Looking to scale your firm? Offshoring offers a viable solution to firms looking for ways to enhance productivity, improve efficiency and drive capacity. It is a long-term play but once firms put in the time and effort, it can yield an immediate upside. Based on our data, firms that have been offshoring for 4 to 5 years have experienced phenomenal efficiency gains. Offshoring has helped companies become more workflow focused, matched the right people with the right tasks, effectively retained staff, and improve capacity, among others. It’s important to recognise that offshoring is not a magic bullet. But it can be made less challenging by making sure you do things right. If you’re looking to offshore, here are some crucial steps to make your journey as enjoyable as possible.
Identify tasks that can or need to be outsourcedThere are three types of tasks: process-driven, value and growth tasks. Process-driven tasks: these are tasks you don’t like doing but need to because they are part of the job, like compliance and bookkeeping. Value tasks: these are tasks you actually like doing but can’t because your time is consumed by the process-driven tasks. Growth tasks: these are tasks that you assign to an assistant so you can have more time for other tasks that will help grow your firm. The process-driven tasks are what you outsource because they consume a lot of time. Transferring these tasks to a global offshore team will you enable your onshore team to take care of higher value tasks. That means they will have more time to personally meet clients to provide financial advice. Growth tasks can also be outsourced. Even though these can be done locally, letting an offshore team take care of these tasks (virtual assistance, marketing, client relationship management) will give you more time to focus on actually growing your business. Using the offshoring business model will allow firms to drive growth while retaining local staff. More importantly, it will increase employee engagement and motivation because the staff is left with tasks they actually enjoy doing.
Look for a reliable offshore providerA reputable offshoring partner will play a vital role in your success, so make sure to take as much time as possible when looking for one. It is highly recommended that you look for one that can take care of everything for you from setting up the processes to recruiting staff. Identify an offshore provider that can identify and understand your needs, match you with the right model that’s aligned with your goals. More importantly, choose an offshore partner that can build the kind of firm you envision.
Plan for the long-termOffshoring does not offer a one-size-fits-all solution. It will not be the same for all firms but there are best practices that companies can adhere to:
- Document your processes: document every process right from the start so you can have training materials for future hires. This should also help you identify best practice methods to help improve efficiency. Create how-to videos and step-by-step guides on certain processes.
- Utilise technology: Technology has been a huge enabler for offshoring. Make use of available technology to expedite processes. Automate tasks like document acquisition, engagement letters, reporting, etc. The right accounting technology as well as communication tools will make your team more efficient.
- Select a champion: find a team member who you can train to become an expert in your business who can train the rest of the team. Ideally, this is someone with people skills, can effectively teach others.
Managing your offshore teamThe success of your global offshore team depends on how you manage day-to-day operations. By working with your offshore provider, you will be able to identify strategies to ensure your team continues to deliver value for clients.
- Bring the best out of your team
- Streamline processes
- Make sure that all methods are put in place for maximum performance
- Set communication rhythms
- Make sure to talk to the team regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly)
- Schedule reviews and feedback for team members
- Come up with incentives to recognise and reward team members for their work
- Forge the kind of culture that will keep employees engaged
- Embrace technology to improve productivity and enhance efficiency
Evaluate your performanceThe review phase is important because this will help you identify areas that work and what don’t. The review process will let you know if your strategy has resulted to positive results. At the same time, this will present opportunities to make adjustments on certain data.
- Check if your current setup fits your business’ vision, mission and purpose
- Review if your initial goals are achieved
- Seek feedback from the staff, clients and key personnel
ConclusionOffshoring is not a quick fix but it is effective in driving firms to success. It may have some challenges but the benefits definitely far outweigh the cons. Finding the right offshoring partner will make the journey a lot more convenient for you. Most importantly, it can significantly impact your success in becoming the firm of the future. Get the latest accounting industry updates in your inbox by subscribing to The Ledger now. Click here to know more.
If you are looking to solve capacity restraints, call our offshoring specialists at 1300 896 522 or click here to download our blueprint on how to build a global accounting team.