Grant Thornton’s latest International Business Report (IBR) survey revealed that cost is not the key driver for New Zealand business leaders in outsourcing professional services.
The 2015 study Outsourcing: Beyond Technical Expertise explores what companies look for in their outsourcing relationships. The most common professional services that are outsourced include human resources, payroll, and accounting. Many companies engage external specialists to execute these costs effectively. But contrary to the usual priority of other companies when outsourcing, cost “rarely ranks as a top priority” for NZ business leaders.
When asked which are the most important criteria to the success of outsourcing relationships, Matt Parkinson of Grant Thornton believes that non-technical skills such as communication, reliability, and trustcount just as much – if not more – than harder factors such as specialist capabilities.
Majority of NZ business owners (91%) concurred that good communication is a key driver that contributes to a positive outsourcing experience, compared with the global average of 88%. New Zealand also ranked 22 out of 35 countries in this area. Meanwhile, the participants in the top seven countries unanimously considered communication as an essential part of distinctive client service.
According to Parkinson, “Communication is integral to building high levels of trust, and responses in the IBR survey demonstrate how vital this is. Participants ranked communication considerably higher than the provider’s project governance and resource management experience.”
Clients expect their providers to deliver on-time and meet their high standards. They depend on their providers in remaining compliant with regulatory requirements, that is why trust is also an important attribute.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of business leaders around the globe claim it is important that their lead outsourcing provider are responsive and can address an issue right away. These companies want their providers to be proactive in finding ways to streamline business processes. Also, they consider good providers who listen to what clients want in order to improve their service.
In addition to this, a track record in servicing similar organisations (46%), trusting the supplier (36%) and understanding their businesses (36%) influence these leaders’ decisions the most. The cost of services ranked a distant fourth in New Zealand (18%).
Here is the global result of the said survey:
Hard, specialist skills, whether in accounting or technology functions, may be readily available in a market, but ‘intangible assets’, or non-technical skills should never be underestimated as they are also important differentiators.
The industry competition and technological advancement have changed client expectations and service providers must be able to adapt quickly to fulfill these criteria in order to help them become more successful.
The Outsourced Accountant supports Australian and New Zealand accounting firms by helping them understand and implement outsourcing solutions to help them become more proactive and truly add value to their clients. If you want to know more about outsourcing, call us at 1300 896 522, and download our e-book.