The novel coronavirus or COVID 19 has forced a lot of places to go under a lockdown. In a very short period, accounting firms everywhere have been thrust into the world of remote work. There has been a scramble to create remote-work practices and help employees set up makeshift offices. This coversation is about how to implement some temporary measures in the face of the pandemic
3 Minute Read - Managing Remote Work During COVID 19
CPA: “My state is not under lockdown, should me and my team still prefer working remotely?”
Ron Smith: “Your firm will undoubtedly be implementing a host of temporary measures in the face of the pandemic: new workflows, new management, and reporting structures, new workarounds, new deliverable pathways, and so on. In many cases, these will violate old rules or partner shibboleths, but you’ll accept them in order to keep things moving. Remote work is the great example: Many firms dragged their heels on this before March, and have only grudgingly accepted it now — but, like many of the other expedients you adopt, it is absolutely worth continuing once things return to normal”
CPA: “But there is so much workload, SBA funding programs, COVID Stimulus Package, Extended deadlines, PPP, clients are more curious than ever? How can I transform immediately? Do we have a short term solution?”
Ron Smith: “I would like to recommend reading our blog to set up a remote office in a hurry. Nevertheless time is more right today to integrate offshore staffing in your firm.”
CPA: “This is a stop-gap solution. What is life to be for firms like us, post corona?”
Ron Smith: “Not everything you do in response to the crisis will be worth continuing, of course. Some of your ad hoc structures and workflows will probably best be dismantled — but after four, or six, or eight months, the temporary often begins to seem like the permanent, and five or six years later, staff will ask, “Why do we still do it this way?” and no one will remember that it was born out of desperation, and was never meant to be perpetuated.”
“However, Judge your stop-gap measures not just on how they perform now, but on their potential to make your firm better in the long term. Offshore Staffing is one such long term solution.”
CPA: “Well you connect offshore staffing everywhere, How offshore staffing is a solution here?”
Ron Smith: “I can be biased here but I would recommend you to read this article of Breakaway Bookkeeping and Advising, an accounting firm in Tualatin, Oregon integrated offshore staffing in their practice and they were so ahead of time that today what they did, sound so much relevant and essential.”
CPA: “How Offshore staffing is so relevant today?”
Ron Smith: “Well working remotely whether, from ‘Boston or Bangalore’, ‘Miami or Mumbai’, ‘New York or New Delhi’, is all the same, as long as your staff has the right skill set, attitude, and speaks the same language. With Offshore staffing, it’s not just about hiring staff @ $9/hour but as I said it’s one such solution which may start as a stop-gap arrangement but also a potential long term solution. It can help to build capacity, gain competitive advantage, and also reduces your workload.”
“Again I would again recommend you watch the Interview of Phil Whitman, CPA, an Accounting Industry Expert who has advised 100s of CPA firms across North America. Learn why he is so optimistic about Entigrity Offshore Staffing and urges accounting firms to start thinking in this direction. - Watch Video”
CPA: “You know Ron, I’m old schooled. I’ve tried outsourcing and I’ve seen other CPAs try their luck. It never works. I’m not a fan of outsourcing.”
Ron Smith: “Many of us think that outsourcing and offshore staffing are the same things. But they are quite different from one another. I agree with you. We hate outsourcing the same way you do. Most of the accounting community is old schooled and we know it because we are accountants too.”
CPA: “How can outsourcing be different from offshore staffing?”
Ron Smith: “Let me put it this way -
You cannot simply outsource your Core Business function.
Outsourcing entails creating a hiring a vendor for ‘team on-demand’ that works on an ad-hoc basis.
As far as offshore staffing is concerned, you are hiring a dedicated staff that works and directly reports to you like local staff, and if everything set up nicely, you can expand and your offshore remote team can be of great support to your local A-team.
Better still, they might also perform some core business functions if you don’t have enough capable people on site.”
“Watch the video of one of our clients, Adam Hale, the founding partner of a 100% virtual accounting firm, and how they have transformed by successfully building a team of offshore staff - Watch Video”
CPA: “I think I am getting a hang of it. What about working and controlling the staff? In outsourcing, I don’t have any control over it.”
Ron Smith: “Your offshore staff reports directly to you, however you want. We understand that you can’t afford to lose control. In outsourcing you’ve to follow vendor’s policies but in offshore staffing, you have 100% control as the staff follows your firm’s policies, protocols, and workflow.”
If you or any of your colleagues wish to learn more, let’s have a quick chat and discuss future possibilities.
Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 500+ 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.