In this ever-changing market, clients are expecting more. They demand more accessibility and more output delivered as quickly as possible. Accounting firms need to have the capacity to meet these demands.
Meeting these expectations will lead to client satisfaction, which can translate to more work. That’s why it is important that you maximise your firm’s capacity. However, most accountants these days are engaged in time-consuming tasks that keep them from performing client-facing work. This affects output and, consequently, holds back firm growth.
Offshoring offers the solution.
Your onshore team can benefit from an offshore team to increase capacity
The problem is, many still say they will not offshore. The Outsourced Accountant CEO Nick Sinclair addressed one significant issue in one of the roadshows conducted in key cities across the country. He said that many firms still won’t offshore. To which he replied,
“That’s okay because offshoring is not for everyone. Firms, however, need to know that those that have been offshoring for four to five years now have been experiencing phenomenal efficiency gains.”
- Offshoring can scale your firm
- Offshoring will help you get your workflow under control
- Offshoring is not about making money but becoming more efficient
1. Outsourcing is becoming more relevant
Outsourcing involves shifting tasks locally to a team in another region (e.g. the Philippines) to increase productivity. By taking away time-consuming tasks from the onshore team and giving them to highly qualified professionals that don’t cost as much, your team will can focus more on client-facing, revenue-generating tasks, like providing actual financial advice.
It’s a long-term strategy that allows firms to:
- Improve workflow
- Match the right people with the right skills
- Maximise efficiency
- Remain competitive
- Save on costs
- Deliver added value to clients
It’s vital to set up an offshore team as soon as possible because the longer you don’t do it, the harder it will be to catch up.
2. Offshoring can scale your firm
Transferring labour-intensive, process-driven tasks to an offshore team can dramatically increase productivity. In the long run, this becomes a viable strategy that can scale your business.
Setting up an offshore team will allow to you gain access to skilled individuals at a fraction of the cost. Outsourcing accounting tasks to, for example, Filipino professionals offers more cost efficiency. According to a recent study conducted by The Outsourced Accountant, Australian and New Zealand firms can have four people offshore for the cost of one onshore. This increase in manpower can boost capacity and help scale the business.
3. Offshoring works for any type of firm
You can be a sole practitioner, second-tier or top-tier firm and benefit from having an offshore team. Remember, however, that offshoring is not a quick fix for your firm. It’s not something that will be up and running tomorrow. It requires time to work but once you’ve set it up, it can yield productivity gains right away because you now have three to four people performing process-driven tasks.
4. Establish a people strategy for the long term
One of the things Nick gives importance is having a solid people strategy. A good question to ask yourself is “have I mapped out a people strategy for the next 12 months based on our income target?”
Determine the number of people your firm needs to service clients for the next three to five years. Fulfilling lodgements become quicker upon doing so. Once you’ve figured out the size of manpower needed to hit capacity and achieve revenue target.
BEWARE: Some firms work out their revenue target but fail to check if they have the capacity to actually get it done within the timeframe they’ve set for themselves.
ASK: “How many people do we need to actually deliver a service?”
5. How much time do you waste doing things you shouldn’t be doing?
The inability to properly utilise accountants is one major issue among firms. This is because many are too buried in administrative work (i.e. bookkeeping and managing emails) instead of focusing on meeting clients and providing sound financial advice.
Offshoring can help firms avoid time-consuming tasks and focus on client-facing work
Nick suggests looking at firms’ charge rates and the time spent on tasks they shouldn’t be doing.
Your time is important and you should be doing it to best serve your clients. For this reason alone, it’s vital that you outsource routinary tasks to an executive assistant, for example. In one of the sessions, Nick shared that accounting firms that have outsourced bookkeeping have seen 25% to 75% increase in their margins. Offshoring can provide extraordinary efficiency gains.
6. A distributed workforce get things done
Having a distributed workforce allows for flexibility. Team members can accomplish tasks wherever they are, thanks to cloud technology. Consequently, this can increase productivity as accountants are able to take responsibility for their tasks.
Furthermore, when firms have an offshore team that handles equally important yet time-consuming tasks, they are able to shift their resources back to the tasks that matter: meeting with clients and providing sound advice. Distributing the tasks will help firms become more proactive with clients.
7. Our outsourcing model is different and unique
Offshoring is beneficial when done right. Bear in mind that outsourcing isn’t simply taking on work. It requires strategy.
Typically, firms send over work to the offshore team who then accomplishes the tasks and sends back the output. As firms continue to grow, the quality of work can deteriorate because people are taking on more work and are not receiving continuous development.
Firms are ramping up so fast accountants can’t keep up with the latest. “It’s a catch 22 for this type of model,” Nick stated.
The Outsourced Accountant’s outsourcing model is different.
Our model is different and unique. We provide full time dedicated resources to you. You employ in essence through us full time staff. It is a different model but one that works.
If you wish to know more about our outsourcing model and how it can help scale your business, listen to this interview with our CEO Nick Sinclair. Or get in touch with our relationship managers and schedule a free consultation.
Join us in our upcoming free-to-attend webinar – a discussion on the best insights from the TOA Roadshow 2017. Register here now.
You can also contact our local experts or call us today at 1300 896 522.