Stop Crushing Your Team And Start Delighting Your Customers

7-minute read

For close to 12 years, Nick Sinclair, Chairman of The Outsourced Accountant, struggled in trying to run his accounting, bookkeeping, and financial planning firm. Hours were spent each day replying to emails, taking calls, managing calendars, and other admin tasks. They were slowly losing revenue because of the cumulative effect of them doing non-core tasks each day. With little to no time focus on revenue-generating tasks, workload piled up, and Nick and his team struggled to keep up. But Nick implemented the right tools and strategies and got his team out of the weeds. Here is our Chairman’s key insights on productivity and people strategy.

How Is Your Workflow Really Going?

accounting-firm-productivity-how-workflow-going

Take a step back and ask yourself this question: “How is your workflow really going?” If you feel like you don’t get enough work done, don’t worry. You are not walking this path alone. It is a fact that a vast majority of accounting firms the world over are buried in workflow.

Missed deadlines, outdated lodgments, incomplete paperwork, and what have you are common occurrences. One can think of many factors that you can attribute to these to but do you know the real reason why?

The wrong people are doing the wrong type of work. Many partners and managers do work that can be done by other people. Keep reading as we will elaborate which types of work we are referring to. The point here is spending a significant amount of time doing work that are not ‘dollar-productive’ means you are doing your accounting firm a disservice.

The best firms – meaning those who peak productivity to hit and even exceed profit margins – they fine tune their processes. This is to ensure that everything gets done on time and with the quality one expects from highly paid professionals.

Limiting Factors Crushing Productivity…And Your Team!

accounting-firm-productivity-limiting-factors

Did you know that accountants, accounting firm owners, partners, and managers spend 1 to 2 hours per day doing non-revenue-generating tasks? That is 400 hours billable hours per individual per year! These are admin tasks that have become limiting factors crushing productivity and, in the process, your team. They include:

  • Emails
  • Meetings
  • Calendar Management
  • Reporting
  • Client Issues

 

In poll taken during this webinar, 67% of attendees say that emails are the number one blockers that limit their productivity. While one might think that this is an isolated result, the truth of the matter is that emails have become one of the major hindrances to productivity.

Majority of the time partners and managers sit in front of the computer screen when they should be sitting in front of clients. Nick can attest to this while he was running his firm as he used to receive anywhere from 300 to 450 emails per day. Can you imagine that? If you’re a rainmaker, your work should be talking to clients, right? Then, why are you sitting in front of your computer?

Coming second and third in our poll were meetings and client issues respectively. It is a given that you should have internal meetings to align your team. But if they eat a large chunk of your day, then nothing gets done. Team meetings should be short and concise. The less time you spend in them, the better.

When it comes to client issues, accountants, owners, partners and managers shouldn’t deal with them directly. Someone in a specialized role can deal with them better so you can be more productive. Watch the webinar above to learn what this role is.

People Strategy: The Impact of (Not) Getting It Right

accounting-firm-productivity-people-strategy

Again, it comes down to the people factor of the success equation. It’s has become all too common for accounting firms to not have a people strategy. Ask yourself: When you last sat down to map out your firm’s objectives for a financial year, did you work out how may staff you need to achieve those objectives?

Most firms think they are under-resourced because they can’t find or keep the right staff. But, we typically see that most firms are over-resourced – they just have the wrong people doing the wrong work.

Having the right people strategy is critical to achieving your growth strategy. The crucial elements to an effective people strategy are:

  • Attracting, keeping, and growing the right people in the right roles
  • Having the right technology so they can fulfill their roles effectively
  • Implementing the right processes so they can do their work more efficiently

 

If just one of these three key elements is missing, you will have effectively doomed your firm to fail.

Conclusion

This is Nick Sinclair’s view specifically on productivity and people strategy. There are loads more insights you can learn when you watch the webinar. You will discover how the effect on customers and the referrals they send your way when you are too busy doing non-core tasks each day. Learn, if you haven’t already, about ‘The Urgent Versus Important Matrix’ that will help your daily time management. See our recommendations for apps that can help streamline your workflow as well as the four roles that will make a massive difference in increasing your productivity.

But one critical point to remember though. When we say, the right people, we mean A-players – those with the requisite skills, work ethic, and attitude that will help drive your firm towards sustainable growth. This is what we do best. We provide more than 300 accounting firms around the world with over 1,000 specialist accountants, bookkeepers, and financial analysts as well as marketing, sales, finance, and administration support staff that deliver the results our clients want.

Let us show you how we can help you build a championship team of A-players. You can schedule a FREE consultation with one of our global team specialists.

BOOK MY FREE CONSULTATION

Strategies for Accountants to Accelerate Business Growth: Key Insights from The Ignite 2018 Roadshow

strategies-for-accountants-accelerate-business-growth

6-minute read

 

With our Ignite 2018 Roadshow in the history books, Nick Sinclair, Chairman of The Outsourced Accountant, held a webinar which discussed the key strategies taken up during the events that can help accountants, bookkeepers, accounting firm owners and partners build thriving businesses. The webinar revolved around how you can futureproof your workforce to ensure that you achieve sustainable growth. Here are snippets of what was discussed: 

Attracting A-players

strategies-for-accountants-accelerate-business-growth-attracting-A-players

One of the biggest challenges accounting firms face is getting, growing, and keeping the best people that the industry has to offer – the A-players. But before you can attract the cream of the crop, you need to have the answers to two key questions: 

1 – How does your business look from the outside? 

Right from the get-go, your initial value proposition is how appealing your business looks. If your website looks dated or your office looks dreary with paint chipping away, the best people will not be inclined to work with you. So, if you want to attract A-players, spruce up your website and do a bit of office renovations. A little goes a long way. 

2 – What do you stand for? 

Quality team members want to work for business owners that know their ‘why’, have their values set, and are passionate about what they do. When A-players are engaged in something they believe in, they will go that extra mile. So, determine the reason your business exists and then set your business values, culture, and standards to get the best staff knocking at your door. 

