TOA has been helping accounting firms since 2013. Our team of +1,211 accounting professionals are proud to assist in the growth of over 324 firms across six offices.
Here are just a few of our clients’ stories:
The Offshore Experience: The Locmans POV
TOA GLOBAL delves deep into the corporate philosophy of Locmans Advisors and sits down with Associate Director Damian Lococo to discuss industry shifts and the solutions offshoring provides.
Sometimes, success is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you know you’re doing something right when the clients start rolling in. On the other, sustaining the same level of service across the board is the challenge you now face…
Such a conundrum was faced by the accounting and advisory firm Locmans Advisors based out of the Melbourne CBD. The fast-changing landscape has been both a blessing and a curse for the industry, and being situated in one of the wealthiest cities in Australia has certainly created opportunities for growth for the company.
THE LOCMANS IDEOLOGY
Established in 1991, the firm has grown significantly through decades to become one of the most proficient boutique advisory firms. Focusing on providing a tailored, timely tax and accounting service, increasing their clients’ financial position is paramount.
With the key word being “boutique”, Locmans is less interested in size and instead concentrates on quality. Yet, as their clients’ businesses grow, so do their needs. And at that point more than ever, it was no longer enough to just do the work. They needed to go back to the core – providing thoughtful and attentive service and that meant, scaling manpower.
But how do you scale and still keep it intimate? Clearly, outsourcing was the way to go.
THE OUTSOURCING EXPERIENCE
In a chat with Damian, the appeal of the offshoring model was too attractive to resist.
“Our main reason for engaging TOA… was to create opportunities and more value to our clients.”
By allowing the offshore team to take care of the day-to-day requirements of the business, the onshore team will have every opportunity to be more client-facing and nurture the relationship.
Starting off with two offshore members, the firm quickly realized the benefits of such an engagement and has since expanded their team to six.
“The offshore model, for us, is working”
REAPING AND SOWING
With the misconception that an offshore team is merely a human data processor still rampant in the general consciousness, Damian quickly discovered that was not the case. Like any situation, teamwork – both from an onshore and offshore perspective – is crucial to making any business work.
“It’s easiest when everyone works as one big team”
True enough, that is the predominant aspect in any offshoring endeavor. These are not outsourced individuals, these are members of your company. And like any employee-employer arrangement, it requires a certain amount of professional intimacy.
“If you think it’s going to happen easily, it won’t. You need to put the time in. But if you do, it’s extremely rewarding and the process is really worth it.”
By treating the venture with the courtesy and attention it requires, it will result in one of the most satisfying business decisions your firm will ever make.
Harnessing The Power Of Offshoring: The BJT Experience
There are many challenges a small business faces. Accounting firms are no exception. Based on a recent survey from Accounting Today – the topmost industry concerns are the impact of new technologies and the ability to adapt to the rapid change of pace. Interestingly enough, one emerging solution tackles these two main concerns in the most innovative way…Continue Reading
This is offshoring.
THE BJT DISTINCTION
One firm has found success in finding solutions for these challenges with the offshoring model. BJT Business Advisors, a firm based in Victoria, Australia, prides itself with providing a personalized financial advisory relationship with its clients. But getting bogged down with the minutiae of solution-finding is a regular occurrence, and so the ability to go in-depth with clients falls by the wayside.
They needed a solution to service their growing client base while keeping costs down. Unfortunately, doing so would come at a considerable resource of both time and money, something that most, if not all small businesses are careful in doling out.
That’s where TOA Global comes in.
GLOBAL SOLUTIONS FOR LOCAL ISSUES
With two offshore team members, BJT found themselves with the ability to focus on what really matters to the firm. Something they have built their entire core competency upon.
“By having an offshore team, it allows us to move away from that ‘compliance’ model to the ‘advisory’ model, which is what we like to do.”
And this aspect translates to the company’s team relationship as well. The most satisfying aspect of offshoring is the fact that they feel like a member of YOUR team, and not just a faceless number-cruncher from across the sea.
“Our offshore team members feel like family. Any interactions with our team here and with our clients in Australia has been no problems. It’s always been fantastic.”
