CEOs generally understand why they need high quality finance and accounting support. However, I’m detecting a lot of angst in the actual act of switching service providers. The result is most often to the detriment of the business – not the service providers. We handle your money, which is the life line of your business, but rarely is the case that your finances are being held hostage. This is one area where, generally, we can all get along, even if you are dissatisfied or upset with your current relationship.
Whether your current service pro is a long time bookkeeper, an in-house admin, a CPA firm, an outsourced CFO firm or my own company, transition and changing dynamics are a given in business. As far as I know, 100% of us have had clients that have come and gone over the years. Most of us only desire satisfied clients that are a great fit for our given focus. Or, maybe there are interpersonal issues and dissatisfaction, which is even more reason to get the switch done and move forward.
When it’s time for a transition, I recommend informing the current service provider, thanking them for their service, and addressing fair compensation upon completion of transition, which may include a bonus for the extra efforts.
After that, scheduling a group call or meeting that addresses the following areas should result in easing the transition and getting everyone on the same page:
- Current status
- Key dates and sensitive timing issues
- Division of duties during transition and date of transition completion
- Any necessary training or information not apparent
Final tip: Don’t prolong the transition and overlap unnecessarily. Transition accounting functions as they are, not as you wish they could be. Perfecting the systems and processes should be the job of the new service provider, not a joint project with someone they don’t know well.
If you hire quality, you’ll be onward to a more ideal accounting and finance package for your company’s current state in very short order! This should be a wonderful and necessary transition and delaying may cost you more than you think.