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

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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

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.

 

How-to-Build-Capacity-With-Offshoring-Case-Study-600x339

 

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

 

offshoring in the philippines

 

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.


How To Futureproof Your Accounting Workforce By Building A Global Team

Future Proofing you Accounting Workforce

The Outsourced Accountant Chairman Nick Sinclair recently held a webinar on futureproofing the accounting workforce. In this episode, he discussed various topics ranging from the current challenges facing the accounting industry to effective strategies firms can implement to some case studies of leading accounting firms.

Challenges Accountants Are Facing Today

 

Future Proofing you Accounting Workforce

 

Globalisation

Globalisation is disrupting the accounting industry. By removing barriers in trade and business, it has made the world a lot smaller and has now made it easier for firms to tap into talents not present in a specific location.

This makes it possible for businesses to outsource jobs or create offshore teams. By having the ability to access new markets, businesses are presented with new opportunities to drive success to their firms.

Cloud computing

The ability to store large amounts of data in the cloud has provided accountants a better opportunity to deliver real-time information and add more value to their clients. This makes access to data easier and more secure.

Technology advancements

Evolving at a rapid pace, technology has made the accounting practice a lot easier by automating several processes. The problem is, not many companies are maximising its use and that it is the number one thing that’s bogging down firms. 

Customer expectations

These days, customers are demanding more. Customers want more; they want things done quicker. They want: proactive advice, to kept up-to-date with progress, and regular communication.

These expectations can, at times, be overwhelming for accountants, however. That’s because many of our accountants are bogged down with time-consuming tasks.

Skills shortage

There is currently a shortage of the “right talents” onshore. That means firms need to get the right people to do the right work for the right price. Building a global team offers a solution to this dilemma by providing the opportunity to tap into the skills of highly qualified individuals from another location, like the Philippines.

Cost of labour

Setting up a global team will allow businesses to save on costs. Hiring accountants (and other professionals) offshore come with greater savings: the cost of hiring four offshore team members costs the same as employing one onshore team member.

Future Proofing you Accounting Workforce

 

Setting up a global team addresses these critical challenges. But while offshoring helps enhance a firm’s capacity, it’s important to remember that it does not offer immediate results; it’s a long-term play. But when done right, firms will notice impressive results.

Capacity Issues Are Bogging Down Firms Looking To Grow

Most firms experience capacity issues (80%). In fact, it’s the biggest issue for firms looking to grow. They don’t have time to plan because they are stuck with running the business. There is no time to rise above the day-to-day work.

Building a global team can help you build capacity. It will also do the following:

  • Improve team productivity
  • Help the onshore team to add significant value to clients
  • Find people with the suitable skills for specific roles

 

On Setting Up A Bookkeeping Division

 

Future Proofing you Accounting Workforce

 

Most of the time, accountants dislike doing bookkeeping because it is messy and, oftentimes, time-consuming.

However, there is a huge opportunity to increase profits through bookkeeping. It is, in fact, the fastest growth area in our business. It is also effective in fencing clients in because when you offer this kind of service, you’re basically offering clients everything they need.

Running a bookkeeping division offers several opportunities:

  • Create additional revenue streams
  • Increase margins by taking care of compliance
  • Strengthen relationships between accountants and clients

 

There is a huge dynamic shift over the years thanks to cloud technology. Now, both clients and accountants can access data real-time. It’s possible to create a distributed workforce. Remote work is possible.

Because of this, accountants can now take steps to be more proactive, which is what clients want.

That means they can now become the trusted advisor. That is because, in most cases, the bookkeepers are considered the trusted advisors since they talk to the clients more often.

Why Should You Consider Outsourcing?

Future Proofing you Accounting Workforce

 

Offshoring Myths And/Or Truths

Outsourcing is offshoring

Outsourcing entails obtaining services from a third party company which can be located anywhere. That means the service provider can be located in the same location as the business. Offshoring, on the other hand, means acquiring services from another country. This can also mean the re-location of certain aspects of a business to another country.

