Topics: Order-to-cash cycle

5 Order-to-Cash Process Outsourcing Red Flags

Posted on December 31, 2021
Written By Siddharth Sujan

O2C outsourcing

Owing to its complex, multi-step nature, the order-to-cash (O2C) system is often regarded as one the most critical finance functions by CFOs & FDs. To add to that, the very fact that a company’s O2C has a direct impact on the most crucial financial metric, the cash flow, only adds to the pressure.

As a result, many business owners turn to order-to-cash process outsourcing to ensure that their business is paid on time, customer relationships are maintained, and operational costs come down. However, more often than not, outsourcing is not as simple as it seems.

How to Choose an Order-to-Cash Outsourcing Service Provider?

While outsourcing order-to-cash activities for your business, it is important to understand that this is one business decision that will require a great deal of patience, planning and coordination. An ideal vendor will be one that understands your specific organisational needs, looks at the O2C process holistically and then devises solutions that address your needs.

Remember, when you decide to outsource order-to-cash or any other finance function, you are essentially looking for a trustworthy & reliable partner that acts an extension to your onshore team.

As you must be aware by now, picking a vendor is quite tricky and must involve proper research and planning. Let us look at some common red flags to ensure success of your order-to-cash process outsourcing project and how to overcome them.

What to be Aware of When Outsourcing Order-to-Cash Process?

1. Poor Pre-implementation Planning: Many outsourcing service providers end up focusing too much on the actual implementation while ignoring the first and the very important stage of planning around as-is processes. If your potential vendor is not spending enough time understanding your current systems, workflows, trends & backlogs, then you might want to rethink your choice.

It is advisable to pick a vendor that prioritses the due diligence stage with the aim of clearly defining the scope of the partnership and expected results & ROIs. Not only will this set the base for a healthy business relationship in the longer run, but will also lead to smoother shift to revamped systems.

2. Blurry Engagement Agreements: Another red flag that you must be on the lookout for while picking a specialist vendor is an overly open-ended approach to engagement terms. A reliable order-to-cash outsourcing service provider will always ensure that both the parties mutually agree on Service Level Agreement (SLA) metrics and they form the basis of the engagement agreement.

In addition, a clearly defined communication plan and transparency into day-to-day account management and performance results can also go a long way in defining the success of your project.

3. Substandard Data Security & Confidentiality Measures: Many companies tend to pick an end-to-end order-to-cash outsourcing service provider without considering that this decision will translate into sharing sensitive financial data with a third-party vendor. Working with a company that does not take data integrity and security seriously can not only lead to the failure of your project but also put your business at bigger risks.

Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on your potential vendors’ accreditations and security measures. Additionally, it is also advisable to include penalty clauses in the agreement, in case of any breach.

O2C uk 1
Source: SSON

4. Redundant Processes & Demotivated Workforce: Remember, one of the most probable reasons for you to consider outsourcing a function is to optimize processes and add scalability to your business through a team of future-ready finance professionals. Therefore, outsourcing your order-to-cash process to a company that itself is dealing with unoptimized processes, high attrition rates and management issues might not be the best idea.

Turnover record, company structure, staff qualifications, industry experience and attrition rates are some of the key factors that can help you take a smarter outsourcing decision.

5. Hidden Costs: In addition to its many process & technology-related benefits, outsourcing has long been associated with cost savings. The way your potential partner determines the final project cost during the negotiation stage actually speaks volumes of their transparency and project management skills. It is advisable to stay clear of vendors that don’t account legal fees, extra charges and other overhead costs in the contract.

RELATED CASE STUDY: Read the case study to find out how QX’s outsourced order-to-cash services helped a leading recruiter transform their receivables.

How Can QX Help?

Considering order-to-cash process outsourcing for your business? QX is a leading, global sourcing agency established in 2003. Ever since our inception, we have continued to offer a wide range of finance & accounting services across four major umbrellas – P2P, O2C, R2R & HR Support Solutions.

In addition, QX also offers highly customised software & transformation solutions to clients across industries like student housing, recruitment and manufacturing amongst others. Set up a no-obligation meeting with our finance transformation experts to know more about our service offerings.

Originally published Dec 31, 2021 05:12:42, updated Apr 16 2024

Topics: Order-to-cash cycle

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