First off, congratulations on considering joining a couple of other successful plumbers who have been in this very position you are right now.
The decision to outsource any sort of work is one that isn’t easy to come to. There is always the thought to hire in-house instead or upskill the team you already have.
Both these options are grand but they both use up time and a couple of dollars you’re not too keen on spending.
Outsourcing comes as the faster option that will still cost you money but will save you lots of time thereby helping you earn more money.
Accounting is a sensitive business matter which requires careful consideration and expert opinion. Before you dive all in, let’s look at the 5 tradie questions to ask when considering outsourcing accounting.
What questions should I be asking?
Your tradie accountant is obliged to respond tastefully and truthfully to any questions you might have about outsourcing your accounting. Not to scare you off but you’ll be sharing very sensitive financial information to a third party about your plumbing business.
For your absolute protection, discretion, and peace of mind, it’s important to ask the relevant questions.
The team of accounting experts at Tradies Accountants compiled a list of 5 critical questions that plumbers should ask when outsourcing accounting.
1. What Physical Security Do You Use At Your Place of Business?
It’s only natural that the first question should be about security. If you’ve caught up with the times, you’re likely giving your accountant digital data but what about physical safety?
Ask who else has access to the database and whether there is any screening method being used on employees who have access to the server room.
It’s important to also find out if the server allows the sharing of information to printers or local devices.
2. What Accounting Software Will You Use?
There is a plethora of efficiency software on the market currently. Chances are your outsourced accountant is using one or the other.
Asking this question won’t only make you sound smart but also struts your understanding of the evolutions in the business world.
The selection is particularly important due to the variety of integrations present. This applies in particular to Xero software.
As a quick tip, if your outsourced accountant is using software meant for efficiency this could translate to lower fees for you.
Thank us later.
3. What Happens To The Files After You’re Finished With Them?
What do they do after they are done working on your accounting?
Do they save them for a certain period of time? Are they destroyed immediately after work is completed? Or simply keep them for decades?
The thought of your sensitive financial information casually chilling for infinite years is tummy churning.
In order to protect your financial data, ask the outsourced accountant to provide a written agreement of what happens to your information after you’ve terminated the contract or completed work with them.
4. Is There A Possibility For You To Grow With My Plumbing Business?
We all prefer familiar faces and consistency.
This is an even deeper truth when it comes to anything involving finances, accounting, or marriage (only because there are finances in that last one).
You want to assume that this person will be able to grow with your business especially if you’ve grown to love and appreciate the quality of their services.
In the same way, you should be able to return the favor and pay a little higher as your business develops. Do ask about the ability of all this being a real conversation to be had in the future.
5. What Are The Policies You Have In Place When There Is A Data Breach?
This is an important one because it’ll tell you about the character of your potential outsourced accountant.
Things happen. Fires, natural disasters, or even theft.
Ask about the policies that are meant to compensate affected companies, recover lost data, and mitigate the damage caused.
In fact, to be absolutely safe, choose an outsourced accountant that has an emergency plan set up to cushion the emergency before it actually happens. Any outsourced accountant that defers any of these 5 critical questions probably won’t deliver the peace of mind you require when sharing sensitive information.
Only settle for an accountant that will have all the best interests of your plumbing company in place before entrusting them with the task. This is the company that will truly deliver what you actually need to make your plumbing business smooth and efficient.