Security risk

Offshore service providers, like The Outsourced Accountant, employ strict security measures. Often times, the security risks come from the companies themselves, and not the service provider. A good example would be the staff accessing unsecured websites or logging into their work accounts from unsecured locations, like public wi-fi connections, etc.

There’s a lot less risk when you have your own global team.

Equates to lower quality of work

Offshore teams are some of the most qualified and talented professionals you can find. In fact, countries like the Philippines are teeming with highly skilled professionals. And that is one major factor why many businesses expand both their offshore and onshore teams.

The misconception about offshoring resulting in poor quality work stems from the early days when clients transfer work to a company only to get subpar work. We’ve pivoted the way we work. You are in control of how you run your global team so that everything is aligned with your processes, workflows, and systems.

New accounting concept

Offshoring accounting is not a new concept. This business model has been used by companies as early as the 1970s. In the 1990s, technology has allowed outsourcing in the accounting industry possible. Now, technology has become a huge enabler for offshoring and firms are starting to realise its benefits.

For the last 5 years, outsourcing has gone from “I am not doing it” to a majority of people wanting to do it. Now, it’s more about who is not going to do it. More and more firms are talking about and considering it.

Automatically means lower prices

In a lot of cases, the biggest reason accounting firms build a global team is for capacity. To do that, it will require you to get the right people to do the right work at the right price. When building capacity, it’ll be beneficial to have four offshore team members, the cost of which is equivalent to one onshore team member. That way, your firm gains capacity without spending a lot.

Offshoring only suits low-level tasks

The reality is we all have all types of levels of work for clients from compliance to complex business strategies. Anything done locally will probably be done in our global offices. The level of work done is significantly higher than people’s perception.

Team members cannot be client-facing

Some people will think that offshore team members are not allowed to face clients. It actually depends on the client. It comes down to the firm’s strategy. In most cases, offshore team members interact with the clients on a regular basis.

A fad that will eventually be replaced by artificial intelligence

Even with the advent of technology, it’s important to know that people will always be needed in the accounting industry. Artificial intelligence cannot wipe out the people component because the future of accounting will need actual accountants to audit the data processed by AI.

What Are Leading Accounting Firms Doing?

 

Future Proofing you Accounting Workforce

 

How much of your time is actually spent on the computer screen instead of sitting in front of the clients or on the phone, talking to clients?

Their partners are running the business like a business. They have someone to take care of the routinary tasks, like managing emails. If you actually track your activities, you might be surprised at how and where you spend your time.

Accountants who are too busy will not have time to ring their clients. This can be traced back to the lack of capacity. Because they are bogged down with work, accountants are sacrificing the chance to build a relationship with their clients. But by implementing time-saving measures, like getting an executive assistant, you free up time so you can spend more time in front of clients.

Epic Tips And Action Plan

If nothing changes within your firm, then nothing changes. You cannot expect different results when you are not doing anything new.

Here’s a challenge: get your team to write down the key things they spend their time on.

 

Future Proofing you Accounting Workforce (1)

 

A lot of the philosophy around this is pushing the work down so you can push your team up.

How much of your accountant’s time is spent on doing administration?

Are they doing the right type of work?

Analyse the way you are spending your time and then figure out if it is the right way to spend your time.

 

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

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


Enhance your firm’s capacity. Let us show you how to build your own offshore team. Call our global offshoring specialists at 1300 896 522.

Learn what it takes to build an offshore team. Download our FREE eBook NOW! Click here.