What is your people strategy?

 

strategies-for-accountants-accelerate-business-growth-people-strategy

When you have managed to attract the best people, you need to have a plan to grow your team. Many accounting firms create a growth strategy but fail to align their people strategy with it. There is no use having A-players when you don’t have a plan on how to provide them with the right tools, processes, and training to help them succeed. What we found throughout the roadshow was that most firms either have:  

1 – The right people doing the wrong work. On average, accountants and support staff spend 400 hours per year doing administration-related tasks. 

2 -The right people but not the right technology. Many firms invest on technology that they are not maximising the full potential of or worse, not using at all.

3 – The right people and the right technology but do not have the training and processes to use them properly. 

What most firms do not understand is that, to grow their business, you need to grow your people too. In line with this, individual development and learning plans must be in place to enhance their core competencies and develop new skills. 

Evolution of An Employee

strategies-for-accountants-accelerate-business-growth-evolution-employee

Global industries are changing. With it, the way people work is changing as well. All aspects from the how, when, where, and even to why people work as has evolved and will continue to do so. As you can see in the infographic above, industries at large are shifting from traditional methods to new-age practices. This is predominantly due to the rapid change brought about by disruptions in technology and work methods. What was once relatively effective ways of doing work and business has now given rise to innovative concepts because of the real need for accounting firms to adapt or be left behind. 

The key thing that can be derived from this is that accounting firms should have greater focus on ensuring that people are given highest priority. Your team is a critical factor that can make or break your firm. But it is important to remember that having all the latest and best technology and the most effective accounting business strategies are worthless without the right people to implement them properly. Keep in mind though that people with high-level skillsets come at a premium. So, here’s where you find that balance in getting the right people with the right skillsets for the right roles and at the right cost. 

Keeping The Best Team Members

strategies-for-accountants-accelerate-business-growth-keeping-best-team-members

When you’ve managed to get the right team for you, now you must focus on making sure they stay. Here the key questions you need ask yourself: 

1 – What are you doing to keep the best team members? 

Taking measures to ensure your best team members stay is of the utmost importance. Try implementing a development and training program so your team can enhance their core competencies and develop new skills. This is a veritable win-win situation. By growing your team’s capabilities, you not only give them a reason to stay but you dramatically improve your workflow and service delivery. 

2 – Do you know if your team is happy? What is your communication strategy? 

Knowing what motivates your team will allow you to determine how to maximise their productivity. Create communication rhythms to align your team with not only the day-to-day operations but also with your overall vision for your accounting business. Make sure to sit and talk with them to fully understand how you can make their time with your firm a truly inspiring and fulfilling one. 

Conclusion

With the accounting industry in a state of constant change, there has never been a more crucial time to have the right team in your stead. These are just some of the key points discussed in the webinar. What you always have to remember is behind every successful business is a team of inspired and highly skilled people. Do what you must to choose your team wisely, understand what makes them tick, and create ideal situations for them to flourish. Do this and you will see your business vision realised in less time than you would imagine. 

Let us help you build a high-performing team that not only delivers the results you and your clients want but help you fulfill your vision. 

Schedule a FREE online consultation with one of our global team specialists.

#Ignite2018 Roadshow Wrap-up Webinar: What To Expect

ignite-2018-roadshow-wrap-up-webinar-what-to-expect-featured-image
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

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.


A Breakthrough Guide On Capacity Planning For Your Firm

Watch this webinar to learn the three key types of team members you need to build the ideal offshore team.

Speakers:

Nick Sinclair, Chairman, The Outsourced Accountant

Jamie Johns, CEO, Sky Accountants

 

Accountants are really working too many hours. Likewise, for that matter, owners of practices are also working a ridiculous amount of hours. Proportionally, they are also expecting a significant number of hours to be worked by their managers and their staff. Teams are getting absolutely pounded. Thus, there is no semblance of work-life balance. The term nine-to-five becomes nonexistent because of the massive amount of work that needs to get done.

The Undeniable Truth

 


We are seeing a lot of accounting firms paralyzed and their staff are just not engaged and happy because of these huge amounts of work they’re having to get through and most are struggling with capacity. So when we ask accountants if they’re up to date with their client work and if they can comfortably say that when a work deadline comes that they will always meet it and they don’t need to ask for extensions, very few firms could actually do this. A lot of the reason is just that they haven’t mapped out their workflow and they have the wrong people doing the work. In our recent poll, we found that 50% of respondents state that their capacity planning is below standard.

The Obvious Solution

 

 

On average, an accountant within an accounting firm spends roughly 200 hours a year on administration. When you look at that, you go ‘Why?’ when you could put your resources into a global team at a cost of a quarter to even as low as 20% of what that accountant is, take the administrative work off the accountant, and let them do what they’re trained and skilled to do which is accounting. What accounting firm owners don’t realize is that offshoring is definitely a viable solution to what has become a crippling problem for accounting firms at large – the lack of capacity.

The Ideal Team

Before building an offshore team though, accounting firm owners should understand that there are three key types of team members needed. These are three clear-cut roles that when fully understood, combined in a team, and utilized to their fullest potentials can become game changers.

The three key types of team members are the GRINDERS, the MINDERS, and the FINDERS.

Who Are The Grinders?

 

 

Execution is the main function of the grinders. Think of them as the soldiers on the frontline. They are the ones that do all the hard work that’s needed to achieve the business goals of an accounting firm. Grinders are in charge of the nitty-gritty of day-to-day work so to speak.

Here are some examples of Grinders:

  • Accountants
  • Bookkeepers
  • Digital Marketers
  • Social Media Managers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Receptionists

 

Who Are The Minders?

 

 

Operations is what The Minders are really good at. They are in charge of making sure all the systems and processes within an accounting firm are running smoothly. Minders are also the perennial firefighters as they usually get the perilous job of putting out small fires like dealing with problems with clients, repair and maintenance of office facilities, workflow process improvements, and the like.

