#Ignite2018 Roadshow Wrap-up Webinar: What To Expect

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4-minute read   The #Ignite2018 Roadshow has come to a close. This six-city event has been a resounding success with an audience of close to 300 accounting firms from across Australia. The roadshow was designed specifically to help Accountants, Bookkeepers, Accounting Firm Owners and Partners build thriving businesses. An amazing panel of industry experts were on hand to share priceless tools ... Read more

Growing Through Offshoring: How We Help Our Clients

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6-minute-read   The vision of The Outsourced Accountant (TOA) is to revolutionise global accounting teams. We aim to be the leader in providing dedicated accounting and professional support staff for firms in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the world. With close to 900 accountants and support staff and continuously growing, ... Read more

Accounting Evolution : Taking The Big Leap To Consultancy

accounting consultancy
5-minute read   For years, accountants have done just fine in taking care of the finances of businesses, big and small. Our work, which is mostly comprised of keeping books, preparing tax returns and performing audits. This is, essentially, what accounting is about. But with time comes change. That applies to our roles as accountants, ... Read more

3 Essential Steps To Grow Your Firm And Achieve The Results You Really Want

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7-minute read   For a brief moment, imagine taking a step back away from your firm. From the outside looking in, is the current status quo of your accounting business what you imagined it would be when you first decided to build it? The fact of the matter is that a vast majority of accounting ... Read more

Winning The Accounting Practice With Cloud Computing

cloud computing for firm success
5-minute read   Today, technology determines who wins (and loses) in the accounting practice. Thanks to cloud computing, accounting firms, regardless of size, can now handle massive amounts of data, allowing them to take on jobs that used to be exclusive to bigger firms that have more resources and manpower. Despite the continuously evolving customer ... Read more

Is Technology Really Growing Your Firm?

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Achieving sustainable growth in an industry amidst rapid disruptive change is not easy.

Do you want to know the secret of the the world’s most profitable and high-performing firms?

They use a three-pronged approach: Technology, People, And Process:

Optimum use of the right tools and technologies, the right people in the right roles, and the right accounting business strategies and how-to methodologies are keys to your firm’s success.

Time For A Reality Check

During our most recent poll, we asked accounting firms “how helpful is technology in growing your firm?”:

  • 33% say they use some software but need to learn more
  • 28% say they have an IT stack but have not maximised all of it
  • 17% say they have just started building their IT stack
  • 11% say that they are learning just now

But the most important number is:

  • Only 11% say that their IT stack is very helpful and they are using it efficiently.

What this figure says is that there is a very low percentage of accounting firms who are using technology to its fullest potential. If your accounting firm wants to achieve its goals, you need to maximise the use of the technology available to you.

The Fact of The Matter

 

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According to Ron Lesh, Founder and Managing Director of award-winning BGL Corporate Solutions, there are five types of accounting firms depending on when they started integrating technology.

  1. Innovators – The initiators and creators of better and faster ways to do things
  2. Early Adopters – The first to use the latest technology
  3. Early Majority – The firms that saw Early Adopter results and began using the technology as well
  4. Late Majority – The firms that started using technology relatively recently
  5. Laggards – The firms who haven’t, are just thinking of, or don’t want to use technology

Ron says that most accounting firms are heading into the Late Majority. But you would most definitely not want to be a Laggard because, in today’s digital age, accountants like you need to realize two things:

  1. You are no longer purveyors of information. Clients can ask Google.
  2. Clients know what you know. They have access to all their info and they know your competitors.

This is why it is very important to be ahead of the curve by not only using technology but to make sure they are all integrated. Most times, accounting firms use different software that don’t actually connect to each other.

Integration is the first step to automation. With automated systems, you can streamline workflow to increase efficiency and consequently enhance capacity.

The Benefits of Automation

Let’s say each year all your work takes 10,000 hours to finish. When you automate your systems effectively, you will see a:

  • 30% decrease in total number of hours after 2.5 years to only 7,000 hours
  • 60% decrease in total number of hours after 5 years to only 4,000 hours

Imagine what you can do with thousands of extra hours. You can use it to do extensive business planning. You can take on more new clients. You can train your teams. There is so much time you can save to focus on really growing your firm.

Time To Grow Your Firm

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The pace by which leading-edge technology and best practices are changing is staggering. Rob Nixon, success mentor, coach, and facilitator to hundreds of accounting firms worldwide, knows this all too well. To grow your accounting business, he says that you need to do three things:

  1. FIX what is going on today. Technology wise, do an audit of what you use. If you are not maximising their full potential, ensure that you do or use something that you can. Then, start fixing your workflow, pricing, receivables, client mix, and all day-to-days.
  2. MINIMISE time and get more efficient. Look at every single technology you use. If it is not helping minimise time or increase capacity, use something that will. Mishandling of data occurs the more people it passes through. Automation cuts this. Gaining time and capacity will allow you to increase profits and achieve sustainable revenue growth.
  3. SCALE to your desired business size. When you have sorted out the first two, it is time to set targets and grow your business. Go into new niche markets. Expand your services portfolio and include value-added services.  

