ARTICLE
Accounts & Bookkeeping

Accounts Outsourcing Transition – Pitfalls and Practices

Written by Analytix Editorial Team | July 22, 2011

Outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping services is witnessed when a firm purchases online accounting and bookkeeping services from an outside vendor, rather than executing the same task within its own facilities, with an aim to cut costs. In this process the transitioning phase is a critical step in outsourcing.

The Challenges

A few of the challenges could include change management issues, deployment and procurement delays, insufficient knowledge transfer, lack of senior management support, communication gap etc.

Change management system is often not in practice to deal with the transition in several companies.  Lack of methodology and foolproof planning is yet another pitfall that frustrates the success of outsourcing transition. In addition, communication breakdown or lack of proper communication also contributes to the failure of transition.  Lack of proper knowledge transfer puts the transition phase in doldrums.  More importantly, absence of senior management backing to the transition process is the most prominent pitfall that jeopardizes the entire transition initiative. The bigger challenges may be even unpredictable because not all challenges can be predicted at the initial level.

The Best Practices to Ensure Successful Transition

Methodology

Methodology isn’t simply a process, it shows how important an accounting and bookkeeping services provider treats the transition phase and with how much of maturity level. The core elements of a good methodology are frequent audits, facilitation of tools and techniques, simplicity of implementation and effectiveness of monitoring process.

Robust Planning

More robust the planning process, better the execution.  The key activities at the planning phase should be amalgamation of timeline and expectations, proper resource allocation, and clearly defined criterion to access the success of transition phase should be formulated to make the outsourcing online bookkeeping from transition to business phase.

Risk Management Approach

The proactive approach to predict potential drawbacks early, gives sufficient time to carry out amendments, if required, and enables design a response strategy.  In this risk management practice risk identification and risk response methodology should be reviewed occasionally. Risks must be specified clearly and the impacts and possibilities need to be evaluated. Every potential risk response should be addressed with equal significance.

Governance

Many transitions fail with the failure of implementing a governance structure. “No-slack” implementation of governance structure during transition ensures alignment of project objectives with the stakeholders. The communication plan also needs to clearly circumscribe the frequency and format of communication that will be received and sent by shareholders. The well structured governance tracks status of project and changes if any and more importantly, avoids any surprises.

Buyer Readiness

Synchronization of service provider’s past experience and buyer’s readiness is instrumental in the successful transition of online bookkeeping phase. Support of management team should be identified and involved closely to check the progress and delivering support. Clearly defined expectation, clear, fair and upfront communication with affected staff should be the initiative of change management. Resource and budget allocation should be done to guarantee the support to multiple work streams.

Partnership Approach

The joint efforts of accounting bookkeeping service provider and buyer ensure the success of the outsourcing initiative. The teamwork of online accounting service provider and buyer during the transition phase constitutes the foundation and pitch of relationship for the duration of the contract. All pitfall and issues needs to be viewed as project issues rather than service provider or buyer issues. Understanding and trust among both the parties are crucial and they should work towards the common goal of successful transition.

These are a few of the best transition practices that should be considered when hiring online bookkeeping and accounting services.

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