How do I find the right outsourcing partner and things to look out for.

How do I find the right outsourcing partner and things to look out for.

By Gavin Sneddon

More and more businesses today are looking to scale and expand through outsourcing not only to boost productivity and efficiency but also to manage the rapidly evolving technology. Choosing the right outsourcing partner is a major business decision that requires thorough analysis and shortlisting a provider based purely on the lowest quote can have a negative impact on your business outcomes.

Not every outsourcer can deliver a quality service. Therefore, there are only a select few players in the market who are successful at outsourcing. Most outsourcing failures are doomed from the start simply by bad choice.

When selecting the right partner, you need to ask the following key questions:

  1. Are they UK-based service providers?
  2. Do they have UK representatives you can talk to or escalate matters to in case things don’t go to plan?
  3. Have they got the right experience to be able to provide the service? Are they technologically well-versed with UK accounting software?
  4. Have they got a UK-qualified, UK-trained management team?
  5. Have they got professional indemnity and cyber insurance cover in place?
  6. Do they offer a trial period to test their services?
  7. Do they have a job tracker system to monitor progress of work?
  8. Can you meet them in the UK at short notice?
  9. What is their experience dealing with UK firms and can they give references?
  10. Do you genuinely think they can help you grow your business?

When we discuss outsourcing with our clients, we are regularly asked questions about the quality of work, how to maintain control over staff and their workflow and ways to manage remote staff, ensuring they are consistent in the quality and able to meet their deadlines. We have helped many accountancy clients, so we feel we can offer some valuable advice on what to look out for when it comes to adopting an outsourcing model.

Please see our video “How to keep control of your work when outsourcing” to know more about this subject.

Outsourced staff needs to be treated as part of your extended team. There should be no ‘us’ and ‘them’. If that remains your mindset and you don’t feel you’d be able to adapt to a different way of thinking, then outsourcing may not be for your practice.

To ensure quality of work meets UK standards, dot hires experienced accountants some of whom are formally qualified, and many are qualified by experience. As a minimum we look for commerce graduates with a few years’ accounting experience and retrain them. dot has a robust training and staff development program called dotSkills, which brings our accountants in line with the dot standard. The brightest minds are also offered study support and inducted into our graduate trainee programme to encourage them to take on a UK accounting qualification.

Would you commit to someone on your first date? Of course not, so why commit long term without making sure you are working with right partners. At dot, we allow a courtship period of three months before you decide if committing to a longer term with us is the right decision for you & we will be the first ones to tell you if it’s not for you and we will tell you why.

Outsourcing is a long-term relationship, so choosing the right partner is crucial to meeting your businesses objectives. The key advice is to remember to pick an experienced provider that suits your requirements and once you start delivering better-quality work to more clients, more quickly and efficiently, you’ll know it’s the right fit for you.