Here are some examples of Minders:

  • Client Managers or Client Service Coordinators
  • Office or Facilities Managers
  • Administrative Team Members

 

Who Are The Finders?

 

 

Business development and account management are the bread and butter of The Finders. Their highest priority is to look more new clients and more new work from existing clients. Most times they are the owners or partners in an accounting firm. They have high stakes in the growth of an accounting business so they are more often than not at the forefront of creating and ensuring constant revenue streams and increase in profit margins.

Here are some examples of Finders:

  • CEO’s, COO’s, CMO’s, CFO’s etc.
  • Managing Directors
  • Senior Partners

Conclusion

All accounting firms should have a healthy mix of each type of team member. Each one is a crucial cog in the machine that is an accounting business that if at least one of them doesn’t work, the entire mechanism breaks down. With a complete understanding of this aspect of team building, an accounting firm can now start building an offshore team.

 

Here’s an example of the percentages of the accountability each key type of team member holds. As you can see, Grinders hold 70% of the responsibility of getting things done, Minders like client managers hold 50% of the responsibility to get things right, and the receptionist holds 40% of the responsibility to make sure that everyone, from the grinders, client managers, and clients get along. Of course, different accounting firms have different systems, processes, and people so percentages may vary. What’s important to note is knowing who’s in charge of what in streamlining the workflow process and thus increasing capacity.

Gain more valuable industry insights Subscribe to The Ledger now! You can also listen to our podcast series, The Offshore Accountant, to the get inside scoop on the latest industry news and updates.

 


Grow your firm by building your own offshore team now. Call our global offshoring specialists at 1300 896 522. Want to learn more? Click here to discover the blueprint on how to build a global accounting team.


Learn How To Setup An Offshore Team To Drive Your Firm To Success

Playbook how to set up an offshore team

3-minute read

 

This is an updated version of our March 29 webinar.

 

In our latest webinar, The Outsourced Accountant Chairman, Nick Sinclair, discussed the ways to drive success to your firm by setting up an offshore team. Among the topics covered were:

  • Profiles of accounting firms
  • Big issues in the industry
  • Your support to grow
  • Business case and models

Is Your Firm Ready For Outsourcing?

Drive success to your firm and set up an offshore team

 

In our March roadshow, we spoke to more than 200 accounting firms to help them learn the ways to drive success to their business by setting up an offshore team.

We asked participating businesses where they are with offshoring and found that:

  • 5% of firms already have an offshore team setup
  • 40% have decided to offshore but haven’t implemented the steps
  • 45% said that they still need to learn more about offshoring
  • 10% still don’t have any team setup but are already outsourcing some tasks

Bookkeeping Is Growing

  • There is a huge growth in the industry, particularly bookkeeping
  • It is one of the fastest growing aspects of running a successful accounting firm
  • Here in The Outsourced Accountant, we have more than 50 requests for new team members and 40% of those are for bookkeepers

Looking At The Profile Of An Accounting Firm

Setup an offshore team_accounting firm profile

 

There are different ways to run an accounting firm. There’s really no right or wrong way. Based on what we’ve seen so far, accounting firms are profitable. The only thing that stuck out and felt like an issue was cash flow.

That’s because the WIP days are taking way too long. In fact, it’s taking accounting firms, on the average, 52 days to get paid once they have completed the work. Most companies don’t even charge for the WIP, which means they are doing work but not getting any revenue for it.

New Or Existing Clients?

One of the things we wanted to know from firms is if they are focusing on existing clients or working on new clients to gain more business.

Most of the accounting firms don’t have the capacity to get all their work done on time yet they still continue to take on new clients.

The reality is we can’t even manage the ones we already have and yet we continue to add more. It all boils down to workflow and people management.

Big Challenges In The Industry

Setup an offshore team_Big issues

 

Many firms are still paper-based

  • Many companies still acquire and gather data through physical documents
  • Companies haven’t embraced digital signatures and technology that can automate processes
  • Using automating tools, like Receipt Bank, can save accountants between 4 and 8 hours

 

Too much technology

  • Too many choices for software and tools can lead to technology paralysis
  • Having too much options can cause confusion and overwhelm clients
  • Firms can either be given too much and not use it or not put in anything at all and risk not delivering any value
  • Look into using value-added technologies you can use

 

Limited time for accountants

  • Compliance tasks consume too much of accountants’ time
  • Having limited time can affect productivity and, in the long run, efficiency

 

No work life balance

  • Spending too much time on low-impact tasks can keep accountants from focusing on work that generates revenue
  • When accountants are too busy with compliance, they are more likely to spend more time inside the office
  • Busy accountants are susceptible to a disrupted work life balance

 

 


 

Fresh from our successful roadshow across the country, we are bringing to you the key insights from accountants who are working with offshore teams to drive success to their firms.

We’ll talk about the following topics:

  • Key insights from the 2018 roadshow
  • Performance profiles and opportunities for accountants
  • Key processes to target
  • Key metrics firms need to focus on

 

Secure your spot now by registering through this link.

 

Can’t Find The Right People With The Right Skills?

Skills shortage is a major concern for many businesses. While there are many professionals available, finding the talent that perfectly suits the role you need can be a challenge. The good news is there a huge pool talent in the Philippines that you can tap. Setting up an offshore team will connect you with the right people for your roles.

 

Looking To Scale Your Firm?

You need to enhance capacity to add more value for your clients, improve work-life balance and increase revenue. Bridge the gap between the time you want to spend with clients to the ACTUAL time you are spending with them by building an offshore team that will help grow your business.

Tune into this webinar to discover the steps to building your offshore team.

To unlock the secrets to setting up an offshore team, listen in on Thursday, 29 March 2018 from 12:00 NN to 1:00 PM QLD (AEST) | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM NSW/VIC (AEDT).

