For AccountantsOutsourcing

At the recent Count Conference in Canberra, there was a lot of focus on outsourcing/offshoring as the future of the accounting industry. With close to a decade of experience in providing outsourced professional services to accounting firms in Australia, Krish Sritharan was invited to a panel to shed light on the strategic aspects of outsourcing/offshoring. The discussion spanned the gamut from the why and how of outsourcing to navigating its challenges and leveraging it for growth. Here’s a distillation of the insights shared.

Why Outsource

The decision to outsource is multifaceted, rooted not just in cost efficiency but in strategic business transformation. Firms seek to tap into additional expertise, achieve scalability, and focus on core competencies. Outsourcing allows businesses to leverage specialised skills unavailable in-house, ensuring that every aspect of the operation is handled by the best possible talent. Offshoring introduces a global talent pool with diverse perspectives and expertise, fostering innovation and competitive advantage.

Common Pitfalls of Outsourcing/Offshoring

The challenges can be as varied as the benefits. A frequent issue is the misalignment between a firm’s expectations and what an outsourcing/offshoring partner can deliver. This disconnect often stems from inadequate due diligence, unclear contract terms, or both. Cultural differences and communication barriers can exacerbate these challenges, leading to misunderstandings and inefficiencies. Establishing a detailed agreement, open lines of communication, and a clear understanding of each other’s working cultures is essential to mitigate these risks.

Prepping Your Team for Outsourcing / Offshoring

The success of an outsourcing/offshoring initiative largely depends on the internal team’s readiness. It involves more than just informing them of the change; it requires actively engaging them in the process. This includes training sessions that outline the new workflows, regular updates to keep them informed of progress, and channels for feedback. It’s about creating a culture that views outsourcing/offshoring as a tool for enhancement rather than just a way to manage costs; focus on the overall value it brings to the firm and its clients.

Scaling Strategies: A Measured Approach

Choosing between rapid expansion and gradual growth is a crucial strategic decision in outsourcing/offshoring. Rapid hiring can quickly fill capacity needs but may dilute service quality and company culture. On the other hand, too cautious an approach might miss market opportunities. The optimal strategy involves a careful evaluation of current in-house capabilities, market demands, and the readiness of a firm to manage growth. This ensures that scaling enhances rather than hinders operational excellence.

Bridging Communication Gaps

Effective management of communication is pivotal in global teams. This can be achieved through technology solutions like collaborative tools and platforms that enable real-time updates and meetings. Establishing overlapping working hours, even if brief, can greatly enhance collaboration. Additionally, fostering a culture of flexibility, where team members can adjust their schedules to accommodate meetings or deadlines, ensures that time zone differences become a minor inconvenience rather than a barrier.

Forming the Right Team

The essence of forming an effective outsourcing/offshoring team lies in understanding the scope of outsourcing/offshoring and aligning it with strategic business objectives. Like assembling a football team with a balanced mix of defenders, midfielders, and strikers, outsourcing requires a combination of technical skills, managerial expertise, and strategic vision. It’s not enough to have the best accountants if they can’t see beyond the numbers; similarly, excellent managers are ineffective if they lack the technical understanding of the services being delivered. The goal is to build a team where technical experts can focus on delivering their best work while managers orchestrate the broader strategic objectives, ensuring the team operates cohesively and effectively scales operations.

We draw on the pool of talent available in India, one of the most highly educated and one of the largest English-speaking workforces in the world. They have a strong blend of technical proficiency and management acumen. Our team’s diverse skills and forward-thinking attitude underpin our success in delivering outsourcing/offshoring solutions that exceed our clients’ expectations.

If you want to explore if outsourcing/offshoring is the right solution for your firm or learn how to get started with it, please reach out to Krish Sritharan.