Outsourcing accounting work: what should be paid attention to?


In recent years, the choice of enterprises to use outsourced accounting services has become more popular because of the benefits such as: cost saving, legal safety… Most of Small and Medium businesses use this service or are ready to use it. However, most of the enterprises use accounting services for the first time or have used accounting services many times but still do not know how to negotiate and manage consulting contracts to achieve highest efficiency.

Here are some key issues that enterprises need to keep in mind when using outsourced accounting services:

Determine the type of accounting service contract

There are usually 3 main types of contracts:

  • Accounting service package: Consultants will be responsible for receiving daily invoices arising at the business and processing the set of tasks thereafter to get periodic accounting and tax reports for the business. Often businesses will sign a one-year package contract. Then evaluate and make decision whether to continue signing the longer-term contract or not.
  • Tax accounting service: Only once before the tax finalization period of the enterprise. Depending on situation of the enterprise, the scope of work of this service can be divided into 2 cases. Firstly, the enterprise has sufficient accounting data arising in the period, the role of the consultant is to receive, review and prepare tax reports. Secondly, accounting data in the period has not been recorded or has not been properly and fully accounted for, the consultant's role is to record all data arising in the period and prepare tax reports.
  • Accounting review service: The enterprise has fully implemented accounting activities such as accounting, reporting... But with the desire to ensure the legal safety, the enterprise hires a consultant to review all accounting books, records, documents, and reports. In addition, consultants also provide orientation advice for businesses on improving the entire accounting system.
  • Other accounting services: completing accounting books, improving the entire accounting system, case by case consulting...

The content businesses need to pay attention to so that to ensure their benefits

  • The two sides must clarify the scope of work of the project and come up with a list of specific tasks, products to be delivered and the timing of implementation / handover corresponding to the work.
  • Each time documents and products are delivered, there should be a delivery note, signed by both parties.
  • For accounting services lasting many months, it is necessary to ask the Consultant to make a quick monthly report. For example, a monthly package accounting service, about the 5th of every month, requires the Consultant to send a quick report on the events of the preceding month, some issues to be reported: deductible or payable VAT; Total revenue/ taxable income; The total amount of eligible costs that can be recognized; Amount of corporate income tax expected in the period and solutions for the next period.
  • Requiring the consultant to give predictable results. For example: the tax payable by the enterprise; governance and legal risks when the enterprise performs a certain transaction...
  • Indicate which party is responsible for filing tax returns/declaration, with the responsibility of preserving and managing the expiry date of the digital signature. In addition, the specific responsibilities of both sides must also be very clearly stated.
  • Clearly state the responsibilities of both parties when needing to explain to the tax authority.
  • Clearly state the warranty period as well as the benefits attached to the business when the consulting service ends.

Some of the contents that businesses must ensure to help consultants effectively perform their works:

  • Provide fully, truthfully, and accurately all information and data related to the project for the Consultant
  • Punctual provision of the necessary accounting data, within the scope for Consultants
  • Cooperate with Consultants in the working process, avoid thinking of putting all the responsibilities on Consultants or waiting for everything from Consultants.
  • Know exactly documents to be provided to Consultants and time to ensure their rights and responsibilities.
  • Know precisely the product delivered and the time of receipt to ensure benefits and responsibilities.
  • In the process of the first approach to the consultant (before signing the contract), avoid the case of discussing a lot about the work, be slowly consider and evaluate the consultant's judgment so that we can see exactly Consultant's level with respect to your business problem.
  • Finally, the requirements for qualifications and certificates are necessary but not decisive about the quality of the consulting service, it should be seen from the practical experience of the consultant as well as what the consultant perceived your business problem.