients at a fraction of the cost of an in-house accounts team. We are an offsite (not offshore) alternative to having an in-house accounts team or financial controller. Call 1300 855 721 or click here to see if you should take your accounts offsite.