Offshoring for Accounting Firms: 5 Steps to Get You Started

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Accountants we’ve worked with always ask us,

“How can we offshore some of the work that’s being done in our local office so that it could get done more efficiently with great client service and support the people that we have in our Accounting firm?”

If you’re setting your sights on building your own offshore team to increase your Accounting firm’s capacity, here are the initial steps you need to take:

Step 1 - Identify your needs.

First pinpoint the core competencies your firm requires to deliver all the services that you want to provide and achieve your goals. Then, assess the core competencies of all onshore team members. There are three competency types - skills, knowledge and behavior/behaviour. Based on that assessment, you can now decide what core competencies you’re looking for in an offshore team member. Remember that your recruitment process should be based on competencies and not on tasks. Make sure that offshoring is a feasible venture for your Accounting firm across all aspects of your business i.e. time, finances, administration, et cetera.

Step 2 - Do your research

It is important to explore all your options. Choosing the business process offshoring company that suits all your needs and aligns with your Accounting firm’s business values is key. When you’ve chosen one, we would strongly recommend that you actually go on a plane to be there. See how everything works. Look at the facilities that your people will be working in. Actually talk to people who are in those roles. Take a look at the terms and conditions under which they work. This is invaluable in addressing all the concerns that you might have.

Step 3 - Choose the right people for you.

The hiring process is pivotal. Right off the bat, initial offshore team members will know little to nothing about your accounting business and will not have spent much time with your team. You must take the view that will it be the same for everyone who you bring into your team. Key to this having thorough interviews with prospective team members. Weigh their skills based on the core competencies your firm needs. Equally as important would be their work attitude and character. Watch and listen at how they conduct themselves. Trust your instincts. This would determine if they are a right fit for your team.

Step 4 - Train your team well.

There will be an investment in training upfront. This is paramount, and there is no silver bullet here. You need to think of this as a growth strategy that will benefit your firm in the long run if done right. Be committed to it. Establish an educational process that will help your team perform to the best of their abilities. Take your offshore team members through all aspects of your business. Convey all your firm’s goals and expectations. Make sure responsibilities and key performance indicators are made clear and understood well. Know that this teaching and learning process is a progression so constant communication is crucial.

Step 5 - Keep close tabs on your team.

Once you’ve established an offshore team, make sure to have an eagle eye on their activities. Again, communication is vital. Establish channels through platforms like Skype or Slack. Task assignments can be monitored through apps like Teamwork or the like. Maintaining consistent productivity is a must for sustainability of your offshore effort. You have to see a true return on investment to achieve your goals of increased capacity, and thus, growth of your Accounting firm. It is only then that you can decide to grow your offshore team.

Offshoring is a leap forward that, when done right, can result in exponential growth on your Accounting firm. So follow these first five steps closely. Remember that this is an investment in a gradual process.

Looking to build an offshore team now? Fill out the form below so one of our consultants can get in touch with you to discuss the amazing possibilities.

Rob Nixon

CEO & Co-founder at PANALITIX

About the Author

Rob Nixon is the world’s foremost authority on how accounting firms can achieve peak performance. Since 1994, he has been running businesses that specialize in helping Accountants run better, more profitable businesses. His speaking work has taken him around the world where he has spoken to in excess of 170,000 Accountants. Currently, his landmark strategies and products are used by Accountants in over 30 countries.

On average, clients increase profit by 75.5%, enhance capacity by 30.6% and achieve sustainable revenue growth of 52.1% - in just 12 months.

Rob is the author of two best-selling books “Accounting Practices Don’t Add Up – why they don’t and what to do about it” – and “Remaining Relevant – the future of the accounting profession”. Both have received rave reviews from Accountants and industry professionals from around the world.

Rob’s latest book “The Perfect Firm: Your Playbook for Building a Perfect Accounting Business” aims to help Accountants build their perfect accounting firm.

In 2005, he created the revolutionary coaching model called coachingclub. The coachingclub model enabled firms to be accountable, to consistently learn and to share ideas amongst their peers. So far, over 800 accounting firms have graduated from his coachingclub program. The vast majority of firms have doubled or tripled profits because of the program.

Rob is a keen golfer (single figures) and adventurer (he is ticket holder 293 on Virgin Galactic to go into space). He lives in sunny Brisbane, Australia with his lovely wife Natalie and three children.

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