Could overseas outsourcing be the saviour of your accountancy practice in 2020?

Posted by Capium on May 27, 2020 9:58:00 AM

Now do you believe that it doesn’t really matter where somebody is physically when it comes to doing a good job under pressure?

With many of us having been working from home for more than two months a lot of myths have been put to bed once and for all.

It turns out you don’t have to be in the same room to connect with someone, or shake hands to close a deal. And teams can be effective and productive without the eyeballs of micromanagers on them at every moment.

All of which has brought overseas outsourcing back into the spotlight – If you’re having to do everything by video call, what does it matter if the person on the other end of the line is in Kettering, Kolkata or Cork?

For various reasons, the very idea of outsourcing makes some people sigh with disapproval.

Primarily, that wariness is because they associate outsourcing with frustrating customer care helpline experiences. Twenty-plus years ago, when this trend first began, it’s true that cost was the driver, not the quality of service.

And too often, there was a lack of transparency about the process, or even fundamental dishonesty, with staff prompted to fib about their location and pass themselves off as UK-based.

These days, however, not only has outsourcing improved its reputation across the board, but it’s also come into its own with the delivery of repetitive tasks and background functions.

Technology helps, of course – video calling has come on leaps and bounds, as has global connectivity, and even things we take for granted like realtime translation and spell-checking make a difference.

Accountants looking for smart ways to look after their core staff in turbulent times should certainly be thinking about how outsourcing might work for them.

Done right, it can be a great way to protect jobs, ensure livelihoods and improve your practice’s cash position.

We polled Capium customers on this subject and 10% of the one hundred people surveyed said they were looking into outsourcing in 2020/21, and 18% said they were already outsourcing some accountancy work.

At the same time, a sizable number were also looking for ways to pool or share resources with other like-minded accountancy firms – effectively outsourcing within the UK.

It’s easy to see the benefit to a London-based firm of having finance functions processed in Bolton or Bodmin, where staff can live comfortably on lower salaries.

What does it take to outsource?

First, you need repeatable processes. It is possible to outsource more complex work but it’s less likely to be successful than discrete, measurable tasks that require little initiative or input from staff.

Secondly, flexible software for time and task tracking makes an enormous difference. If you can assign tasks, set deadlines and monitor progress in the cloud, your overseas team will always know what needs to be delivered, and you won’t have to waste time chasing them.

Your software also needs to do all of this without the expense of extra user licences – otherwise, that’s any savings you’ve made swallowed up in fees.

Capium has always put flexibility at the heart of its business. Accountants aren’t tied to desktops or VPNs which means there’s no per-staff-member user licence cost.

Whether you choose to outsource by pooling resources within the UK, or by using talent abroad, you should certainly aim to have everyone working on one system, with all the data visible in real-time.

Stop paying for old-fashioned tech – book a demo to see how Capium works today.

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