With a growing client base, the demand from the team will grow as well, which undoubtedly puts a strain on the group. But by freeing up certain tasks and processes, the onshore team can focus not just on getting the job done, but also on providing planning and guidance, something that BJT prides itself on being forward with.
“Being involved with TOA and with the offshoring model, it has allowed us as business owners the freedom and the ability to make choices. And it allows us to have a better business and a better life too.”
Client Spotlight: Empowered With Time For Firm Growth
To gain the time you need to grow your firm, you need the capacity to do all the work that needs to be done. Debra Houghton of Gilligan Sheppard out of New Zealand has seen first-hand how building a high-performing offshore team can empower their local team with the time for firm growth….Continue Reading
Why Build An Offshore Team?
For Debra, offshoring for them means that:
– They can have more employees.
– They can actually grow their business without actually having more resources in our office in New Zealand.
– They don’t have to have a disk, a computer and they don’t have to look after all of that extra stuff.
– They actually got an offshore team that can work just as well as they want and that is in contact with them all the time.
So, offshoring just makes sense to them.
What made you choose TOA?
Gilligan Sheppard’s needs are definitely being met by the two administration team members that they have with us at TOA.
“We love them. They’re definitely part of our Gilligan Sheppard family, and we include them with all of our decisions that we are making.”
Their two offshore team members visit New Zealand, come to conferences, and any team building that they have.
How is your TOA Customer Experience?
“It was very easy to recruit, very easy to do the interview process via Skype. I think we’ve chosen really well. So, we’re really happy with that.”
Debra says that it has probably taken about a good six months to a year to get used to how they work and what they need to do to make the relationship easier and make it better both their local and offshore teams.
But, she says adamantly that it would be the same if they had somebody in the office. It would take six months to a year to do that training to make sure they know their job fully. It’s just the same thing. Debra says that when you want to train anyone in your processes and procedures in-house or offshore, it’s the same amount of time. So as long as you recognize that, it’s fine.
Arlyn, the administrative assistant who does collection for them, get to phone the clients directly. Debra doesn’t have to be involved in that. Arlyn has a script and she follows it very well, but she is also able to talk to the clients directly. When they ask questions, she’s able to answer them. Arlyn doesn’t need a script for those sort of things. She has her own mind, and she has her own way of talking, and that’s perfectly fine with Debra.
Speaking about what’s great with working with Debra and the local team, Arlyn says that they have consistent communication, they do Skype calls every week. They even have training in New Zealand which is an opportune time to bond with Debra and the local team. They’ve gone boating and wakeboarding. Having more time to bond, they get to know more about each other.
“They treat us like family. They don’t even treat us like employees. We’re understood. We’re that they are valued and welcomed.”
Since she does debt collection, Arlyn has learned a lot about having a good relationship with clients. Because of this, she has grown as a person and an individual, and Gilligan Sheppard has helped her achieve that.
How would you describe your TOA Team Members?
They have chosen team members who interact well with the local team. So, their personality types are very friendly. They are very nice, says Debra. And they found that, when they came to New Zealand, that they are very brave as well. They’ve taken them out of their comfort zone, done different things that they probably won’t normally do in the Philippines. They’ve also found that the offshore team they’ve got can challenge them to be better, and that has been really good for them.
They actually did a two-day training that TOA did for them instead of them doing that. TOA trained their team. Immediately, they already knew the system, the database that they were using, and they were able to freely go wherever Debra asked them to go. That was incredible, she exclaimed!
What are the results of working with TOA?
Having a team at TOA has meant that Debra has more resources within her admin team back in New Zealand. So, because they are using TOA to house their administration the offshore team members do not get interrupted like their receptionist o other admin team members. They don’t get the same phone calls from clients. They don’t get the same interruptions as communications are via email or via Skype, and they can choose when they will answer those. So having more resources have allowed the local team to have more time to actually deal with clients and do more customer-oriented tasks. Debra is pleased about that.
Would you recommend TOA?
