Outsourcing has become a more viable option for businesses requiring a specific skillset, but not a full-time employee. CFO, Controllership and Bookkeeping outsourcing has become an established practice not only for start-up businesses, but also for established companies with unique challenges. Businesses that have utilized outsourcing have found it can be extremely successful, however, there can be challenges as well.
The following are key tenets for creating a successful outsourcing relationship:
- Hire someone you like and respect. This is an important relationship and you want to establish a partnership that clicks.
- Start off the relationship with clear expectations. Make sure the person or firm you’ve hired clearly understands what you expect of them and ask what they need from you to be successful.
- No one needs a "Yes Man". Don’t hire someone just to validate what you already believe to be true. Bring in a resource that contributes a different perspective and experience; an individual(s) who will challenge you to consider other options and approaches.
- Keep an open mind. Don’t waste your time and money hiring an expert and then refuse to implement any of their suggestions.
- Do your homework. Obtain references before you engage an outsourcing solution. Make sure you’re really getting the skillsets you need. Speak to others about their experience with the company or individual you’re interested in hiring. Find out why the relationship worked and what they would do differently. Approach the outsourcing selection process the same way you would when hiring an employee.
- This is a team effort. Include the appropriate individuals in the decision- making process. If the success of the engagement will be judged by an important member of your team, make sure you’re on the same page about the outsourcing solution you choose and the desired outcome.
- Be transparent. If there are challenges within the organization that aren’t common knowledge, make sure you communicate these in advance.
- Accessibility is key. Dedicate the amount of time needed for the relationship to be successful and communicate regularly.