Outsourcing is a great way of freeing up time and resources for busy accounting companies, and helping them get ahead during challenging times. However, it’s easy for the relationship between both parties to fail, if effective communication isn’t made a priority.

If you’re new to outsourcing, or are just exploring your options, here are some ways in which you can communicate effectively with your chosen provider, to achieve the best results:

Make your expectations crystal clear

Defining your expectations of the outsourced provider, and communicating these clearly to them, is the first step towards a fruitful relationship. By setting out the scope of the work you expect them to help you with, listing all deliverables and timelines, and highlighting your quality standards, you can ensure that there is no miscommunication in terms of the workload.

You may also inform them of how often you require financial reporting, what format is required for the deliverables, and any accounting practices that are specific to your particular business.

To help you gauge the performance of your outsourced company, you should develop a set of KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, and SLAs, or Service Level Agreements. These must be communicated clearly so that they can align with them and make themselves accountable for the services they provide.

When you set out your expectations clearly from the very beginning, both sides can share common goals and work towards them.

Take advantage of the latest technology

Technology is being used to a greater extent in all manner of industries now, and accounting is no different. Video conferencing, emails, and project management platforms all make it so much easier to collaborate with one another and exchange information. But apart from standard applications for communication, you may also want to explore such technology as cloud-based platforms; these enable all relevant parties to access data and documents securely and conveniently, as and when needed, from wherever they happen to be in the world. Accounting software can also be extremely useful, as can a central repository for storing financial information and giving both parties access to it in real time.

Keep up the frequency of communication

In order to cement a long lasting and functional bond between your accounting company and the outsourced accounting company, constant communication is required. A calendar can be created to include when updates should be given from either side, to schedule check-ins and progress reviews, and set dates for any other meetings or conversations that need to take place.

You should also allocate one appropriate person from within your company to be the lead communicator with the outsourced agency, and in their absence, allocate another appropriate individual so that lines of communication are never broken or compromised.

Address all potential challenges

No matter how effective the relationship may be between your firm and the outsourced service provider, challenges can arise at any time, and you must always be ready to deal with them. Of paramount importance is that any challenges that do arise, don’t affect your clients. By keeping lines of communication open at all times, however, and making your lead person approachable and sensitive to the needs of the other party, you can hopefully avoid anything negative from impacting any of your clients.

You can reap all of the many rewards of working with an outsourced accounting company, provided you follow the tips outlined above; working hard to maintain open lines of communication at all times.