If you’re making the decision to offshore using TOA means that you have more time and more resources within your own office to do the things that you want to do, Debra says.
“So go out and see your clients, go out and do the things that you enjoy doing, and get TOA to do the things that you don’t necessarily want to do or the things that are more process-driven.”
One of great advantage that Debra had when she was thinking of TOA was that she was actually told about it by other practices, and she was invited to come and visit our TOA Clark offices. She did that before she even came and organized getting the team that she wanted.
So, if you want to gain the capacity you need to a have the time you want to grow your firm, start building your offshore team. We can help you do exactly that. More than 300 accounting firms across the globe have over 1,000 accountants, bookkeepers, and financial analysts as well as marketing, sales, finance, and administration support staff with us.
5 Reasons Why Armada Accountants Made The Right Choice To Offshore
An ideal scenario for any accounting firm owner or decision-maker is to get jobs flow in and out without encountering any blockage.
This can only be possible with the help of the right people: a topnotch team comprised of A players who will ensure that your firm has enough capacity and the proper mindset to turn in high-quality jobs quickly…
The lack of capacity can be a huge pain in the neck for businesses. It hinders growth; keeps firms maximizing the potential of its team members. More importantly, it keeps decision-makers from doing the one important thing they need to do: make beneficial decisions for the organization.
With the help of TOA Global, Pamela Taylor, director at Armada Accountants and Advisors, was able to generate enough capacity to manage their firm’s 80+ clients so well they were able to smoothly transition to offering higher value consulting work.
You, too, can enjoy these same benefits of building a global offshore team:
A much quicker job turnaround
The addition of business management specialists turned things around for Armada.
Their team members are so good they were able to contribute to the quick turnaround even while they’re still in training.
One critical aspect of offshoring is connecting firms with the most suitable candidates—the very thing Pamela was struggling with.
“We were having problems finding team members who were willing to get their hands dirty, do the mundane tasks, grow their skill set, and those who were eager to work their way from the bottom up,” states Pamela.
Finding employees who want to grow with the company served as the driving force for Armada’s director and thanks to their decision to offshore, they now have team members they consider superstars.
“By having a team here in the Philippines means the work can flow through me.”
Leadership team can focus on stuff that matters
Any firm that’s struggled with keeping up with work will understand how difficult it is to not be able to focus on tasks that matter.
Pamela, along with the leadership team, are now able to focus on higher level work, like consulting. Now, the firm is able to identify clients’ pain points and find and implement solutions—things they were previously unable to do.
More personal time for decision makers
Creating capacity will free up time for the leadership team. Now, Pamela says offshoring has given her more time to spend with her family.
Transition to higher level, value-priced consulting work
Armada was on the lookout for more efficient ways to enhance the service. With the help of a global offshore team, the firm was able to evolve their offerings and go from hourly-based packages to value-based packages.
At the end of the day, only one thing needs to happen: keep clients satisfied. Offshoring helped Pamela’s firm to find the resources to produce output and take on more work from clients, ultimately adding to their bottom line.
Customer Spotlight: Get Rapid Growth By Hiring The Right People
Care Accounting has come a long way in its offshoring journey with The Outsourced Accountant. Thanks to an incredibly hard-working staff, Bernie Gore has seen her firm experience pretty rapid expansion in the last three years.
From working out of her bedroom, Bernie now has teams both in Australia and the Philippines, is about to introduce a bookkeeping arm, and a growing staff both here and Australia…
“They’re fantastic. They’re really good, accommodating, and delightful. They’re welcoming and really look after me.”
What were the motivations to try offshoring?
– There’s not really any additional area there for expansion
– It was difficult to find accountants willing to work in the suburbs
– There was a need to stay relevant as an accounting firm
What were you looking for in an offshore provider?
– One that’s predominantly just for accountants
– Partner that has a strong ethical approach to the treatment of employees
– Good facilities and competitive pay
What do you love about TOA?
– Process is efficient and really good
– There’s been a lot of touch points
– Recruitment is a swift process and the team is always super accommodating
– Provided access to a really good pool of candidates
What are the best things about your offshore team?
