But if you are clear about where you want to go and what you want to outsource, selecting a partner should be as easy as eating pie. Use the following tips as a guideline to review the right partner.
Experience? Are they limited to the easy tasks, or will they take on the more difficult, or messy jobs? Can they produce accounts from incomplete records?
Confidentiality? It is very unlikely that your outsourcer would steal your clients, but it could happen. Hence, it’s advised that you get a written agreement stating that they won’t contact your clients.
Security of data and records? Are they going to be kept securely, and if actual documents are taken are they insured if you want replacements?
Availability? Are they available throughout the year - will you get plenty of notice regarding planned holidays?
Software? Can they prepare accounts/tax in the required software?
Bookkeeping? Will they take client records in any format, e.g. Manual records, Sage, QuickBooks, etc.
Working papers? Will they work to your templates so as to maintain consistency? Will they produce a good enough analysis for you to be able to check the accounts?
How thorough are they?
Finally, will they do all this at reasonable cost?
At first glance most suppliers might seem to serve the purpose. Nevertheless, before you hit the road don’t forget to perform a due diligence on their financial stability, track record, data security measures, reporting tools, industry recognitions, the country laws to which they comply, and most importantly their quality of service.