From XU Magazine, 
Issue 20

Is outsourcing for me? Why building a global team is the missing link in scalability and success

As a US$500 billion dollar industry, accounting is the focus of constant change and growth. The digital transformation has already flipped the seemingly traditional industry on its head, introducing new ways to help your team work more efficiently. But in the rush of new and shiny technology, why are firms still struggling to scale with larger workloads, while simultaneously attracting and retaining top talent?

It’s a lot to balance for a local team. Rapid growth and growing client demands don’t scale without investment in people. Outsourcing has become a top strategy for helping scale as you build a global team ñ but how does outsourcing help your team?

Outsourcing is about getting the right people to do the right work at the right cost

Firms struggle to get access to everything they need in local talent. Competitive salaries, competitive firms, and a shortage in accountants is a barrier to building the ideal team. Outsourcing can include roles from accountants and bookkeepers, administration and client service roles, personal assistants and many more. This puts thoroughly vetted, global talent into positions that can be difficult to fill – opening the opportunities and the budget to recruit the best of the best.

Outsourcing makes your team, both onshore and off, your biggest asset

Few firms properly invest in the training and career growth of their team.

Most accounting firms we see globally don’t spend enough time developing and growing their people. There is so much focus on technology and keeping up with client demands that many firms forget about their biggest asset – their people. Our role running accounting firms isn’t just to make our people better technicians, it’s to make them better people. Implementing training plans that cover both soft skills and technical skills will not only grow your people, but make your people better people (who will, in return, better serve your clients). By giving the process orientated work to a global team, you will allow your onshore team more time to develop their skills, sitting in meetings with partners and clients sooner for hands-on experience.

Set Metrics for Success  

Many firms struggle to get three times revenue from their professional staff. The main reason we have found for this is people doing the wrong type of work. An accountant, for example, spends too much time doing administration related tasks or following up clients for outstanding information. These tasks are much better suited to a global team.

We have also seen a shift in how firms track success. The old way of tracking time isnít a clear metric for true success. Ensuring your team knows what success is on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis is key.

Map out a fast track for your local team’s career path with clear goals and coaching to reach those goals. Career growth comes from mentoring – but nothing takes the place of hands on experience.

Provide Work-Life Balance

For both on and offshore employees, work life balance helps to prevent burnout and recognizes the human nature of a people-run business. But how many firms really promote true balance? Would you ensure your team leave at 5pm each day, or would you consider a 5-hour work day (but pay your team for 8 hours like one of our clients has)? Building a high performing team doesn’t mean working excessive hours when your capacity and people strategy is properly mapped out.

Outsourcing helps to grow and retain your local team

Virtually any role you have locally can be supported with a global team!

It’s a common misconception that outsourcing is replacing jobs that your local team can do. Building a global team not only attracts the best talent from around the globe but helps to retain the strong talent you already have. By having your outsourced roles manage process-oriented work in your accounting firm, you’re allowing your local team room for growth by managing the outsourced roles, faster progress in their career, and more proactive work with their local clients.

Outsourcing is more than just sending a quick job overseas – it allows you to access the best talent from all corners of the world. Putting the focus on your people means making new investments in the team you have now, and the global team you want to build. Let’s build it together.

Why leave it there?

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