9 Questions to Ask When Researching Accounting Providers

When thinking about switching and transitioning accounting providers, it can seem like a daunting task. We’re here to confirm, it’s not something you want to repeat. Switching accounting providers is time-consuming and isn’t something you’ll want to repeat every few years. It’s essential to research, and make sure your provider has the tools and services required to make your associations successful.

Because this process can be a little overwhelming, we’re here to provide you with some questions you’ll want to ask during your search! You probably already have an idea of what you need to ask, but here are 9 in-depth questions to save your team time and money.

  1. What’s the process for removing individual charges on an owner ledger? Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s critical the software accounts for these mistakes and provides a simple process to correct them.
  2. What tools are in place to prevent accounts from becoming out of balance? Look for a provider that has processes in place to prevent users from making mistakes that could cause accounts to become out of balance.
  3. Can users perform credit entries? The ability to enter credits is particularly useful in Accounts Payable when adding credits for various vendors. If you’re forced into using journal entries to denote credits or any negative entries, then the software isn’t doing its job.
  4. Are there any issues with lockbox imports we should be aware of? Lockboxes are a critical component of accounting for many HOA management companies, so it’s important to understand the import process and if there are any known bugs or issues that can disrupt this process.
  5. Can vendor payments be combined in to one check? It’s guaranteed there are vendors who perform more than one job within a community you manage, leading to numerous invoices being sent to your team. Make sure the software is capable of combining these payments into a single check, rather than forcing your team to print individual checks foreach invoice.
  6. Is the software capable of handling complicated billing processes? Remember, software is supposed to simplify your life, not complicate it. If a community you manage has unique billing processes, such as extra assessments for certain lots, understand what the process is for setting up billing and if manual configuration will be necessary.
  7. Can users easily navigate throughout the platform? In order to save your team time, software must be intuitive and easy to navigate. Ask about certain processes, such as how users go about navigating from one owner in an association to the next. Closely monitor the process for doing so and make sure there aren’t too many clicks involved to complete simple tasks.
  8. What does the implementation process look like? Will I be required to import data or does your team handle that? Switching providers is already a time-consuming process. Make sure you understand exactly what this process looks like so you can plan and staff accordingly. Ask which portions of the implementation process are handled by the provider, and which tasks your team will be responsible for.
  9. Are promises made by the provider backed by a guarantee? Many providers make claims around how much money you’ll save or that you can reduce your staff count by using their tool. Ask if these claims are backed by a guarantee and be sure to read the fine print around it.

These questions can help dive deeper into the accounting system to ensure your team can handle everything that’s thrown at them on a daily basis. Interested in learning about FRONTSTEPS accounting? Connect with a representative today!

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