Client Spotlight: Empowered With Time For Firm Growth

6-minute read

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. 

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. 

Conclusion

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. 

Start taking back your clock by scheduling a FREE consultation with one of our  global team specialists. 

I WANT TO BOOK MY FREE CONSULT

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.

FREE 1-ON-1 CONSULTATION