If you are a business owner who has finally decided to outsource your bookkeeping services, what do you need to take into account when choosing the firm that will carry out this critical task? While outsourcing comes with great benefits, it can also put your business at great risk if you do not get the right firm.

Safety of business info
We live in a dangerous world where cyber criminals are wreaking havoc on businesses. When you outsource, you are giving critical business info to people outside your company and this could be very dangerous if you are dealing with a non-professional service provider. Such a provider could leak critical business info to your competitors and this could ruin your business. Before hiring a firm therefore, it is important to confirm that it has a foolproof cyber security system in place and the firm should give you a document detailing the measures it takes to ensure data integrity.

Qualifications and reputation
The accounting firm you outsource your bookkeeping services to should be beyond reproach. You need to ensure that the firm has the required capacity to provide you with a great service by confirming that the firm’s employees have attained the necessary qualifications. Every reputable firm prides itself in displaying the qualifications of its staff and anybody who is reluctant to prove this should be treated with suspicion.

A good indicator that the firm you choose will provide great service is the number of current or past clients it has served. It helps if the firm you choose has had clients in your industry. If possible contact such clients and find out how they rate the company. Conducting an online search of the company could also provide useful info especially if the firm has been involved in malpractices.

Establish clear lines of communication
At the very outset, it is important to know the exact scope of the work that the accounting firm will do. Since you can outsource part or the whole of the bookkeeping work, let it be clear what your responsibilities and those of the accountant will be. Since there are documents or figures that you’ll need to provide on a monthly or quarterly basis, let the accountant clarify what these documents or figures are and the exact dates when they need to be provided.

On top of writing your books, find out if the accounting firm has room for face to face meetings and how frequently. A good firm should not only be willing to facilitate such meetings but should also be ready to meet urgently should the need arise.