To thrive in the new age of accounting, you need a well-defined people strategy because after all is said and done, the firms who are able to attract and retain the best talent will win.
In our webinar poll where 130 US accountants were asked what their biggest business challenge is, they ranked people (43%) the highest, followed by systems and process (38%) and finally, technology (19%).
So how do you make your people strategy work to assemble a high-performing accounting team? Follow these four steps from Nick Sinclair, TOA Global Chairman –
1. Revise your people strategy so the right people can do the right work
Nick couldn’t have said it better: “your people are your biggest asset.”
He also added that, “no matter how wonderful the technology is, no matter how great your systems and processes are, your business is only as good as the people who are delivering it.”
Begin fixing your people strategy by asking the right questions to identify key issues on your team:
- Do you have a People strategy and capacity plan?
- Are you getting 3x revenue from every professional team member?
- Is your team doing the right work?
- Does every team member know what success looks like every day?
- Does your team have the right tools or are they set up for failure?
2. Engage, prepare and empower your onshore team for changes
If your local team members are bogged down by process-driven tasks, they won’t have time to upskill themselves. Through the help of an offshore accounting team, your onshore team can focus on work that adds value to clients. Get them involved through the following steps:
- Empower your local team with your vision for a global team
- Ask them to enumerate tasks that can be outsourced
- Give them ownership and keep them updated with progress
- Re-affirm their job security
3. Source the right people for your global team through the right partner
At this point, your onshore team have identified the tasks that can be delegated to their offshore counterparts. To hire and retain professionals who will make up your global team, you need to find the right provider and the right location.
A dedicated outsourcing partner who knows your industry and understands your current needs is your ideal partner – one that enables you to treat your offshore team as an extension of your firm.
Next, where’s the best location for outsourcing basic accounting functions and support roles?
Language, talent, and education-wise, the Philippines ranks as one of the top outsourcing countries in the world. Aside from producing more than 3,000 CPAs a year, Philippine citizens are bilingual, with English being taught in schools from an early age.
Why does this matter? Nick says that if you’re building your own team, communication is the number one thing that needs to work.
This proficiency, together with a huge pool of professional talent and strong work ethic, makes the Philippines an ideal location for your global team.
4. Treat your global team development as a journey
Starting small is a smart approach in assembling your global team. Hiring one or two team members for now? No problem. Growing your global team is a journey—a long-term capacity play that if done right, you’ll reap these benefits that other firms have enjoyed with their global team:
- Time to create and implement a long-term people strategy
- Local staff are aligned with high-value activities
- Skilled talent is secured
- Increased work capacity
- Increased customer facing time
Success in your journey all boils down to taking care of your global accounting team—both your onshore and offshore. They will, in turn, take care of your customers better and consistently deliver high-quality work that will rapidly spur your firm’s growth.