– They enjoy coming to work
– They enjoy working with the people around them as well as their clients
– Very accommodating
“They’re an integral part of our practice and that’s what we really wanted to do.”
Working with an offshore team has helped Care Accounting experience rapid growth in clients. They’ve improved capacity so much that they’re now introducing a bookkeeping arm.
Client Spotlight: How Offshoring Helps RWK Accountancy Grow Their Clients’ Businesses
In this edition of our Client Spotlight, Director Robert Koch of RWK Accountancy discusses the struggles they initially faced and how offshoring eventually helped them steer their firm in the right direction.
Small businesses face several challenges that can hinder success. Unless business owners find a more efficient way to deal with day-to-day operations, it might take a lot of time before they experience growth…
A survey conducted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland discovered the many challenges small businesses face. These include productivity and processes. Small businesses need to get the most out of every minute and every resource spent. They need to be productive to ensure profitability. Another essential issue business owners need to address is streamlining processes to ensure they are spending the right amount of time and energy on things that will actually contribute to their growth.
One simple way to address this is outsourcing.
That’s exactly what RWK Accountancy did to help their small business clients achieve the growth they need. Based in Western Australia, RWK Accountancy mostly deals with small businesses. The company doesn’t have a niche client and is focused on helping clients grow and improve their business.
What is RWK Accountancy?
RWK Accountancy has two offices in Western Australia. Most of what they do is book keeping. Robert believes that everything stems from efficient bookkeeping. If done properly, everything that follows will become simple.
They recognise the need to scale up this part of the business but they were unable to find the suitable people to fill in this gap in Australia. The Outsourced Accountant was able to connect them with the perfect people and it has been a great experience for the company so far.
Integral part of the company
It’s crucial in any organisation to have a highly engaged team because that is synonymous to a highly productive team. RWK Accountancy has only been with TOA for less than a year but the staff they have now already plays an integral role in the firm.
“We started probably about 15 months ago and actually stopped at one point because we didn’t have robust enough processes. We started back again about six months ago and put on two people over in the Philippines and they seem to be working really well for us.”
While there wasn’t much doubts with outsourcing, the company initially encountered missteps because they didn’t have enough robust processes to train their staff and get them to accomplish the required tasks, so they had to stop. Eventually, they decided to give it another try and hired two people from the Philippines.
Even though they’ve only been with TOA for less than a year, the company is delighted with the performance of the team. According to Robert, they are very engaged. And while they haven’t been used to their full potential just yet, the firm is confident that the team can and will perform extremely well.
Ready and hopeful for improvement
Communication is an integral factor in establishing a good working relationship in any organization, which is why the company makes sure to conduct Skype meetings to touch base or greet someone a happy birthday. According to Robert, this is something they will continue working on to ensure every team member has a clear understanding of their expectations in terms of the roles they play.
While it’s a little bit difficult, he believes it’s all good, especially since they’re still in the early stages. And as the company continues to grow over the last 18 months, the outsourcing team, which takes care of the most important element: bookkeeping, continuously does a tremendous job in providing consistent results that will benefit the company in the future.
“As we bring on more and more clients we’ll put more and more people on. These girls will be able to train them up the way that we want the staff to be working in the future.”
Client Spotlight: Offshoring Will Help You Find The Right People For The Job
In this edition of our Client Spotlight, MKS Group Founder and CEO Mark Said talks about his company’s offshoring journey and how they were able to eliminate challenges and establish strong communication rhythms that helped scale the business…Continue Reading
Mark’s experience in offshoring with The Outsourced Accountant is proof that a streamlined process and the right training can successfully scale a business. Having been with TOA for three years now, MKS Group currently enjoys a highly skilled offshore team that’s fully engaged and highly motivated to provide the kind of service their clients deserve.
Based in Melbourne, MKS Group is an accounting business that currently has 13 onshore and 11 offshore team members. They’ve come a long way from having only two members three years ago.
Smooth onboarding process
Thanks to a smooth onboarding process, MKS Group was able to locate talents most suitable for their needs. In the past, the company were provided with three to four prospective employees which they interviewed either via web conferencing tools, like Skype, or face to face. Mark has always been satisfied with the high quality of candidates they were given.