 

Reserve your spot today by registering through this link.

 

Get the latest accounting industry updates in your inbox. Subscribe to The Ledger blog now.  Or listen to our podcast series, The Offshore Accountant for first hand stories on offshoring journey.


The Outsourced Accountant is the leader in dedicated outsourcing for accounting firms. We help firms become more efficient and scalable  through insightful content like webinars, podcasts and articles.

To learn how to build a successful global offshore team and  improve workflow, download our ebook here. If you’re experiencing capacity restraints and looking to scale your firm, call our offshoring specialists today at 1300 896 522.


Mandatory Breach Legislation and 2SA: Get To Know The Details

Cybersecurity updates protecting client data in the cloud
[header_title add_title=”Cybersecurity Update For Accountants “]

Protecting Client Data In The Cloud

 

Speakers:

Nick Sinclair, CEO, The Outsourced Accountant

Jamie Beresford, Managing Director, Practice Protect

This webinar discusses the following topics:

  • Mandatory breach legislation
  • Xero’s Two-Step Authentication (2SA)
    • What/Why/When
    • What accounting firms need to know
    • What your offshore team needs to know

 

Cyber Fraud Is On The Rise

 

Cybersecurity update for accountants_cyber fraud

 

Key takeaways:

  • There is a 35% increase in reported breaches each year
  • Cybersecurity breaches have been on the rise for the past three years now
  • These can be considered the glory days of cyber criminals
  • Small businesses with less than 20 staff are most susceptible to breaches

 

How Has The Government Responded To The Threats?

 

Cybersecurity update for accountants_mandatory breach reporting

 

In the poll we posted during the webinar, close to half (46%) of the participants admitted they haven’t implemented anything yet while 20% does not even know what the legislation is.

The Mandatory Breach Reporting Legislation aims to make the custodians of data (accounting firms) responsible for in protecting client information. Under this law, which takes effect on February 22, 2018, firms will need to report any instance of breach to the Privacy Commissioner and their clients by putting it into writing.

Note: this is not going to be a good conversation with your clients because it runs the risk of losing their trust. In addition, it can have a negative impact on your reputation since word can get out in social media, print, etc.

 

Cybersecurity update for accountants_poll results

 

We wanted to know if firms are ready for the mandatory breach legislation, which rolls out this March and found that almost half (46%) have made the necessary research but haven’t implemented anything yet.

It’s quite interesting how very few (3%) are prepared with the Two-Step Authentication while 20% of firms have no idea what the legislation is about.

Revamping Policy Issues For Better Protection

 

Cybersecurity update for accountants_policy issue

 

Firms need to know that the risks for cyber hacks are not rooted from I.T. issues. In fact, this is more about the policies of firms. The switch to browser-based cloud accounting has changed the game in the way in which data is accessed. This is also one of the reasons why cyber hacks have become prevalent.

Firms can have the best firewall and security measures to protect the network but since people can access your data through browsers, it’s easy to acquire information regardless of location.

All somebody needs is your password.

The cloud has made it difficult for firms to keep the required level of password hygiene. There are too many passwords due to having too many accounts to maintain.

Fact: People have at least 20 different accounts across their business and personal lives. Having these many accounts will make people use passwords that are easy to remember.

The Big Browser War

Not many people are aware that risks for data breach is a browser issue. The war between the big browsers are not helping make this easier, either. How?

Since they’re competing for your business, they will offer ways to make your lives easier. One of them is password management. Browsers can save passwords so it’s easier for users to access their accounts.

What users are unaware of is, anyone who knows which settings to configure to see your passwords.

Other practices that can compromise your private data:

  • Synchronized passwords on various devices can pose a risk. When an employee logs in with their browser ID at the office, the passwords they use can be synced with the other devices they have logged on in the past (i.e. tablets, mobile phones, etc.)
  • Hackers infecting your computer with malware

Xero’s Two-Step Authentication (2SA) Process

 

Cybersecurity update for accountants_xero two step

 

The Australian Taxation Office has released a new operational framework to all application vendors that integrate with their systems that hold sensitive data.

Xero has mandated this and will officially take effect on March 1, 2018. Under this policy, team members will now be required to use an authentication code in addition to their password.

The roll-out means shared accounts will no longer work. Firms are highly recommended to make the necessary changes prior to March 1.

For clients who are using Xero, here are some tips:

  • Perform the necessary changes days, even weeks ahead. You don’t want your entire team doing it all on the same day.
  • Get on top of your password control guidelines.
  • Find ways to centralise your password policy.

 

Question & Answer

 

Q: What are some of the common questions that you have received regarding the new rules at Xero and the new legislation coming into effect in two weeks’ time?

A: Questions about the actual data and how the legislation impacts that. If a firm has a revenue of more than 3 million, they aren’t included in the legislation unless they’re holding tax phone numbers which includes accounting firms.

 

Q: Do clients need to arrange the two-step process from their end?

A: Yes. All users [have to] so their clients will be mandated as well.

 

Q: If a client fails to implement the Two-Step process are we exposed to liability for any breaches?

A: They won’t be able to access their Xero files.

 

Q: Even if it’s not mandatory for MYOB, can we still set this up for our team members here at TOA?

A: MYOB might not have this available yet but if they do, we’ll certainly look into that.

 

Q: Does Practice Protect work on remote desktop log-ins?

A: It does.You can protect your server. It provides a single set of log-in to all your applications so you can restrict IP address and protect yourself against international access to your accounts.

 

Q: What is the difference between Practice Protect and LastPass? Is one better than the other?

A: LastPass is more of a password management tool. It hasn’t been built for security from the ground up, but we advise you to do your own research.

 

Q: Do you recommend cyber insurance?

A: Most definitely. It represents strong value for money.

 

Q: Our provider has a log-in to our system to help fix bugs and issues. Will this be an issue?

A: If they have their own log-in then they will need to set up 2SA just like everybody else.

