Choosing the right BPO vendor may be equally difficult. Leeke recommends picking a player with deep-domain expertise. “Knowledge in the oil and gas business was very important to us,” Leeke explains, “particularly on [the] production-revenue side, accounting for oil and gas as it comes off the lease.” But, he adds, that doesn’t mean letting the outsourcer drive. Leeke advises waiting a year before allowing a BPO provider to make any significant changes to your process.
And finally, Leeke says, you still need to sweat the details. “I think you’ll see a lot more outsourcing on the finance and accounting side,” Leeke says, “but it takes a certain amount of oversight given Sarbanes-Oxley certification requirements. We have a very intimate knowledge of the process and the controls. It’s not something you can throw over the fence. It’s a partnership.” In other words, outsourcing lifts a huge burden, but the responsibility for the results still rests with the customer that signed the outsourcing deal.
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