He also made it a point to get the local team involved by allowing them to come up with questions for the candidates. The onshore team is also currently doing training courses.
As expected in most cases, companies looking to outsource will have hesitations and concerns. Mark admitted to having a few concerns initially. These were mostly about the pace of the team and the quality of service of the new employees. But all worries were eliminated as soon as the new team members started producing excellent work. Mark was pleased with the offshore team’s performance.
“The quality of their work was just fantastic and you get out of them what you put into them. If you offer training to the team and you help develop their skills they’ll use those skills.”
Training to address challenges and enhance skills
Proper training has enabled the entire team to meet and surpass what’s expected of them. Mark recognises the fact that he is working with a group of people that is hungry to learn and willing to work towards enhancing their skills.
“They wanted to grow, they wanted to perform and do what we had to teach them.”
It has been, in the words of Mark, “absolutely magnificent.”
Proper training has also helped the company address communication challenges. Communicating with the entire team is no longer an issue.
On working with TOA
Mark only has strong positive words to describe the offshoring experience with TOA. With our help his company was able to find the right people to do the right work. They were able to grow from 2 to 11 people.
Client Spotlight: Offshoring Is The Best Strategic Move For Jamieson’s Strategic Growth Solutions
Businesses are bound to come across roadblocks and discover gaps in their services. To continue providing excellent services to clients, they need to learn how to fill these gaps and find employees who are highly dependable…Continue Reading
Meet Craig Jamieson, Director, Jamiesons Strategic Growth Solutions
After discovering a gap in their client services, Craig Jamieson, director of Jamiesons Strategic Growth Solutions, realized they needed to bring someone on board; someone dependable and trustworthy. And that’s exactly what they got with our help.
Established 5 years ago, Jamiesons Strategic Growth Solutions is an accounting firm that does a combination of compliance work and business advisory, which comprises almost 40% of what they do. Made of eight highly competent members, the company has teams in Clark and India as well as Australia.
“We found someone we can rely on to help our client services administrator. It’s been great and helped us deliver to our clients a better experience than what they had previously.”
Data security concerns and how we’ve provided the solution
Craig’s initial concerns centred around data security. But after working with The Outsourced Accountant (TOA), those fears evaporated as Jamiesons discovered just how much TOA cares about their client’s information security. We take extra measures to protect data in a tightly controlled environment.
“The security that’s in place is very good and it ensures that client confidentiality is maintained.”
When asked about his level of satisfaction with regards to the services they’re getting, Craig expressed delight. He is very happy with the offshore team engagement especially because the people he works with are highly proactive; they constantly provide helpful information and are always ready to offer suggestions on how to improve the way they do business.
Smooth-sailing transition for the business
Craig also enjoyed the smooth-sailing onboarding process. TOA’s awesome support team made the transition a fun and hassle-free experience for Craig and his team. They came to Clark with specific things they want to do: they wanted to (1) run it with consultation because there was a great support team here and (2) be involved in the recruitment process as well.
They were able to merge the two requirements and it has worked well. Also, with help from the outstanding talent recruitment process, they were able to find the most suitable candidate to help them bridge the gap in their client services.
“We were able to bring on board the right person for the role that we had chosen and to bring them up to speed quite quickly. We had all the support that we needed. It was great.”
Since working with us, Craig expressed satisfaction with the way our team has shown willingness in providing a better experience to them and how our support team is always ready to give assistance.
Client Spotlight: How Offshoring Pushes Sky Accountants To Rapid Growth
Looking to be scalable, to get leverage and eventually build a business that can run without the owner, Sky Accountants was one of the first firms to give outsourcing a try and later on embrace it because of its great benefits and the opportunities it brings…Continue Reading
Key takeaways from this interview:
– What made Jamie decide to outsource dedicated staff
– The performance of his offshore team, and his future plans for them
– The benefits that Sky Accountants has gained for investing in training
– What were Jamie’s fears and doubts when starting to outsource
– What Jamie has realised when he started to build an offshore team in the Philippines
– How has The Outsourced Accountant (TOA) helped Sky Accountants through outsourcing
– The benefits that Sky Accountants gained through outsourcing
– Jamie’s advice to accounting business owners
It’s always been a positive experience, an affirmation of our business’ vision and values when we connect with our clients and learn about their outsourcing journey and successes, which for us is reflective of our own success as well.
