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Select an accounting services provider

How to select an accounting services provider

Accounting is the process of recording, summarizing, and analyzing the financial transactions of a business. It is a crucial function for any business entity to keep running and managing the operations successfully. Generally, businesses outsource their accounting function to professional CA firms, who are experts in providing accounting services. By outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping services, businesses can focus on their core operations, achieve a competitive advantage in their products and services, and scale-up.

However, businesses hesitate to outsource their bookkeeping function since it requires them to divulge all their financials and transactions to an accounting firm. They are scared whether their data will remain safe and secure with the accounting and bookkeeping staff working with the firm or not. Cost is a key criterion for selecting a bookkeeping and accounting services provider, and it is rightly so.

Before you finalize on the outsourcing partner, understand what the real cost of accounting that you are paying for is. Review them on the answer to the question, “What are the features, the quality levels, and benefits that you are getting in return for the money you are paying to them?” In short, what is the return on investment that you are getting? We provide you a list of key considerations while selecting an accounting service provider: 

Expanse of services 

The key criterion before selecting any outsourcing partner is the multitude of services the vendor offers. Businesses must ensure that they know all the services that the accounting partner offers and make the best use of their capability and expertise in those. It is a good practice to ensure that the outsourcing accounting partner takes up all your business’s accounting and tax-related work. This ensures clarity and quality in the tasks, the requirement to collaborate with only one firm, and accountability to complete every task within deadlines.  

Accuracy in recording and reporting  

You hire an accountant for your firm’s accounting services so that records are accurate, timely, and complete. Accuracy is the first criterion that is needed in the recording of financial transactions. Therefore, select a bookkeeping services partner that ensures clear reports, data integrity, and error-free recording so that you are not required to go back to your accounting partner for adjustment of numbers, fixing of reports, or follow-up.    

Security of data  

The biggest concern for you is the security of the sensitive financial information of your business. Accounting firms employ such software and methods to ensure complete data security, including records clearance practices, data management controls, and physical security measures. As a company, you must be responsible for checking your accounting and bookkeeping services firm’s security measures to prevent any misuse of data and ensure the safeguarding of the accounting records.     

Recommendations for strategies and action plans 

It is vital for the accounting services firm to have meetings and discussions with the clients on the year gone by and the financial forecasting of the coming year based on the current year’s financial statements and reports. These meetings focus on the strategies that clients must focus on, expenses that need to be curtailed, and action plans for new investments. 

Pricing for the services  

Pricing is a key factor, as it must fall within your budget. You can compare the offers of other accounting outsourcing firms and go with the one with whom you agree on the expanse of services offered and the price. Some accounting firms charge by the hour, while some charge fixed prices. Overall, what matters to you are the returns you are getting in the form of quality and variety of services for the price you are paying.

Communication and comfort

Communication is essential for any type of business – internally with employees and partners and externally with clients, regulators, and the community at large. Specifically, when accounting is outsourced to a third party, two-way communication is of great significance to discuss the scope of work and the services expected.  

Both the accounting partners and the company must have easy, clear, regular, and comprehensive communication using multiple communication platforms and in a language that both the parties understand. You should be comfortable explaining your requirements and expectations from them, and they should let you know any doubts, any expected delays, and project status.  

Look for these key points when searching for an accounting services provider. These are the actual points that make the real cost of accounting. It is an investment for your company’s growth and profitability, and you are right in expecting high returns from it in the forms mentioned above.

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