Rob says, “Let technology write the history and accountant make history.” Automate your processes so you, the accountant, can focus on serving clients. Pair this with effective implementation of the right accounting business strategies and you will have the formula for success.

“Your accounting firm can be whatever you want it to be. Your dreams, imagination, your desire to implement new ideas will make all the difference.”

How To Face Critical Challenges

Before your firm achieves sustainable growth, there will be hurdles you have to jump over. Our survey says that:

  • 55% of accounting firms consider technological advancements as their major challenge.
  • 39% say it is the high cost of labour
  • 35% say that it is meeting customer expectations
  • 31% say that it is the lack of team members with necessary skills
  • 14% say that is globalisation and integration of cloud technology

Build a highly skilled global accounting team and you can address a majority of these challenges. While you will gain the capacity you need, remember that this is a long-term play. You need to match this with the right accounting business strategies and how-to methodologies.

Low Risk And High Rewards

Offshoring is not a risky proposition as you might think. We at The Outsourced Accountant have worked with hundreds of accounting and they will tell you that the rewards outweigh the risks many times over.

By having a high-performing global team, you free up your local team to be more productive and increase workflow efficiency. So matching the right skills with the right people allows your local team to grow in the process.

Building Your Team

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There are 10 clear-cut advantages of building your local team and a team in the Philippines:

  1. Full-time Employees – You will have a dedicated offshore team.
  2. Aligned with Your Time Zone – Your offshore team will work while you work.
  3. Highly Secure Data and Systems – You do not worry about breaches.
  4. Free Consult To Plot Your Growth – You have us to help you build your team and business.
  5. Full-time Offshore and Local Support – You have increased time and capacity.
  6. A-team for Long-term Investment – You gain a high-performing team to help achieve growth sustainability.
  7. Highly Skilled Talent Pool – You choose from the best-of-the-best industry specialists.
  8. Great English Proficiency – Your team will have one of the highest English proficiency rates in Asia.
  9. Low Employee Turnover – You can trust your team to stay and be loyal to you.
  10. Client Education and Peer Community – You have access to other firms on the same journey.

So if you want your firm to achieve true sustainable growth, a potent combination of the effective implementation of the right technology, the right people in the right roles, and the right accounting business strategies is key.

You can start by letting us show you how we can help build your own high-performing offshore team. The hundreds of accounting firms who are working with us are thriving.

Let us show you what we can do for you.

Schedule a FREE phone consultation with one of our global consultants.

Intelligent Accounting: Making The Most Of Cloud Technology

cloud technology
Despite its prevalence, many companies are still not utilising technology. Hence the lack of capacity and inefficient processes. Firms that make a deliberate effort to use technology in their processes will see a significant upswing on productivity, efficiency, and, in the long run, profitability. Technology is a vital ingredient in managing a successful accounting firm. ... Read more

Overcome Accounting Firm Capacity Challenges To Increase Revenue

overcome-accounting-firm-capacity-challenges-increase-revenue
5-minute read   Picture this. Twenty new clients come up to you. They want you to be their accountant. Do you have the capacity to take them onboard? If you do, then you’re managing your accounting business right. If you can’t take on more new clients, don’t worry because you’re not alone. Majority of accounting ... Read more

Embrace Technology And Become a Million-Dollar Accountant #Ignite2018 Roadshow: What to Expect

2018 ignite roadshow
5-minute read   Research shows that most firms are not adapting their processes, people or leadership to the digital environment. Firms that are not utilising technology are still bogged down by compliance and do not have the capacity to meet customer needs. Are you one of these firms? How is technology working out for your ... Read more

Hiring The Right People The First Time: Paving The Way To Success

According to The Outsourced Accountant Chairman Nick Sinclair, skills shortage is one of the many reasons why firms come to us. These firms are burdened with the inability to find talents who possess a specific skill set required for certain job roles. It doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t find people in Australia. The problem is, ... Read more

Getting Primed For Tax Season: Ensuring You And Your Global Team Are Set For Success (Q&A Part 2)

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8-minute read   To get ready for tax season, you and your global team need to be consider five critical points. In part one of this Q and A session, we covered (1) Essentials of Capacity Planning and (2) Getting Your Planning and Rhythms Right. Now, we’re going to cover (3) Preparing Your Team for ... Read more

Expert Insights On Building Capacity To Grow Your Firm

7-minute read

 

Firms looking to scale will benefit from one simple tip: think outside your comfort zone.

