If you’re in charge of your own accountancy firm, you might be considering outsourcing some of your accounting practices to reduce costs, save time, or expand your service offering.

We won’t beat that same drum again, because there’s a big dilemma that everyone who outsources their workload faces and needs answering: will your clients know you’re outsourcing?

It’s a legitimate concern. “What will my clients think about me outsourcing?” you might be asking. “Will they still want to do business with me?”

Whether they know or not depends on whether you choose to tell them. It’s in your hands, but it’s a tough decision, and the answer depends on your circumstances.

Here, we’ll touch on some of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach to help you make the right decision.

Why some businesses let their clients know

Letting your clients know you outsource some of your workload can be beneficial.

First, if your client knows, you can let them and the outsourcing agency establish communication about routine concerns themselves, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches down the line.

What’s more, clear communication is key to the success of any project. Without it, something in your client’s accounts could get missed, queries unanswered and pieces of information unsupplied.

Furthermore, not letting your clients know can negatively affect your image. We’re not talking about your image as a brand that outsources – there’s nothing wrong with that if you work with a quality outsourcing firm.

No, what we’re talking about is this: how can you meet your clients’ needs if you don’t know or can’t explain what your contractor has done? How can you entice your clients to take up other services you provide without an inkling of what their bookkeeping or tax returns are like?

Plus, if you present the work of your contractors correctly, you can position yourself as a humble firm, one that doesn’t pretend it can handle an impossible workload. That’s not to mention how trustfully your clients could look at you for your transparency and forthcomingness.

Why some businesses don’t

At least, that’s the way clients would view outsourcing in an ideal world. In reality, however, it can sometimes make clients apprehensive about doing business with you, because they’ve never met the contractors you’re talking to them about.

Questions may bounce around in your client’s head: is the company not qualified enough to handle the work alone? How are things going to turn out? Am I wasting my money with this firm?

Some clients might even start to feel as if they’ve been tricked.

While you could try to reason with their clients, explaining why you outsource and why your contractors are trustworthy, you might decide it’s simply not worth the trouble to divulge something your client doesn’t need to know, especially if you consider outsourced workers as distant employees.

Some firms pick and choose when they share how they outsource some of their workload, which is a great blended approach – it might be less important for a client to know that another firm is doing their VAT returns than it is if you’re outsourcing their company audit.

Our job isn’t to get in your way

Take it from us, an outsourcing firm won’t get in the way of you and your clients. Instead, they’ll follow your lead on how to communicate with them, and certainly won’t try to steal them from you – if you have a feeling they might, you’re looking at the wrong outsourcing firm.

Instead, a good agency will be focusing on how they can make your business look as good as possible. After all, your success will be their success.

They will also be open and communicative, ready for prompt correspondence between themselves and you or your clients, however you prefer.

You can get in touch with us at 0203 9500316 or by filling out a contact form to discuss which accounting practices you can outsource to us.