 

Q: What is the biggest risk for our clients and people in the accounting industry?

A: Identity theft. If you have a tax file number, you can lodge a fake tax return, assume someone’s identity and take over their bank accounts.

 

Q: Should we merge the XPM log-in and how long will it take?

A: You should be getting a prompt when logging in to XPM. We strongly recommend that you go ahead and do this in your own time rather than wait for March 1st. Once you merge those log-ins you will be mandated to set up your two-step authentication. The whole process may take 10 to 15 minutes, so be prepared for that.

 

Q: What are your thoughts on third parties (i.e. non-employees, IT personnel) with access to your system?

A: There is certainly a level of confidentiality. The one thing we can’t control is the way your firm manages your passwords.

The Desktop 2SA Solution

 

Cybersecurity update for accountants_toa 2sa solution for staff

 

The advent of technology has been absolutely wonderful for the industry. It has made remote work possible. But it carries one risk. Your staff now has access to your IP, database, client list and other vital business information.

This is risky when you look at it from a security point of view. Anyone who’s using a local wifi connection can get hacked. We highly suggest clients implement a policy where the staff can only access the system through certain IP addresses and locations.

Password management is becoming more and more crucial as the accounting technology is starting to shift to the cloud, so it’s of vital importance to look at your security management.

TOA has rolled out a clean desk policy as part of strengthening its data security. We are also working with Practice Protect to ensure all computers are installed with the security measures. Right now, there are more than 420 Xero users in our office and we will be sending out guides in the coming weeks about this.

What Do Firms Need To Do For Their Offshore Team?

Nothing. The TOA team will be taking care of installing all the necessary software in preparation for March 1. We have also sent out an electronic direct mailer last week which detailed the step-by-step process that we are following.

For Your Onshore Team, Here’s Our Recommendation

 

Cybersecurity update for accountants_xero 2sa

 

For attendees who would like to receive a template for the third party access policy, we strongly suggest you head on to http://www.practiceprotectonline.com and sign up for an accounting security consultation.

A cloud security consultant will help determine the right agreement for your firm.

 

Cybersecurity update for accountants_practice protect

 

To get industry updates, expert tips and best practices for your accounting practice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up to The Ledger by clicking here.


If you are an accountant, bookkeeper or finance firm looking for solutions to 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.


Drive Six Figure+ Revenue To Your Firm In 2018

Speakers:

Nick Sinclair, Founder, The Outsourced Accountant

Jack Blayney, Account Management Team Lead, Receipt Bank

The Outsourced Accountant is committed to improving the accounting practice. As part of our Growth series, we aim to fulfill several objectives:

  • Link technology and people
  • Make specific processes more automated
  • Have the right people do the right work

 

The webinar’s main thrust is to provide expert insights on how bookkeeping and improved accounting practices can address key issues plaguing firms.

The Outsourced Accountant is focused on growth as a direct response to feedback from our clients and our target market. The insights obtained from these responses are then used to support accountants so they can improve their practice, scale the firm and, hopefully, improve work-life balance and their overall quality of life.

 

“If you aren’t set up for the major changes that are happening, like the privacy legislation, then it may be too late by the time these things are implemented.”

Nick Sinclair, CEO of The Outsourced Accountant

Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • Key issues affecting accountants
  • Automation and its impact on bookkeeping
  • What leading firms are doing
  • Future of automation
  • Bookkeeping structure (traditional and cloud-based)
  • Building a bookkeeping division

What Are The Key Issues Affecting Accountants?

They are crushed with workflow and capacity

Accountants are busiest during this time of the year because we’re a few months away from tax season. That means more work. Add that to the compliance work that bogs them down on a regular basis.

 

Drive Six Figures Revenue To Your Firm in 2018 Key Issues

 

Accountants are neck-deep in emails and calls, according to data we’ve acquired. Add that to other issues like meetings, calendar management, reporting and handling client issues, and you’re left with time-strapped accountants who can’t focus on client-facing activities.

We’ve uncovered the three reasons why clients leave:

  • Reactive advice. Firms don’t have their workflow under control and that results to accountants always “being too busy” they don’t get to talk to their clients. They avoid ringing up clients in fear of getting additional work.
  • Poor responsiveness. Compliance work can make accountants too busy to respond to client’s enquiries, which is not good because clients demand more; they want real-time accountants who can address their concerns when they need it.
  • Trusted referral from a competitor. Today, due to technology, clients can easily switch accountants if they feel their demands are not being met. A competitor who’s doing better in terms of proactiveness and efficiency.

 

Important: 89% of businesses consider client experience to be a primary differentiator. Are you actually delivering something that differentiates you from your competitor?

Watch: Nick on being proactive and not reactive.

Read: How to become a real-time accountant

Watch: Changing customer expectations

Watch: Are You Always Available To Clients? 

Our findings show that most accountants are sitting in front of their computers responding to emails and calls and issues, and they are not actually doing work that is based on their charge out rate. They are not adding value to their clients.

Accountants have really low contact time

Accountants spend too much time on compliance. Low contact time leads to inefficiencies. Compliance work can produce a domino effect, which ultimately results to accountants being unable to add value for their clients.

We found that partners and firms are so swamped with work they no longer have time to do client-facing tasks. These tasks are what actually drive profit.

 

Drive Six Figures Revenue To Your Firm in 2018 Low Contact Time

 

Accountancy firms are spending a significant amount of time just reconciling transactions. They are occupied with managing and processing the finances and chasing clients for paperwork.

These figures show that firms are stuck with compliance work instead of client-facing activities. We aim to implement processes that take the burden of compliance off the accountants so they can pay more attention to adding value.

 

“Compliance is really necessary but it’s not sexy.”

Jack Blayney

Technology overload

There is plenty of technology available for accountants that can help them automate their tasks and, eventually, strip off significant amount of time spent on compliance.

The problem is many firms are swamped with too many software it’s unclear how their IT stack can help them. There are hundreds of them out there it’s become overwhelming.

