Offshoring Accounting Functions and How to Make it Work
Offshoring has evolved from a niche practice to a dominant business strategy employed by businesses of all sizes and industries. To many of these businesses, they engage in offshoring accounting services as more and more accounting companies and CPAs seek premium talent to do compliance work and back-office functions, so that they can ultimately focus more on advisory tasks.
In this article, we dig deeper into insights we have accrued from years of helping Australian accounting businesses through offshore accounting in Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. These are key in ensuring your offshoring strategies will meet your expectations and business goals.
Integration: A smooth transition
More often than not, companies tend to assume that transition is the sole concern of offshoring service providers. In reality, no offshoring strategy ever succeeds without a well-planned, agreed and smooth transition from both ends. Before building your offshore accounting team, you should be thoroughly involved in the following:
- Ensuring approval and support from management boards and key stakeholders. Internal agreement is of extreme importance prior to and during your offshoring journey.
- Defining goals and objectives with the offshore accounting team. If this is your first attempt in offshoring, it is advisable to start with compliant, transactional, supporting roles, then progress to more complex roles later.
- Preparing your onshore Australian accounting teams for the changes. Listen to their insights and suggestions, and manage the expectations of your stakeholders so there is an understanding of the roles and processes right from the beginning.
- Preparing your offshore accounting staff through training, discussions and induction programs. They are the extension of your Australian team, so they must have the skill sets and organisational culture, and follow the same processes as you do onshore.
Implementation: The choice is yours
Offshoring accounting services isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution – different companies will employ different models of implementation. From our own experience, there are two main approaches that are applicable to both first-timers and corporations with previous offshoring experience:
- Optimise the processes first, then delegate to the offshore teams. This is the standard and top-of-mind option for many large corporations as it provides a crystal clear, structured and controlled system for offshoring accounting functions. However, streamlining accounting procedures can be difficult, especially for start-ups and SMEs with no complete accounting department, which could delay your offshoring strategy further.
- Delegate tasks to the offshore teams first, then optimise later. This is obviously a more flexible approach that allows your business to start offshoring accounting as soon as possible, and polish the procedures as you go. This is suitable for SMEs as it’s a practical way of comprehensively streamlining each step in the process with your offshore global team. This will require assistance from your offshore solutions providers in charge of staff onboarding, IT, and management, so you can integrate your offshore accounting team in Vietnam, Malaysia, or the Philippines without a hitch.
Risk mitigation: It matters
Partnering with a trusted offshoring provider means having shared services that will help address and manage risks and threats. Such a partnership takes the logistical and managerial burden off your shoulders, so you could focus on developing offshore accounting teams, maximising ROI and efficiency.
With the above in mind, an offshore staffing provider within the offshore accounting services industry will have risk mitigation at the forefront of their business operations. Preparations around data security, intellectual property, employee contracts and codes of conduct will all be thoroughly addressed to ensure peace of mind.
Offshoring accounting services
Since 2011, ASW has partnered with Australian companies to build their competitive offshore accounting teams in Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. Based in our modern offices across Southeast Asia, these talented offshore staff continually contribute to the seamless operations and achievements of their companies in Australia. Whatever your business size may be, whatever industry you’re in, you’re sure to enjoy the collaboration, efficiency, and other benefits of offshore accounting services. Contact us today for an in-depth discussion on how offshoring ASW can make accounting services work for you.