Most firms, when they look at what to outsource, automatically jump to outsourcing the roles where they are currently short-staffed or roles which have been historically hard to fill or retain staff in. The short answer to what can be outsourced is anything and everything. The best approach to take when identifying what to outsource is to look at your current business as it is today, and more importantly, where you want it to be in the future.
One firm we work with decided 6 months ago to flip its entire business. What we mean by this is that they decided to offshore all roles in their firm other than client-facing positions. What they did retain was a technical and review team (Australian Champions) whose whole responsibility was to train and review the offshore teams work. The rest of the team in Australia are now responsible for client-facing and adding value to clients (which is billable).
By offshoring all administration and process-driven tasks, this has allowed the firm to focus on what is important – helping their clients by being proactive with advice and services. The cost to implement this and have 30 staff offshore (and only 24 onshore) is less than the fortnight’s wages for the Australian team. This has also given the firm 100% more capacity, meaning they could double their revenue without any increase in staff (and or less than $30,000 per month).
Some of the most common roles to outsource include:
- Corporate secretarial and ATO correspondence management and work
- New entity set-ups
- Client service roles – from engagement agreements, to ethical letters to database
- management and tax lodgements
- Executive assistant
- Marketing roles (one firm has 7 marketing roles)
- SMSF tax and compliance
- Personal tax returns
- Business tax returns
The simplest way to start is to look at your current workflow blockages and to work backwards. If your accountants are doing too much administration work, outsource your current client service work offshore. This will free up the administration staff to take more of the clients’ follow up work from the accountants, thus helping them become more productive. Once the firm gets this right, it can work towards doing this for all roles within the business.
Before you jump in and start, it’s best to set up a strategy around where you want to take it and a path to getting there. Filling gaps is a short-term solution, not a long-term strategy.