The Outsourced Accountant: Forging Tomorrow’s Success Today

Forging-Success-Today-TOA-Building-Featured-Image
4-minute read   Over the last four years, demand has seen us grow from a handful of employees to now supporting accountants with over 900 team members. We are forecasted to exceed 1,200 by the end of 2018 and 2,500 by the end of 2019; from one office in Clark to two, and the third ... Read more

Client Satisfaction: The Art Of Keeping Customers Happy

Client experience - keeping customers happy
5-minute read   Progressive accounting firms are those that have mastered the art of keeping clients happy. Client satisfaction is a vital ingredient for success. That’s because satisfied clients are happy clients. And happy clients are less likely to leave. Furthermore, they are more likely to avail of added services or provide referrals. Keeping Clients ... Read more

Ready, Set, Go! – Getting Your Team Ready To Make Tax Season More Profitable

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6-minute read   Stressful. Exhausting. And, dare we say it? Even torturous. Yes, accountants dread tax season. We know that pushing through tax returns or year-end audits is a grueling ordeal. Accountants, like you, know all too well the struggle that tax season brings. But, as they say, knowing is half the battle. It is ... Read more

TOA Clients Winning At The Australian Accounting Awards 2018

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4-minute read   To say that we are proud is an understatement. We consider it an honour to be working with such amazing individuals and firms. Being part of their journey towards bigger and better things, it warms our hearts to see them being recognised for a job well done. THE VALUE FOR THE WINNERS ... Read more

Diversify To Amplify: Why Accountants Should Build A Bookkeeping Division

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4-minute read   The answer to this intriguing question boils down to one word: Diversification. In an accounting industry amidst massive disruption, this one word can be the difference to winning or losing the future game. You will find out why below.   SHIFT IN STATUS QUO For the longest time, accountants have been considered ... Read more

Keeping Up With The Times: From Number-crunchers To Accounting Consultants

accounting consultants
It's no secret that the accounting profession is undergoing some changes. As competition increases with the advancement of technology, more firms are looking into adding a new revenue stream, like business consulting. What benefit does this provide accounting firms? To put it simply, firms that offer consulting services will be able to help businesses understand ... Read more

The Accounting Firm Hyper Growth Session

The Accounting Firm Hyper Growth Session

Getting Absolute Return On Your Time

Topics:

  • How to get an absolute return on your time
  • How firms can pivot from offering only tax compliance to adding value
  • How offshoring can benefit both local and offshore teams
  • How to add value and deliver more to clients

 

Insights and takeaways:

  • We can do any task behind a computer or phone
  • Offshoring presents an opportunity to free up local team members and get other people to do less value work (people who enjoy doing the job)
  • Local team will have more time to focus on the right type of work
  • Majority of firms today are too focused on compliance work. They are busy being busy.
  • Many firms are not set up to deliver services that can make the most difference to their clients because they are not doing advisory work.
  • Numerous firms do not have the time; they don’t have time for themselves and for their clients.
  • Eighty percent of revenue for an accounting firm is from tax compliance and audit work.

 

So What Do We Aim To Do?

We are here to help you change the lives of your clients. By utilising Rob’s knowledge and experience, you can start implementing new practices to your firm so you can have more time and add more value to clients.

Are You Delivering Value To Your Clients?

Firms that are truly adding value to clients are those that are willing to invest in everything they need to achieve their goals. These are firms that take the time to identify their client’s objectives and match them with the right services.

The accounting profession is bogged down in historical services (87%) which include tax compliance and audit. This is not what clients really want.

We previously ran a poll and asked firms what tasks consume their time. Here’s what we found:

Offshoring Challenges for firms

 

Insights From Business Owners

Years ago, Rob was able to interview 1,077 business owners on behalf of 126 accounting firms in a boardroom type setting where partners were also present. He discovered that:

  • Clients don’t know what they don’t know
  • Accountants are not systematically visiting their clients
  • Accountants are not helping clients find out what they need

 

Since they’re bogged down with compliance, accountants (and partners) are unable to really service their clients.

Is Compliance Really Dead?

To set things straight, compliance is not dead. It will, however, change. Technology, in particular, has dramatically changed compliance.

Compliance is not going away but it’s going to be different.

 

Do you want to know how your firm can make the most out of technology? Watch this video.

Learn how outsourcing benefits from cloud technology in this video.

 

What Successful Firms Are Doing

Firms that are doing well are those that sort out the workflow, client mix, technology, pricing, work-in-progress, deliverables, and day-to-day work. They are also looking for ways to build capacity through various means: offshoring, different systems, and people.