 

Drive Six Figures Revenue To Your Firm in 2018 Technology Overload

 

Firms need to take a look at their current IT stack and identify how they’re actually utilising it.

Based on our findings:

  • 25% to 30% are overwhelmed by their IT stack
  • 36% said they know what they need but haven’t implemented them yet
  • 10% said they have a seamless IT stack

 

Firms that can successfully identify these key issues and find ways to go around them stand to benefit from the following:

  • Reduced partner hours
  • Improved revenues
  • Enhanced efficiencies
  • Improved cash flow
  • Additional services offered (business advisory)
  • Increased referrals
  • Improved staff engagement and retention

Bookkeeping And Automation

Bookkeeping has evolved from being a mere transaction reconciliation process to a valuable core service that’s used to provide vital insights to financial advisory.  

Key takeaways:

  • Bookkeeping is the first part of a process and firms need to own it from start to finish
  • Cloud technology has made the transition a lot easier
  • Technology has made traditional reactive accounting services more proactive
  • Both parties can see client data in real-time
  • Accountants can make forecasts with pinpoint accuracy
  • Firms can easily transition clients to a mobile and paperless process
  • Bookkeeping comes before accounting and, now, more firms are adopting it because it makes the end-of-year work faster and easier
  • Firms that add bookkeeping to their services

What Do The Leading Firms Do?

  • CEOs act as leaders and are not on the tools
  • Promote work-life balance
  • Have effectively mapped out their people strategy
  • The process, IT stack and people are all sorted properly
  • Enjoy three to six times revenue on their staff unlike others that only get twice the revenue for a higher cost per employee
  • The right people are doing the right job at the right costs
  • Accountants have enough time to spend with clients
  • Real-time access to data for both parties
  • High staff engagement
  • Increasing NPS scores and inbound referrals
  • Low client attrition rate
  • Increased profits

The Future Of Automation

  • Robots cannot replace accountants.
  • Simple, repetitive tasks can be automated for improved productivity.
  • Accountants will always be required for face-to-face contact with clients.
  • Receipt Bank aims to make their partners custodians of data: responsible for ensuring data integrity, improving efficiency and automation.

The Bookkeeping Structure

 

Drive Six Figures Revenue To Your Firm in 2018 Bookkeeping Structure

 

There is not much different between workflows of the traditional bookkeeping workflow and cloud bookkeeping workflow. The same things need to be done. The difference, however, is in the manner in which it is done.

What happens when you move to cloud bookkeeping?

  • Information becomes digital
  • Technology will automate manual tasks
  • Firms are able to create smoother workflows

 

The Outsourced Accountant Case Study

We conducted a survey and found that less than 20% of our clients are actually using Receipt Bank. This is concerning because it means these firms are not maximising the staff they have, which also means they are not supercharging their businesses.

What are the accountants’ concerns with automation?

Accountants and bookkeepers that charge per hour are worried that technology will get the work done quicker, which means their hours are reduced. Reduced hours mean reduced income.

These days, the bookkeeping ratio (number of clients per bookkeeper) is low. This can be traced back to not using cloud technology.

  • It’s currently around 1:10 million
  • Receipt Bank partners are aiming for 1:30
  • The best so far is 1:52

 

As processes become more efficient, with the help of tools like Receipt Bank, we want the number to start rising because that will be a key indicator of growth: more clients and more revenue.

Technology enables accounting and bookkeeping firms to really add value at a higher scale for clients. This will mean the firm will become extremely profitable because they have extremely satisfied clients.

A couple of key takeaways:

  • Have an offshore team complement your local efforts
  • Combine technology and people

 

Assessing your proactiveness with clients

We ran a poll during the webinar to determine a firm’s proactiveness. The results showed that approximately 80% of the attendees are highly reactive.

This is a result of issues with workflow and capacity.

Identifying The Trusted Advisor

Accountants should be the trusted advisor. However, in the current landscape, the bookkeepers are emerging as the ones clients trust most. Here are the reasons:

  • Bookkeepers have access to client data 24/7
  • Bookkeepers are frequently in touch with clients
  • Bookkeepers acquire valuable data and insights
  • Bookkeepers are starting to provide management reporting
  • Bookkeepers are embracing technology and using it to move to a more advisory-style business

 

These present an opportunity for accounting firms: start bringing in bookkeeping services in-house.

 

Drive Six Figures Revenue To Your Firm in 2018 Trusted Advisor

 

Benefits of having your own bookkeeping division:

  • You can further enhance the trust with clients
  • You can control the relationship because you’re doing both the bookkeeping and accounting
  • Clients will have no reason to leave

Building Your Own Bookkeeping Division

 

Drive Six Figures Revenue To Your Firm in 2018 Bookkeeping Divsion

 

  • Utilise technology and what you already have from your client
  • The average fee per person generated is really low
  • You can save 30% to 50% of time on annual tax and compliance work
  • Bookkeeping revenue is always twice or thrice more than what accountants get for compliance work
  • With the help of technology, you can get 30+ clients per employee
  • You can use it as an effective lead generation method
  • You can generate a revenue of five to ten thousand per bookkeeping client
  • Having a bookkeeping division will strengthen and improve client relationship

 

Conclusion

To enhance workflow, improve efficiency and drive revenue to your firm, it’s important to consider important factors:

  • Key issues that affect accountants
  • Technology and its impact on the accounting practice
  • Traditional bookkeeping and cloud-based bookkeeping

Understand that clients leave for various reasons:

  • Reactive advice from accountants
  • Poor responsiveness
  • Trusted referral from a competitor

Bookkeeping has already evolved to become a core accounting practice that drives revenue. And there’s no reason for accountants to fear automation because robots cannot replace accountants. Accountants will always be required for face-to-face client interaction.

