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Negotiation tips for dealing with audit and accounting firms

9/30/2011

A recent article from SpendMatters.com provided several pieces of advice for companies of all sizes to use when attempting to maximize efficiency in negotiations with audit and accounting firms.

The first tip the article relays is for companies to find ways to lower costs in regards to services provided by these firms. The best way for companies to do this is to help firms become more efficient and productive when serving them. Looking for internal methods to achieve this before entering negotiations is important, as companies can then know what types of service they need and in what moderation. Having this knowledge may help businesses cut back on certain terms of use in contract talks.

In addition to this step, companies should attempt to negotiate rates and hours, not just a total fee level, when dealing with third-party firms. For instance, a company that successfully negotiates a 5 percent rate discount, even if a firm's hours of service increase, is still a 5 percent fee reduction from the previous year's fees. Looking at gross fee levels, according to the article, may allow companies to miss out on opportunities for savings.

The article also believes companies that look for low-cost methods to offer their firms to increase value can also result in better savings.