It’s important to note that these are firms that DO NOT hire more accountants locally.

The next step would be top-of-the-line revenue, grow the number of clients, the average fee per client, and the number of services.

Working In Vs. Working On

A phrase coined by author Michael Gerber in the book “The E-Myth” said that “businesses need to spend more time working on the business than in the business.”

What Does This Mean And How Does This Impact Accounting Firms?

Working in means doing what the business does while working on means working out things that will help grow the business.

Firms that are stuck in doing or working in are those whose accountants are very busy doing the compliance stuff. They spend most of their time on historical services, auditing, filing and lodging, and catching up on compliance work. These firms are time-strapped and, as a result, don’t get to work on actually growing the business.

They are, to put it simply, don’t spend their time wisely.

What Should Accountants Be Doing With Their Time?

Rob relayed a story that serves as a good example of how one should spend time. In an interview he was listening to, he learned how one executive was able to do more than she was actually doing by doing the following:

  • Keep a log of all tasks done in the day
  • Do it for one month and then stop when it starts repeating itself
  • Go back to the logs and find the highest dollar-productive activity during the past 30 days
  • Look for the second, then the third highest dollar-productive task
  • Focus on those three things

 

The executive was able to focus on growing the business and doubled her income.

The important takeaway in this story is: identify the best yield of your time. Do more of tasks that allow you to develop the business. Always remember what the best use of your time is. Always ask: what is the highest dollar-productive activity?

 

Need more tips on how you can get the most out of your time? Check out these reads:

Accounting Tips To Effectively Manage Your Time

Double Profits By Taking Charge Of Your Time

Improve Productivity: Are You Wasting Your Time?

Time Is A Big Excuse

 

It’s not that I don’t have enough time. It’s what I’m doing with my time. What are you actually doing?”

Rob Nixon, Mentor to Million Dollar Accountants

 

We all have the same hours in a day. The issue is in how people use their time. Saying “I don’t have time” is not an excuse to not touch base with your clients. It is important to push yourselves to get the most out of the time given to you.

Important takeaway: never use the excuse of not having the time.

What’s Holding You Back From Growing?

Complacency is what’s keeping most firms from growing. The accounting profession is profitable in itself. In fact, in some places, like the United States, it’s the most profitable business.

So How Has Complacency Kept Many Firms From Becoming Successful?

Many have remained reactive. They are content with what they are currently making, which is enough to give them a comfortable life. And since most accountants are too busy as it is, there’s no reason to add more tasks and become even more busy since they are already earning good money.

It affects the psychology of the person. There’s no reason to become more productive because they are already enjoying the good, comfortable life.

When it comes to growing your firm, having the right mindset is very important. When you are in the right mindset and have the right attitude, the rest will follow: tactics and strategies to double revenue, etc.

It all starts inside your head.

Motivation is crucial in building a business that actually helps clients make history, a business that can change their lives.

It starts with having that deep burning desire to succeed.

Starting Your Own Accounting Business

The world has changed. Starting a business doesn’t have to be as tedious as before. Thanks to technology, it’s easy to run your own firm even with limited resources. You only need a few things.

You can literally start your own business with just one laptop, a phone, and a couple of thousand dollars.

Getting clients also is easier, thanks to technology. Firms can look for clients in social media. That doesn’t cost money. You only need a few thousand dollars to get your own firm up and running. You don’t need to rent an office. You can do work inside a cafe or at home.

You can even set up a team for a very affordable cost through offshoring.

Do You Have A Global Offshore Team?

We ran a poll during the webinar and asked whether or not they already have offshore teams setup.

50% said they already have an offshore team while 21% said they still need to know more about offshoring. 13% said they have decided to do it but haven’t implemented anything yet. Interestingly, 10% of the respondents said they are against the idea.

Skepticism for offshoring is not uncommon especially for firms who are scared of losing jobs to people from a different location. But what you need to know is, offshoring, as a business opportunity, will not redundiate the local team. It will, in fact, free up their time, allowing them to focus on more client-facing tasks—those that can add value to clients. 

 

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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