Questions To Ask When Outsourcing An Accountant
Many accounting firms in Singapore offer different accounting services for the management and regulation of finances.
Outsourcing accounting services is considered an efficient business practice as it ensures fairness and impartiality in the dealings of financial matters. Therefore, it is essential to get a professional and competent outsourced accountant for the success of your business.
It is recommended that you outsource a trustworthy accounting firm in Singapore. For this purpose, you should ask the following questions while outsourcing an accountant.
1. What physical safety is used at the company?
Before ensuring the safety of the electronic data, it should be made sure that the servers and the physical data are stored at an appropriate and secure location.
Find out from the accounting firm regarding the number of employees who have access to the data and databases, how the server room will be secured, and what will be the security measures to monitor the employees accessing the data.
For virtual companies and businesses that are online-based, you should ask about the procedure to regulate the location and transference of data.
It should be ensured that the employees are not able to copy sensitive information into their personal computers, and secure servers are allocated for the working of the company. Financial data should be accessible by the top management only.
2. What encryption approaches do the outsourced accounting firm use for login?
Different methods of encryption are present. Most commonly, SSL certification is used for sending and receiving files on a website. SSL encryption is denoted by a lock sign and https at the start of the website address.
Encryption is essential in preventing the information from leaking into the wrong hands. In modern times, cyber-attacks and unethical hacking have increased manifold. Therefore, the importance of efficiently encrypting a website cannot be underestimated.
It makes sure that the information being sent to the firms is not deciphered by hackers. Login credentials must be protected by the audit firms to prevent any financial damage.
3. What happens to the old files after they are of no use?
Ask the potential Fabout what do they do with the old files after they are of no use. Some companies prefer to keep the backup of the data for a designated period of time, some delete the files right after their function is performed, and few firms store the files permanently on their servers.
You should choose a firm which is suitable to the nature of your company. Any agreement about the deletion or storing of data should be made a part of the legal contract. Financial data is essential for the success of your company, so make sure that it is protected by the outsourced firm.
4. What network security is used?
Confirm that a secured, legal and authenticated network is used by the outsourced accounting company. Otherwise, the chances of hacking of the network increases, which can ultimately lead to illegal access to the computers, smart devices and servers linked to the network, causing financial problems.
You can ask the original hosting provider of the firm and make sure that they are a credible provider to ensure the protection of the data.
5. What will be the steps taken if a data breach takes place?
Any company can face data breach – theft of physical records, compromised servers, or hacking of online data – so you must be aware of the protocols in place in case of such an event.
Get to know the details of the accounting firm’s policies to reduce the damage caused by a data breach, any compensation they may provide to the impacted business, and if there are any measures to recover the data.
The alert process is also an important thing to know, which means you should ask when you will be informed of a data breach and how soon will the emergency protocols be initiated. Most importantly, make sure that the accounting company you are selecting already has an emergency action plan to cope with any ineffective situation immediately.
Other than the above questions, follow the important tips below while outsourcing an accounting firm in Singapore:
- Keep in mind the nature of your company and your business requirements.
- Select a reliable, secure, credible and legal accounting company.
- Conduct thorough meetings to make every situation clearly and ensure that both parties understand each other’s terms and conditions.
- Try to commit to a long-term working relationship.
- Take time to draw and sign a comprehensive legal agreement to avoid any ambiguity in the future.
If you are planning to outsource an accountant for your organization, feel free to get in touch with us for more details.