Just the same, bookkeepers play a vital role in the practice because they:

  • Have access to client data 24/7
  • Acquire valuable data and insights
  • Are already providing management reporting
  • Use technology to shift to an advisory-style business

To get industry updates, expert tips and best practices for your accounting practice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up to The Ledger by clicking here.


The Outsourced Accountant is the leader in dedicated outsourcing for accounting firms. We help firms become more efficient and scalable  through insightful content like webinars, podcasts and articles.

To learn how to build a successful global offshore team and  improve workflow, download our ebook here. If you’re experiencing capacity restraints and looking to scale your firm, call our offshoring specialists today at 1300 896 522.


Join Our Webinar And Learn How You Can Drive Six Figures+ Revenue To Your Firm In 2018

In our upcoming webinar on 01 February 2018 (Thursday), The Outsourced Accountant CEO Nick Sinclair will talk about the business case for bookkeeping. He will be joined by Receipt Bank’s Account Management Team Lead, Jack Blayney. Here are the key topics to expect from the webinar: The business case for bookkeeping How to increase firm ... Read more

Mandatory Breach Legislation, Two-Step Authentication: What Do They Mean For Accounting Firms?

Protecting Client Data In The Cloud
[header_title add_title="Learn Vital Cybersecurity Updates For Your Firm In Our Webinar Tomorrow"] In our first-ever live client exclusive webinar on 07 February 2018 (Wednesday), The Outsourced Accountant CEO Nick Sinclair will discuss essential vital cybersecurity updates, including the mandatory Two-Step Authentication (2SA) that’s rolling out starting 01 March 2018.   Joining our CEO is Practice ... Read more

How To Build Capacity In 2018 With Offshoring

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Feature

Speakers:

Nick Sinclair, Founder, The Outsourced Accountant

Tyler McBroom, Partner, Measured Results

The webinar covered the following topics:

  • Key challenges that firms experience and how offshoring can address those
  • How leading firms are growing through offshoring
  • Case for setting up an offshore team
  • Proven steps for setting up a global accounting team in the Philippines

Case Study: Tyler McBroom of Measured Results

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Case Study

 

A boost in marketing efforts brought in a steady stream of clients for Measured Results. They were then faced with the challenge of finding the right people for the jobs they have available. Their location made it quite difficult to find the accountants they need.

They need to get the work done.

They need to deliver on what they are selling.

Offshoring provided the solution.

By working with The Outsourced Accountant, Measured Results was able to grow from having only four members to 12. They are currently looking to hire up to three more people in the next couple of months.

Highly qualified staff

The firm currently employs three Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Their employees have at least two years of experience and possess a strong work ethic. According to McBroom, they are “all very sharp” and “do very good work.” One of their CPAs was ranked 8th nationally and another has already worked for local branches of Deloitte and Grant Thornton.

Measured Results’ highly qualified staff helps them take care of S Corporation returns, entity returns, monthly bookkeeping and payroll.

Significant savings for the firm

McBroom discussed how they were keen on flying out members to their onshore location so as not to impact their productivity. They discovered that the cost of flying someone in for up to three weeks (around $4,000 to $5,000) is still lower than hiring someone from the United States.

Embracing technology

Measured Results got everything on the cloud when they started offshoring. 80% of their clients are currently using Quickbooks Online and they do not take on new clients that are not willing to go web-based. Switching to the cloud has allowed their team members to focus more on growth-oriented activities.

The firm’s 12-month journey with offshoring yielded 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

Challenges: The Industry

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Challenges

 

Setting up a global accounting team through offshoring will help address the challenges faced by the industry, which includes the following:

  • Globalisations / cloud technology
  • Technological advancements
  • Customer expectations
  • Skill shortages
  • Cost of labour

In the current accounting landscape, technology is continuously evolving while client demands are shifting. The advancement in technology has become a huge enabler for offshoring, which altered the way accountants do their jobs. Such changes have made it possible for accounting firms to keep up with the changing customer expectations.

These days, clients are demanding more. They want more things done quicker. More importantly, they want their accountants to do more than compliance work. They want their accountants to take on a more proactive role in helping grow their business.

Many firms do not have the right quantity and quality of staff for specific roles, and offshoring helps solve this problem. While there are enough qualified professionals onshore, not all of them will have the exact skills required in certain jobs. Setting up a global accounting team allows firms to find people equipped with the right skills to perform tasks at a more affordable price.

Challenges: The Firm

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Challenges for Firms

 

 

Accountants are buried in workflow and regulatory challenges. This keeps them from being proactive. They are neck-deep in time-consuming tasks that are keeping them from spending time in front of clients.

Based on the results of the poll we ran during the webinar, more than half (56%) of accountants are buried in emails and calls, 25% spend most of their time in meetings, 50% deal with client issues and 6% waste a significant amount of time in reporting and calendar management.

Non-core administrative tasks like these keep accountants from offering value for clients. These productivity killers consume a lot of time, which decreases productivity. By spending more time in compliance work, accountants are reduced to offering less value for the firm.

Our previous webinar called The War On Productivity further delves into this issue. Learn more about productivity blockers and ways to effectively address them here.

Qualities Of Leading Accounting Teams

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Leading Accounting Teams

 

  • CEO and/or leaders do not spend a significant amount of their time using and/or trying to learn the tools of the business. They are focused on making strategic decisions that propel business growth.
  • Hiring executive assistants allows accountants to deal only with emails that really require their attention. EAs will filter the influx of emails each day, freeing up accountants’ time and allowing them to focus on business advisory tasks.
  • With compliance work out of the way, accountants can now spend quality time with clients, allowing them to take on a more proactive role.
  • Effective accounting firms have their technology, process and people sorted out properly which results to an improved workflow and increased productivity.
  • Leading accounting teams have highly engaged staff both onshore and offshore. That’s because they know how to effectively utilise technology and implement processes that don’t waste team members’ time.

