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Client accounting - risks and rewards of outsourcing

Thursday 21 May 2020

Propertymark Industry Supplier, The Lettings Partnership, outlines why and how you can ensure you choose the right company to outsource your work to.

The two main reasons that an agency decides to outsource are to reduce costs and to have the ability to focus on core business goals and planning. Amongst other things over the last few months, these two reasons have not been far from the top of the list. The challenge can often be finding the solution.

What can you do to choose the right partner?

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.

Choose the wrong outsourcing company and relationships with your landlords will most certainly be damaged, employees will feel undermined, and as a consequence, 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? The first thing to do is to work out how much or how little you want to outsource. 

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’?

Who's going to do it?

It’s important to get to know the company which will be working with you. Put in the time and effort to find out about your potential outsourcing partner and you are 90 per cent there when it comes to choosing the best one.

Do your homework. Ask the 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. Choosing wisely and outsourcing client accounting could be the best business decision ever made. 

THE LETTINGS PARTNERSHIP

Besides being fully trained and experienced in client accounting all employees are encouraged, through the company’s personal and professional development programme, to study for industry-specific qualifications and a number now hold the Level 3 Technical Award.

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.

Call The Letting Partnership on 01903 447900 or visit their website to find out more.