So many firms will have concerns about outsourcing and they are going to have questions to ask. The two primary concerns that we hear most often are, how are my clients going to react? And tell me about the security. Both are equally as important. What we find with the clients is with [Code Sec.] 7216 they need to understand that you are getting written consent. If somebody from outside of the U.S. borders is looking and working on my return, you need to let them know. This goes on across firms from Big Four down to sole practitioners and it’s been going on for over a decade. Letting them understand that this is very common practice, telling them, sending their consent out with your engagement letters, we find that most clients understand that you have done your homework, and therefore they become very comfortable because they trust you just as when you first started using computers and e-filing and all the other security elements within your practice. They trust you and therefore expect you that you’ve done your homework. That becomes number two is you need to do your homework and look at the security and look at the partners that you are working with. Ask them questions like have you had a SOC 2 [audit] done, have you looked at the security and the availability, it’s critical.
Nobody can sit here and say that security is always going to be 100%. What you need to look at is, am I increasing or decreasing my risk? Look at the controls within your firm today. Most firms put a lot of emphasis on their internal controls on their security; expect the same out of your provider. Quite often, it exceeds what firms will have today because they have to. You are living in a completely digital world. You have your data at a collocation facility 24x7 monitoring, all the latest monitoring techniques because that’s what’s required just like it is with your tax software providers, your engagement software providers. Expect that, do your homework, ask the questions, and quite often you will find that the security is as good if not greater and quite often you are decreasing risk, not increasing it.