Using Accounting Outsourcing Services: What to Expect

April 8, 2022 Sarah Dameron

Company Transitioning Into Technology Of New Accounting Outsourcing Services Provider

When considering expanding your finance team, accounting outsourcing services may come to mind. And once you’ve solidified your decision to make the leap towards partnering with a virtual accounting provider, you may have a few questions that keep you up a night; questions like ‘How does it work?’, ‘How do we transition to an outsourced team?’ or ‘Where do we start?’ The entire process can seem overwhelming, but don’t fret – the first step is understanding what to expect when you utilize accounting outsourcing services.

Read on to explore what you can plan on when using accounting outsourcing services and what you can be sure of when you partner with Personiv.

How to Start Using Accounting Outsourcing Services

Tax accountant documenting transactions

If you’re contemplating outsourcing your accounting function, you may be questioning how it actually works. Simply put, your provider builds a qualified team of professionals in an offshore delivery center to your specifications, and then switches your transactional tasks from your in-house team to your outsourced team. A credible provider will offer you the chance to be completely flexible, creating a customized solution and not a fixed one. You should be allowed to be as involved as you wish in the development of your team and the transition to an outsourced provider. The first step in the outsourcing process is determining what accounting tasks to offload and what roles would benefit from being outsourced.

What Types of Roles & Tasks Can Be Outsourced

If you have employees struggling to meet the demands of their positions, you’re not alone. At times, it can seem like they’re overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work on their plate; or worse, they’re slacking off and you need to make up for the gaps they’re not fulfilling. When reviewing your teams’ responsibilities, you’re probably aware that much of their workday is spent on menial tasks that add little value to the organization. And although those projects are essential, they also take away from the big picture. Here are a few roles (and their respective tasks) that you can allot to your provider:

  • Accounts Payable Specialist

    • Process invoices and bills

    • Process payments

    • Produce monthly reports

    • Reconcile vendor accounts

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist

    • Prepare and send invoices

    • Customer account reconciliation

    • Track and record payments

    • Process customer disputes

  • General Accountant

    • Maintain bank details

    • Produce cash flow statement

    • Track payments and expenditures

    • Support month-end and yearly-end close

  • Tax Accountant

    • Prepare tax forms

    • Provide audit support

    • Respond to tax authorities

    • Prepare tax payments

  • Payroll Specialist

    • Create payroll sheet

    • Create paychecks

    • Process employee pay

    • File quarterly state income tax returns

Suggested Reading: 101 Tasks to Delegate to Virtual Accounting Teams

Preparing Your In-House Team to Use an Outsourcing Provider

Accounting Outsourcing Services Provider Working Remotely For Company In The U.S.

Outsourcing part of your accounting function doesn’t mean saying sayonara to your current team. As Matt Wood, VP of Client Services at Personiv, once said: “We’re an extension, not a replacement, of your accounting team.” Getting your existing employees on board with the idea of outsourcing is crucial. And yes, partnering with an outsourcing provider can be challenging and collaborating with your additional team members is even more difficult. However, once you’ve acclimated your outsourced employee (or team) into the fold, introducing them to their coworkers should be the next step. A physical meeting is typically not possible with your offshore team and in today’s labor economy, remote meetings are standard practice.

Once you’ve been acquainted with your new employees, your outsourcing provider will review your current process documentation such as job descriptions, instruction sheets, Excel-based accounting schedules and reconciliation sheets. If required, your provider will help to construct process manuals, checklists, and notes covering vendor specific instructions, expense allocations, and accounts used for different type of expenses. Next comes training. This can be done in one of two ways:

  • A member of your provider’s supervisory team can head to the U.S. for a ‘train the trainer’ scenario.

  • OR You can send your own trainer or team of trainers to the delivery center to train the team, just as if you were training your own in-house staff.

Ensure Technology Aligns

business leaders ensuring technology aligns with their new outsourcing provider

A question that seems to be circling around businesses who are pondering outsourcing is, “Will we still be able to utilize our current accounting software?” The best providers won’t chain you down to a specific tech stack; the last thing you need is to partner with an offshore provider that is married to a specific accounting software that you’re unfamiliar with. Be sure that your provider can align with your technology, whether that’s NetSuite, QuickBooks or something more traditional. The more control you have over the process, the easier the transition will be. Further, by choosing a company that can work well within your system, your end clients will never know that you are outsourcing (a win-win). Ask your provider about any other programs they offer to build on your tech framework.

Using Accounting Outsourcing Services for the Future

CEO, CFO & COO talking about the future of their company and new accounting outsourcing services provider

Once your transition is successful and you are satisfied that services are being delivered as expected, you can begin looking at other transactional areas to outsource. The best providers identify opportunities that can benefit your company down the road. From there, some organizations take their outsourcing relationship one step further and choose to receive support in areas that are more knowledge-based such as management reporting & analysis, budgeting and forecasting, and regulatory reporting and compliance.

Outsourcing your finance and accounting function can save you around 50 percent on average while offering you the opportunity to shift your attention towards the growth of your company. If you’re interested in Personiv’s adaptable accounting outsourcing services, reach out to one of our experts and let them show you what to expect when you partner with us. Still unsure if outsourcing is right for your business? Check out our latest eBook, Staffing (But Better), and explore our step-by-step outsourcing process.

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