The solution to the challenges you’re experiencing may lie on offshoring.

One of the most common problems faced by firms looking to grow is the lack of qualified individuals. And it’s through offshoring that one of our clients, Measured Results, found the answer.

 

How to Build Capacity in 2018 with Offshoring - Tyler

 

In a previous webinar on How To Build Capacity Through Offshoring, Tyler McBroom, partner, shared his firm’s amazing journey on becoming one of the companies that successfully implemented this business model.

Firms get busy during tax season. It’s a challenging time and it’s important that accountants know how to adapt. There are obstacles, however, starting with being bogged down with compliance tasks to not having the right technology to speed up productivity and enhance efficiency.

 

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With a steady stream of clients, the firm has one problem: they cannot find the right people to work on specific jobs. It didn’t help that their location isn’t very accessible.

But the shortage of skilled individuals won’t help them meet the workload assigned to them. They needed to deliver. And that is where offshoring comes in.

In the 12 months that Measured Result has been with The Outsourced Accountant, the firm has experienced rapid growth by expanding their team. In fact, they were able to double their staff.

Measured Result’s 12-month offshoring journey produced the following results:

  • 62% revenue increase
  • 130% pre partner profit increase
  • Bolstered growth for the business
  • More focus in training
  • Goal of hitting $1M growth

 

From having only four members, they grew to 12 team members. Now, they are looking into hiring more. Offshoring helped the firm find qualified staff.

They now have no less than three Certified Public Accountants (CPA). These are all highly skilled professionals who possess strong work ethic. McBroom recognises that these accountants are very sharp and do very good work.

Finding the right people to do the right job at the right price can have a tremendous impact on one’s business. That’s because you can have increased productivity and enhanced capacity. With the right people, your firm can meet client deliverables. And you don’t have to worry about accuracy and quality.

Assembling An Awesome Offshore Team

 

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What’s great about offshoring is it allows you to tap into the huge pool of talents that are not available onshore. The Philippines, in particular, is a great place to offshore and recruit talents because:

  • It has a seriously skilled talent pool
  • Filipinos have a strong work ethic
  • Filipinos have a very strong affinity to the western culture
  • The Philippines’ time zone is aligned with yours

 

Furthermore, the Philippines is ranked high when it comes to English proficiency, making working with someone from the country easy because the language barrier is no longer there.

The work doesn’t stop with finding talent. You need to continually work on keeping your staff engaged and motivated because their mindset towards work will influence their performance.

Getting Your New Team Members Up To Speed

One of the key steps in ensuring success for your accounting firm is to onboard your talents properly.  

Getting your offshore team members ready entails investing time, effort, and thought because you need to ensure engagement from your remote team. Here at The Outsourced Accountant, we have a dedicated team for onboarding offshore teams called the client experience team.

Subsequently, you will need to train your new team members and get them up to speed with the business. It’s important to have a clear and outlined training schedule with very specific outcomes.

To get the best results, we highly recommend in-person training where you either fly out your team member to the onshore office or have a point-of-contact to go to the Philippines to provide training.

In this process, you will be able to walk the team member through the specifics of their role, the processes and systems, and, more importantly, to establish good rapport.

For Measured Results, McBroom shared that having their offshore team member flown to their Australia office yielded favourable results. Following recommendations from other people who’ve tried offshoring, they had their senior accountant sent over to Australia during their busy season. It turned out to be a huge thing because they were able to establish a good relationship, which also contributed to their capacity.

Another strategy is having a manager available to accommodate any questions from the entire team.

Welcome To The Future

Embracing technology is an important step to increasing capacity. As a huge enabler for offshoring, technology has transformed the way accountants work. It has made distributed workforce possible. Now, accountants can work anytime, anywhere by switching to the cloud.

There is a wide variety of software, apps and tools that have automated tasks from bookkeeping to generating reports, which significantly improved firm productivity and efficiency.

When Measured Results started offshoring, they transferred everything to the cloud. 80% of their clients are currently using Quickbooks Online. They also recommend that their clients go web-based. By switching to the cloud, their team members can now focus on growth-oriented activities.

Working with an offshore service provider will definitely pave the way for significant improvements for firms. While it’s not a magic pill, when done right, can yield the results you want. Offshoring can give you immediate capacity BUT know that it is a long-term play.

 

Subscribe to The Ledger to discover more valuable accounting business insights.

Check out our podcast at The Outsourced Accountant to learn the strategies and how-to methodologies to becoming a high-performing firm that delivers results.

 


Looking to scale your business by getting the right people to do specific roles? Call our global offshoring specialists at 1300 896 522 or click here to download our blueprint on how to build a global accounting team.


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