For CPA firms, it can be difficult to have all the expertise on staff to provide the breadth of accounting and financial services clients require, especially during the busy season. To help bridge the skill gap and maintain or grow client relationships, CPA firms often augment their internal teams with contracted professionals who bring in the expertise needed to get client work done on time and to stringent regulatory standards.
Outsourcing can offer your CPA firm benefits, including the means to right-size your client services team during a capacity crunch, resulting in reduced overall overhead and space requirements, which equal savings.
However, outsourcing accounting and financial services comes with its challenges, particularly during pressing deadlines. To ensure productivity and compliance throughout your client engagements, here are five onboarding best practices to follow:
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1. Select the right professional services organization.
The partnering firm you select will be providing much-needed support throughout the client engagement. So, do your research, and check references, online reviews, and other sources of industry data to ensure that the consultants you are bringing on board have a reputation for delivering quality work. Make sure they bring to the engagement all the right certifications and licenses to ensure top-notch performance and full compliance with regulatory requirements.
2. Communicate roles, responsibilities, and objectives.
As with any consulting agreement, CPA firms that hire external contractors for support need to clearly define and communicate the needs of the engagement, including the roles each member of the team will assume. Be sure to meet with your external contractors to discuss their responsibilities and goals and establish work guidelines.
3. Organize support resources in advance.
Also provide any existing materials that will make onboarding easier for the new, contracted members of your team. These may include training content or recorded sessions on the client’s operating practices. Documentation on methodologies and any standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be provided upfront. And make sure you schedule calls with new team members to answer any questions they may have.
4. Set up system access and training beforehand.
While most outsourced professional services providers will bring a diversity of technical skills and experiences to your client engagement, it can still take time to learn the specific systems and applications they will be using. Getting your systems set up in advance for the addition of external contractors will help simplify and expedite the onboarding process. For example, set up tiered logins for contractors who will need access, and get any essential technology training sessions scheduled before your contractors are brought on board.
Consider also that some industries have more complex requirements than others. To that end, you need to ensure that you give your contractors the training and coaching they need to grasp new concepts and become productive members of your team as quickly as possible.
5. Review KPIs thoroughly.
It is always helpful to set up and review key performance indicators (KPIs) with your contractors. Factors such as budget to actual hours incurred and the volume of working paper review comments should be discussed and analyzed as the client engagement progresses. Setting up a dashboard before work begins can help you monitor these and other KPIs.
Why Choose Scrubbed
Scrubbed’s accounting and financial services professionals bring the expertise you need to serve your clients well. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in the Philippines, Scrubbed provides an outsourcing model that can significantly reduce the personnel costs for a full range of CPA firm accounting and financial services while ensuring the quality output your most discerning clients expect.
At Scrubbed, our highly trained teams of professionals live by our values of excellence, integrity, empathy, and openness. We are by your side to help you deliver these and other services:
More than 85% of Scrubbed professionals are CPAs, and many bring to your firm more than five years of experience in the professional services industry, including experience with the Big Four accounting firms. Our global organization staffs layers of professionals who conduct reviews, provide oversight, and serve as subject matter experts.
As a valuable extension of your team, Scrubbed professionals specialize in providing secure, remote support to your staff, working in the background to complement your capabilities which, in turn, allows your firm to maintain the lead on all client interactions. Our support teams are committed to achieving continuous improvement and always adhere to the most stringent security protocols. While working with your firm and clients, we follow all the structured policies, procedures, and processes tailored to the engagement.
See how outsourcing with Scrubbed can transform client engagements for your CPA firm.