In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever that companies learn to adapt quickly to changing conditions and find new ways of maintaining and growing their operations. Business agility and operational resilience are seen as key factors in surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and many companies are looking to reduce risk, increase efficiency and save costs through outsourcing.
Accounting services are particularly well-suited to being outsourced. Consisting largely of repetitive, rules-based work, transactional accounting tasks can easily be performed by offshore teams, leaving highly skilled local employees to perform more value-adding work.
What kind of accounting tasks can be outsourced?
One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing services to an offshore provider - other than cost savings - is that your local staff gain more time. Everyday compliance and procedural jobs are good choices to outsource to offshore accountants, leaving your local employees to use their extra time to grow in their role and in their relationships with clients.
Bookkeeping services including bank reconciliations, payroll, BAS (business activity statement) preparation, taxable payments reports and monthly management reports, also lend themselves well to outsourcing. Administration tasks such as onboarding clients, managing client databases, invoicing, and other client services are also easy to assign to an offshore team.
The plethora of cloud-based accounting software available delivers an effective and cost-efficient way of providing secure, remote access to staff wherever they are located.
What are the benefits of outsourcing accounting services?
One of the most obvious benefits of outsourcing is cost savings, with reductions in staff costs of up to 70% achievable by outsourcing to countries such as the Philippines.
Lower employment costs mean you can provide a high-end service to your clients at an affordable price. A qualified offshore accountant producing quality work will cost less than an unqualified bookkeeper would in Australia - allowing you to provide a much better service at the same, or lower cost for businesses.
Outsourcing can also deliver cost benefits by significantly reducing the amount of time required to complete and manage work. Using trained accountants ensures your bookkeeping and other lower-level tasks will be performed to a high standard without the need for micromanagement or quality control. Director at Mulcahy & Co, Jodie Thompson states that her offshore team has halved the amount of admin work their Australian-based accountants are required to do; freeing them up to focus on proactively building stronger relationships with clients and providing them with the valuable business advisory support they need.
Business owners understand that the client relationship is key to a successful practice. With your local skilled accountants free from having to perform time-consuming everyday tasks, they’ll have more capacity to focus on their clients. Not only will this keep clients happy, but your employees will be more engaged, leading to higher staff satisfaction and retention - and better quality output.
Outsourcing during COVID-19
It’s understandable that you might feel a little anxious about how an offshore team would perform under difficult circumstances such as COVID-19, especially since you can’t physically be there to check on them. Using an outsourcing provider with managers on location can give great peace of mind in such situations.
An onsite client management team will have a better understanding of the local culture and how the workforce operates, and can respond quickly and appropriately to unforeseen events. They can monitor government announcements, liaise with staff about working from home in the event of a lockdown, ensure staff have adequate access to resources such as the internet, and organise everything else they need to successfully perform their work. This localised support can help minimise any negative impacts on productivity arising from COVID-19 restrictions - as well as ensuring onsite staff retain their jobs and income.
If you’d like to learn more about which accounting services you can send offshore to achieve significant cost and time savings, download our eBook, 38 Accounting tasks you can outsource in your business.