Setting Up A Successful Global Accounting Team

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Setting Up A Global Accounting Team

 

 

There is a big gap between leading firms and those that are struggling with capacity issues. Right now, more than 70% of firms are interested in offshoring/outsourcing. However, they are either taking too long to set up or setting up the wrong way.

Download our ebook on how to successfully build and manage a successful global team.

Check out more insightful readings on building capacity for your firm:

Improving Productivity, Increasing Capacity And Staying Relevant Amidst The Changing Landscape

Supercharge Your Firm’s Capacity

Things To Avoid To Better Manage Your Offshore Team

What can you do with improved capacity?

  • Deliver more value for clients
  • Focus on more growth services
  • Improve client retention
  • Increased yield per client
  • Increased referral revenue and profit growth services

Running a 24-hour firm

These days, lots of firms are starting to run 24 hours a day. This is an interesting prospect because operating round-the-clock gives firms a competitive edge. This makes possible a faster work turnaround which clients prefer.

Risk Summary

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Risk Summary

 

Setting up an offshore team with a third party provider does pose some risks. Those that have encountered problems in putting up a global accounting team may have either chosen the wrong partner or have not invested the right amount of time.

Identify one provider with the right skills, experience and resources to ensure things are done in just one way, which means more efficiency and value for clients.

Check out our Fast Start Guide in building a global accounting team. This series of videos discusses the steps needed to set up an offshore team as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Different Types Of Models

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Different Model Types

 

Outsourcing and/or offshoring are solutions for firms that are looking for ways to reduce cost and increase efficiency.

Key benefits include:

  • More focused workflow
  • Skill matching
  • Improved employee and client retention
  • Optimal use of cloud technology
  • Improved capacity
  • Better community impact

Simply put, outsourcing entails the transfer of certain tasks/activities to a third party provider. It can be a professional individual or a firm that’s based on a different location. Business

Offshoring, on the other hand, involves moving processes outside a country. This means setting up a remote office in another country, like the Philippines. It’s basically having another branch at a different location.

Dedicated outsourcing is an optimal mix of having an offshore team, offshore support and a dedicated local support.

Firms that have been doing this for the past 3+ years are experiencing remarkable efficiency gains.

Offshoring In The Philippines

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Why The Philippines

 

The Philippines is an ideal location for setting up a global accounting team mainly because of the high caliber of talent; it is a hot talent market and firms need to move fast if they are keen on getting quality staff. Other reasons include:

  • Filipinos’ very high English proficiency (ranked highest in the 2013 Business English Index)
  • Filipinos have a strong affinity with the western culture
  • Little time zone difference
  • Filipinos have a very strong work ethic
  • The Philippines produces 3,000 Certified Public Accountants every year

Why should you invest in a global team?

Setting up a global team serves as a worthy investment in people and your clients. The capacity benefits are considerable. It is also cost-efficient because firms can save as much as 89% on the salaries of offshore accountants and bookkeepers.

Mapping Out Your Core Processes

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Core Processes

 

Identifying the core processes will provide firms a strong foundation in offshoring. Firms can prioritise and take the appropriate steps.

Some important things to consider:

Learn and work with offshoring experts

Working with an expert allows firms to identify capacity issues and available opportunities for improvement. Working closely with firms that have become experts in offshoring will yield incredibly valuable information.

Identify and remove low value tasks

What are the tasks to be avoided? What are those that accountants would love to do but aren’t? How much time are you spending with clients?

It is important to highlight tasks you don’t want to do and those you need to be doing. Consider the following questions:

  • What are the tasks you do but hate doing?
  • What are the tasks you enjoy doing but don’t have the time to do?
  • What are the tasks you would delegate to an assistant?

Develop a long term strategy

Since offshoring is an investment, it pays to strategise for the long term. This includes having a firm to conduct regular coaching and continuous training to add to an accountant’s skills.

Evaluating Tasks And Roles

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Roles

Assessing Your Technology Options

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Technology

 

A lot of firms are struggling with technology. Many are having a difficult time using apps and automation tools and that often leads to under utlisation, which, in the long run, costs firms money. Many firms are not getting the most of the technology they pay for.

What these firms need to do is identify key processes and utilise the technology they are paying for. There are various accounting technology that are proven to improve efficiency and build capacity.

Technology can:

  • Improve productivity
  • Provides accountants and clients access to real time data
  • Free up time so accountants can focus on client-facing tasks
  • Allow accountants to focus more on business advisory

Learn how to optimise essential cloud technology in this post.

Automate vital accounting tasks like data collection and engagement letters.

Getting Support For Setting Up An Offshore Team

 

How to Build Capacity With Offshoring Setup Support

 

The right choice for an offshore provider can mean the difference between success and failure. To ensure a successful venture, make sure to look for a provider that offers all the necessary support like the following:

  • IT & security
  • Dedicated client support
  • Operations & transport
  • Human resources
  • Talent acquisition
  • Training
  • Marketing
  • Culture
  • Education
  • Community

Here are additional tips:

Consultation

  • Get help from the accounting community and seek out the help of consultants.
  • Document all processes to create instructional guides that can be helpful in the future

Recruitment

  • Start broad and then narrow down the choices
  • Move quickly because it is a hot talent market
  • Find candidates who possess high trainability qualities
  • Ensure that new hires are flown to the onshore office, at least once

Resource

  • Identify a senior team member to act as quality control for the rest of the team
  • Assign a champion
  • Some firms start with 2-3 team members and then work on creating a stronger support and training group

If you are an accountant, bookkeeper or finance firm looking for solutions to 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.


Optimising Your Firm With Essential Cloud Technology

Optimising Your Firm With Essential Cloud Technology
Download Presentation Download Transcript In this webinar, our CEO Nick Sinclair teams up with three key industry players, Matt Bunston, Country Manager of Hubdoc, David New, Chief Sales Officer for Spotlight Reporting, and Sahil Mahotra, Territory Manager for Practice Ignition to talk about how firms can maximise cloud technology. Question: How happy are you with ... Read more
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