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Outsourcing has become a common occurrence over the last ten years with increasing numbers of both public and private sectors organisations in the UK adopting an outsourcing approach. This eBook covers the fundamentals for success and offers examples of good practice throughout all stages of the outsourcing lifecycle.

ICSA Solutions

ICSA Solutions are an innovative series of ebooks that provide immediate access to all the necessary information on a particular topic; offering practical guidance, case studies and time-saving checklists.


Andrew W. Smith, Karen Meenderink, Mark Sykes, Dennis Horner
ICSA Publishing Ltd, 2014

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1. Essentials

Part 1 explains what outsourcing is and why it is needed, the pros and cons, the challenges to be faced and the questions to ask.

2. The outsourcing lifecycle

Part 2 explains the outsourcing lifecycle in the eight phases of: strategy, target operating model, making a decision, design, selecting a provider, transition, management, and review and renewal. In each phase the steps are described, the outputs specified and potential problems and remedies discussed.

3. Contract management and service level agreements

Part 3 defines and explains contract management and service level agreements (SLAs) and the rationale behind them. Details are given on how to prepare an SLA.

4. Outsourcing in practice

Part 4 tackles outsourcing in practice, defining the concept in a number of functional areas. It considers in particular how organisations outsource their accounting and compliance services on a global scale and looks at the various models adopted. It also provides a view on the future direction of outsourcing local finance and accounting compliance globally.

Practical tools and other customisable content

This publication includes the following customisable content:

This publication has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. This publication cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained therein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact BDO LLP to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstances. BDO LLP, its partners, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this publication or for any decision based on it.

Terms of use

ICAEW members and ACA students can access the publication subject to the conditions set out in the terms of use, copyright statement and disclaimer below.

You are permitted to view, print and download this eBook for your personal use. Unless you have the permission of the copyright owner, you may not re-transmit the publication to anybody else.


This publication is the copyright of ICSA Publishing Ltd.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission, in writing, from the publisher. This publication is a general guide and is correct at the time of writing.


The publication does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to provide legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for legal advice. Legal advice should always be sought before taking action based on the information provided. The authors bear no responsibility for errors and omissions.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (as distributor) disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions.