With the rise of offshoring, more small and medium sized US CPA firms have successfully improved their operating margin during the current war for talent. Offshoring, as the Big Four firms have found for decades, improves firm efficiencies—when managed properly.
One of the challenges of outsourcing is that firm managers oftentimes wind up reviewing and fixing work that has been offshored, due to poor communications, lack of process, offshore turnover, or other issues. In those cases, the frustration level and increased cost dissipates the benefit of offshoring.
This frequent scenario begs the question — can my firm find an outsourced partner that provides the manager level I need? The answer is yes. In this article, we will discuss how you can find that partner while avoiding some of the common pitfalls that come with outsourcing only the most basic parts of your workflow.
Maintaining onshore senior management is one of the main challenges of offshoring
If you are going to delegate parts of your workflow offshore you cannot expect to simply send off the tasks your junior people were doing and have your onshore senior managers review it. This will take too much time and effort on your managers’ part, which will increase their workload and void the savings you might have realized from offshoring in the first place.
Offshoring firms are improving their access to senior people who can do review work at lower rates. This is a welcome development, otherwise you would still have to bear the cost of supervisory staff to oversee the work. Now, finding a vendor that provides superior people management and process optimization can give you the peace of mind you need to reduce your staff.
What happens if you only outsource the simplest work?
The truth is that in some cases you do not have a choice. Not all outsourced partners are mature enough to take on your repeatable work and provide you with experienced managers to check the work. If you are in this unfortunate situation, your reality will look something like this:
- Junior offshore staff need to be managed and mentored constantly. Do your senior onshore employees have the desire or the inclination to manage an overseas workforce?
- Junior staff must have their performance appraised regularly. It is important for them to be able to receive formalized guidance and feedback. Did you sign up for this level of people management?
- Deploying managers to sense check the workflow you have already outsourced reduces their efficiencies and reduces operating margin on the engagement, because it is not likely the firm can bill for “repair work”.
- Buying the most basic outsourcing solution may be inexpensive on a rate per hour (RPH) basis, but it comes needing a level of management that can set you back in other ways.
Unlocking the benefits of an outsourced model should not add to your engagement overhead. By choosing a partner that does not provide you with a level of senior oversight as part of the solution, you could even go backwards.
Are there firms that can give me the right manager level?
Yes, those firms exist. Now, finding a partner such as Accsurant that has rigorous technical and soft skills training, culture development, and a clear career trajectory for its offshore resources provides firms a higher comfort level than other offshore solutions.
It is now not only the most basic functions that are outsourced, but even senior staff and manager oversight functions can also be outsourced as the skills exist offshore to perform the work
The bottom line
Accsurant can help your firm streamline its Client Accounting Services practice, regardless of the size or maturity. We understand that using outsourcing means more than hiring junior people offshore. It requires an offshore manager to perform quality control. Also, it requires a work management system that is predictable and that produces results.
Expecting your existing managers to oversee people twelve thousand miles away is a recipe for failure. Accsurant’s proprietary work management tool allows your managers to assign the work without having to manage the team.
Accsurant has built its well-trained and highly motivated offshore teams to use its peerless work management tool to optimize the cost arbitrage and at the same time optimize your senior managers’ billing time.
Contact us for a one-hour discovery session now.