Accounting Firms: Things to Consider Before Offshore Hiring
In today's business world, outsourcing has taken a prominent role, whether it be accounting or IT. These days' accounting firms are relying on outsourcing for various services, reasons to be outlined later. In the last few years, hiring and retaining staff is still a struggle for the accounting profession, and hiring offshore accounting staff has gained a lot of attention recently as a viable resource. Assembling an offshore team has several advantages, first that comes to find is cost savings.
So ask yourself, "Are you offshore ready?" Let's think about what you should consider before selecting the right offshore staffing partner.
So, Are you offshore ready?
Businesses who can say they’re ready to have adapted to cloud technology and remote working. As a result, the pandemic has compelled them to adopt a culture of remote working.
Even if your firm is partially remote or has adapted to a full remote workforce, they are technically sound. However, there are certain firms that are still paper-driven, and those at the moment would be considered unprepared for offshore hiring. We continually inspect to see whether accounting firms are ready for outsourcing for accountants since we rather not have unforeseen issues arise after onboarding.
Today, things have changed, and there are a few factors to consider when determining whether or not a firm is suitable for offshoring.
1. Talent wise: When you are testing the talent pool, we advise it is not only the owners or partners who support offshore staffing, but also involvement with the onshore staff who will be working closely with them. All members should be in agreement with the plan to hire offshore accounting staff as this will be just one team.
2. Process wise: All processes should be in place so that the transition to offshoring outsourcing and scaling of your firm is much easier. Whether it's Client Onboarding, Document Recovery, Financial Reporting, Invoicing, or Follow-ups, it is preferable to scale back if processes are still being established.
So these are some of the criteria for determining if your firm will be able for offshoring or not, but this is not the case for everyone. Many businesses are willing to offshore their operations and simply learn as they go. As a result, they improve and scale as they continue to learn after initiating this planning process.
We'd like to share an example of a colleague who employed one staff member for 20 hours per week. As a sole practitioner, Martin Moll, JD. (Breakaway Bookkeeping and Advising) often mentions that offshore is one of the three crucial pillars for continuous development . He now has 5 offshore accountants that work alongside his onshore team and are entirely remote. Yet they are working together as one team, both technically and in terms of skill.
Things that you should consider before selecting an offshoring partner:
1. Management background: Leaders are the foundation of every organization. So, if you're looking for an accounting offshoring companies, you might want to learn more about the management team. This will inform you about their knowledge and expertise, as well as how focused they are within the industry. It is much more desirable to engage with a company that exclusively caters to the accounting industry. This experience enables a better understanding of the underlying difficulties and will be able to provide appropriate solutions more frequently than others.
2. Company's credibility: Evaluate the reviews and testimonials, and then make an informed decision based on your research. Check for trustworthiness because this domain is specialized and you have access to the financial details of your own clients.
3. Avoid “mom and pop” shops: As offshore accounting is steadily rising, please beware of scammers as accounting firms are easy targets. There are many small mom and pop shops turning up now and under the appearance of outsourcing for accountants, they can potentially steal your clients information if you're not careful. So make sure you do thorough due diligence before choosing your offshoring partner.
4. Company's focus: Outsourcing is a very vast field as it is within domains of Accounting, IT, Engineering, KPO's BPO, etc. Always work with someone who understands your business inside out. That's where industry experience becomes very helpful.
5. Data security & IT policy certification: Data security and privacy policies are critical, especially when working with virtual employees. As a result, the most important item to investigate about an offshoring companies is how well they safeguard the confidentiality of all data you may disclose with them. Check to see if they have an outlined IT policy and high-level data security compliances. They should have the necessary ISO and GDPR certification, as well as future business continuity strategies. Examine their E&O and cybersecurity insurance policies.
6. Community connect: Typically, if you engage with a practitioner in accounting field, they will be linked to other experts and thought leaders in the industry and will assist you in connecting with them.
7. Reviewing agreement confidentiality: Study the agreement. A company should have a professional drafting of the agreement where you can evaluate it ensuring all essential procedures are in line with your firm's policies.
You may wonder if pricing is a factor. Pricing is an issue, but it isn't that essential if you're working with solid talent and varied resources. Then the prices will almost certainly be on par. However, you must decide whether you need a firm with less credibility, lower-quality staff, but at a lower cost, or whether you want to be with the best in the industry for standard to higher costs.
We always advise exploring several options before choosing an offshore partner and ensuring that you and your team are invested in this plan.
Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 600+ 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.