Client Accounting – Why Outsource?
The two main reasons that an agency decides to outsource are:
- To reduce costs
- To have the ability to focus on core business goals and planning
The challenge can often be in finding the solution.
When it comes to choosing an outsourcing company what can you do to make sure they’re the right partner for you? – Team up with the right company and they will deliver on the outsourcing industry’s promise of ‘Saving You Time and Money’; Partner with the wrong one and you could lose a whole lot more than just money! – relationships with your landlords will most certainly be damaged, employees will feel undermined and consequently your agency’s reputation will inevitably be tarnished.
Finding an outsourcing partner which ‘best fits’ with your business is key to a long, happy and successful relationship. So where do you start? First thing to do is work out how much or how little you want to outsource.
It’s important to get to know the company you will be working with…
Using client accounting as an example – would you want your outsourcing partner to provide a complete start to finish service? This could include everything from processing client money, posting contractor invoices, making all payments, registering tenant deposits, collecting, and paying over to HMRC on your behalf to any non-resident landlord tax. Or would you be happy to continue to do things like posting contractor invoices and registering tenant deposits ‘in house’?
Outsourcing your client accounting should give you as the business owner continuity of service, with rents processed every working day and no requirement to find cover for holiday or sickness.
Furthermore, you should trust the capability of staff at any company you chose to outsource work to. At The Letting Partnership, offering services exclusively to the letting industry allows for specificity of training, ensuring all teams within the business understand lettings from the ground up.
Often agents realise a potentially significant cost saving, as they are able to reduce overheads or redeploy existing staff to other roles. As your agency grows, outsourcing will often provide a cost-effective alternative to hiring staff. If the owner currently undertakes the role, there is clear cost benefit in freeing up their time to focus on growing the business.
The factors outlined above should give business owners comfort and confidence that outsourcing can release valuable time to allow theirs and their teams focus to be on growing the business and delivering first class customer service.
Remember it’s important to get to know the company you will be working with. If you put in the time and effort to find out about your potential outsourcing partner you will reap the awards in the long term.
Do your homework!
Ask questions and don’t sign up until you’re satisfied with the answers!
- How long has the company been doing client accounting for letting agents?
- What’s the background and industry experience of the directors, partners, and management team?
- Will there be a dedicated processor assigned to your account? Will they have a backup?
- Is the company a member of any recognised regulatory organisation (Propertymark, ICAEW, Property Ombudsman etc)?
- Does the company have professional indemnity insurance that covers theft and/or misappropriation of client funds?
- Is the company signed up with any of the recognised CMP scheme providers?
- Has the company got separate CMP cover in place?
- For referencing purposes can they give you contact details for clients who are similar to you?
- How long will the transition take and how will it be implemented and managed?
For owner/managed businesses the benefits of outsourcing to an experienced and client friendly company far outweigh the expense and burden of conducting the process in house.
Choose wisely and you could find that outsourcing your client accounting is one of the best business decisions you ever make.
Since starting out in 2006, The Letting Partnership has become an industry leader in the field.
With tailored service packages using your software or our own, pay-as-you-go pricing and no hidden costs, whatever your size outsourcing your client accounting to The Letting Partnership could be the best business decision you ever make. If you would like to know more about The Letting Partnership give us a call on 01903 447903 or send us a message and we’ll get back to you.
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