Today, the spotlight is on Jamie Johns of Sky Accountants, one of the first firms in our clientele list to embrace outsourcing. Jamie provides us with some valuable insights into his outsourcing journey, his doubts when he started outsourcing, and some pro tips for business owners who are looking to grow their firm. These and more below in our excerpts from our interview with him.
Meet Jamie Johns, CEO of Sky Accountants
Jamie, an entrepreneur at heart, started ‘Sky Accountants’ from his home office. He specialises in helping business owners ‘build a business that can run without them‘. Sky Accountants deliver on this promise to guide individuals and businesses to success via the most efficient processes and proactive business partnerships.
Jamie has five full-time dedicated outsourcing staff in Clark, Philippines. Donita and Jacqueline are accountants, Kimberly and Jesille are bookkeepers, and Adrian is a marketing specialist. As the business grows, Jamie is looking to expand his offshore team at TOA next year with another three or four.
In the early stage of his outsourcing journey, Jamie needs to train his offshore team with Australian Tax, computer systems etc. Creating a domino effect where training one person can help train other people to do the things that are needed to do. The process becomes a lot easier as they go further and eventually their persistence on training paid off. “If you stick to it and have persistence, you’ll get the rewards,” says Jamie.
But, how did it all start?
Sky Accountants And Their Outsourcing Journey
To be scalable and to get leverage, these are Jamie’s main reason to outsource. In a global economy where borders don’t necessarily matter anymore, Sky Accountants is one of the first firms to embrace the opportunities that other countries could bring through technology. They are quick and smart to recognise that outsourcing is a natural part of it.
“Any successful business owner has to realise that the world is smaller and border don’t necessarily matter anymore. It’s important to embrace the opportunities that you’ve got with other countries and come together and do your best.”
Like everyone else, Jamie had his own sets of doubts and challenges when he started outsourcing.This includes communication, quality of work, speed, turnaround time, and other common fears in a business. But once they started operating and adding staff to the team, it just got easier especially with the use of the right technology. Sky Accountants learned to overcome these fears in the process.
Now on his third year with TOA, Jamie couldn’t be happier with his offshore team and their valuable contribution to Sky Accountants. When talking about his offshore team in the Philippines, Jamie is keen to answer “They’re all totally enthusiastic. They’re always great to deal with, and very positive. Their productivity is great and I couldn’t speak more highly of them.”
With the business growing, the longer that they work with their staff and the more they train them, the smarter and more efficient they become. It’s a win-win for both Jamie and his offshore team and their clients for providing the best accounting services.
How has TOA helped Sky Accountants
Jamie specifically highlighted three of the main benefits Sky Accountants has gained through outsourcing with the help of The Outsourced Accountant, “The team that Nick has put around himself both here and in Australia is excellent and they’re always open to feedback and improving their business. They’re always approachable and you always get timely responses.”
According to Jamie, having a team offshore is like having a team locally. You implement the same process, you treat them as part of the team and you unite the business and paint the future where you want to take it like with any other team members. That’s how he treats and values his team offshore. “They’re all part of a larger strategy to grow our business and it’s a global economy,” he added.
If you’re an accountant, a business owner, or an adviser who is considering to invest in this space to achieve business efficiency, profit, and growth, here’s Jamie’s advice for you:
“When you start doing outsourcing, it’s important to get your structures and processes right. You need to systemise your business, you can have how-to videos and all sort of things but the biggest aspect in making it structured and all the workflow process.”
This is just one of many client success stories at The Outsourced Accountant, where we pride ourselves on establishing a strong working relationship with our clients as a key method of delivering outstanding results each and every time.
Watch his full client testimonial video above.