Jacob Scott, CPA     Apr 06, 2021     2644

The Tax Season rush is not always the best judge for evaluating offshore staffing's long-term benefits, especially if you have started just this Tax season. Accounting firms are increasingly adding extra staff from offshore to fix capacity issues.

The Tax Season rush is not always the best judge for evaluating offshore staffing's long-term benefits, especially if you have started just this Tax season. Accounting firms are increasingly adding extra staff from offshore to fix capacity issues. 


Below are 8 Reasons on Why you should Retain/Expand Offshore Staff Beyond Tax Season:


1. Allocating More Task to Offshore Staff

Today after a pandemic about 70% - 80% of the task that remote employees can do. If that employee can be remote, why can’t it be offshore? Accounting firms have become more open to offshore staffing post-pandemic.

We are providing you with an E-Book on 100+ Tasks that can be done by Offshore Staff for an Accounting firm, by Mike Goossen, CPA. This E-book will provide you with a complete perspective on what different tasks can be allocated to your offshore staff even beyond Tax season.


Internal Survey can help find the pain areas of your onshore Team, and It will also tell you what areas you need to restructure, give training, or delegate to the offshore Team. You can score the tasks on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 being the lowest and 7 being the highest for Comfort as well as for Enjoyment.


Below is the chart that can be used to assess which are the tasks that need delegation.


There are four zones as per the comfort and enjoyment level of the employee:-

1. ZONE 1(Low Comfort, Low on Enjoyment ): It is the zone that requires the highest level of attention where the employee is neither comfortable in doing a particular task nor he enjoys it. Here either the staff has no clarity on the role or is completely a misfit.


2. ZONE 2 (Low Comfort, High on Enjoyment): Here the employee is liking the work but somewhere he lacks the technical knowledge and needs to be trained.


3. ZONE 3 (High Comfort, High on Enjoyment): It’s the ideal situation where the staff enjoys the work as well as he has the skill set, so he is comfortable also. You need all your staff to be in this zone


4. ZONE 4 (High Comfort, Low on Enjoyment): This is the delegation zone where your onshore employee is comfortable but is not enjoying the work. These are the tasks that need to be allocated to offshore staff.


Offshore staff can gradually grow with your firm and support your Senior Team. Retaining a staff who is aligned to your companies' culture and invested in your firm's vision is Important.


2. Identify, Appoint & Retain Strong Leaders

The first step is to find new staff members anywhere (locally or offshore) with good leadership abilities. Strong leaders allow you to eventually build around them, reducing the need for micromanagement and ensuring that teams become workload self-sufficient. Having a Dedicated Leader for your offshore team can do wonders. This leader will help you in:


a. Identifying the right talent for potentially building offshore teams.

b. Their experience and learning about your firm will take away a significant burden of training and onboarding from you.

c. Can be a goodwill ambassador for your firm in retaining/mentoring the right offshore talent


3. Expansion in Non-Accounting Roles

It’s now normal for accounting firms to solve their capacity issues by hiring extra staff offshore. And for most firms, the logical place to start is by hiring trained accountants and CPAs to support their core accounting functions. But as firms learn more about the accounting offshoring landscape, they are increasingly adding non-accounting roles to their offshore teams. Here’s why:

While hiring non-accounting roles may seem a little counter-intuitive, many of our clients have successfully made their pathway to continued growth while hiring non-accounting staff. Learning from many firms strategy suggest there can be a 4 Tier structure in Accounting firms.


1. Owners/Partners are involved in just Business Development & Client Servicing (70%) and 30% in Office, Administrative, and other duties

2. A core team of highly skilled professionals onshore to manage all client relationships, training, deliverables, high-level review, offshore recruitment, and decision making.

3. Supported by accounting staff offshore to crank out process-driven work…

4. Plus a selection of non-accounting roles to drive essential Client Support, Administrative and Marketing functions.


What could be possible Non-Accounting Roles you can look for is:

  • Executive Assistant
  • Client Service Associate
  • Digital Marketing Assistant
  • Billing Executive
  • AR/AP Assistant
  • Business Development Associate
  • Admin Support Staff

4. Continue Part-time Beyond Tax Season

Although your company does not have the resources to hire a full-time resource getting these positions in-house may be beneficial, you can continue part-time and have the same employee next year. So you don’t have to go through the process of hiring and training all over again.


5. Long Term Approach - Never Treat staff as an Interchangeable part

Long-term staff retention is key to the growth and scalability of any business. However, we have seen some smaller firms terminate their staff services beyond tax season even if they have a continuous flow of work or even reduced workflow. Longevity of staff represents great benefits like:-


a. With the Learning curve their productivity and performance increase.

b. With time, the connection to vision and understanding of a firm's business, client, culture increases.

c. They can be converted to future seniors/leaders.

d. Greater workload reduction for your onshore team/partners/owners.


6. Right Balance of Offshore and OnshoreTeam

The offshore Team shall be treated as an integral part of the firm. Building an environment wherein everyone feels secure & at the same time committed to perform. Neither onshore nor offshore team members should be under a hanging sword of job insecurity. When you are on the drawing board designing for your firm, the right mix of Offshore and Onshore team, make sure you stay the course. You find sometimes just a little turbulence and you feel that we should bring everything back in-house. Failure in hiring is inevitable Onshore and offshore, but make sure you stick to the plan and make the plan work. If you have a wrong hire onshore, the next step for you would be to find the right guy and transit him. Similarly, in offshore staffing, you will have the same situation.


7. Always have little additional capacity

Ofcourse accountants need to think about the company's finance, profitability, and productivity. But Accountants should have an entrepreneurial approach. What should happen first Building Capacity or Increase Business? Well, the former always happens first than the latter, and it’s always advisable to run on 15% to 20% additional capacity in your firm. And additional capacity is always good for workload management of all the team members.


8. Having Patience with the Right expectations

Almost  90% of all communication is non-verbal. Ultimately when working with offshore staff, what this translates into is simply less efficient communication. So, if in our modern workplace we rely on communication to get someone up to speed, then inherently that communication is going to be slower, and thus, the training progress will be slower because the person we’re trying to train isn’t right in front of us. 

But all is not lost. A Lot can be done through video/voice and even text chat as discussed earlier. There’s a lot that CAN’T be done through email. It’s best to accept that our work today is increasingly distributed and will continue to be so. The salient fact is that your communications with your offshore staff won’t be as speedy as with someone face to face. Having a little patience with this understanding will go a long way towards making you successful in working with your offshore folks.

If you tell your offshore Staff what they need to do in detail and what you expect from them, they will work hard to meet your expectations. Having a clear and articulated written expectation avoids the chances of confusion and miscommunication. Managing expectations and Evaluating performance is always a difficult task on the head of a manager. However, the below matrix helps you in managing your expectations towards your onshore and offshore staff.

Offshore staffing is seen as a long-term opportunity for expansion, and firms have been grabbing it with both hands. So to conclude, there are many tasks that an offshore staff can do beyond Tax season. 


Since the pandemic, over 250+ accounting firms have partnered with Entigrity to meet their staffing needs and build their offshore team. Every month, about 30 new accounting firms select Entigrity and step forward in making their offshore Team. Entigrity has staffed 1000+ offshore staff for accounting firms. You may find several success stories on our Client Review Page.


Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 550+ accountants, CPAs, and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still, you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.

About The Author

Jacob Scott, CPA

Member, Advisory Board

Jacob Scott is a CPA with over 20 years of experience in the area of accounting & finance and has worked as a Senior Audit Associate at EY. Jacob drives the financial planning of the company by analyzing its performance and risks. He retains constant awareness of the company’s financial position and acts to prevent problems. He also sets up and oversees the company’s finance IT system as well as sets targets for and supervise all accounting and finance personnel (management accountants, internal auditors, etc.) Besides overseeing all audit and internal control operations, Jacob develops the corporate fundraising strategy and manage relationships with partners and investors. His roles also include preparing timely and detailed reports on financial performance on a quarterly and annual basis and conducting analysis to make forecasts and report to upper executives. He ensures adherence to financial laws and guidelines.  He has a keen interest in activities and societies, industry tours, educational seminars, cultural activities, sports, and most importantly attending conferences.

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