“For 40 days, the flood kept coming..and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth”
Accounting firms around the nation simply have more demand than they have capacity. It’s an unsustainable and worsening situation, which places an unsustainable strain on both employee morale and client experience.
What is your firm doing to stay afloat? Are you refusing or rejecting good work in order to reverse engineer your firm strategy to match their capacity? A zero growth model? Others have made the wise decision to use outsourcing and offshore talent but are content to use it simply to survive. To thrive when others are drowning, it’ll take more vision than that.
Done right, consider an ongoing relationship with a high-quality outsourcing firm as your “Ark”: a safe vessel through the storm with the ability to rise and fall with the waters. When outsourcing is used not only to get to full capacity but to create the capacity for growth, you’ve charted a good course.
Remember, Noah built the ark before the rain.
It’s never too early to build your relationship and processes for effective outsourcing. Taking a proactive, considered approach to incorporating remote accounting talent into your firm results in much better outcomes than trying to shoehorn in new resources when your firm is drowning in demand.
Are you ready?
Building the Infrastructure for Remote Teams
For remote teams to be successful, your firm needs to have the appropriate infrastructure and processes in place. That’s true whether your firm works with an outsourcing company, opens an office in a new country, or establishes an insourcing relationship.
But what do these processes look like and how can you tell if your firm is ready to start outsourcing?
If you answer the following questions with a resounding “yes,” it’s likely your firm is well-placed to start reaping the benefits of delegating tasks to new remote teams:
- Is your firm paperless?
- Do you have software that enables controlled collaboration on client materials?
- Do you have a hierarchical structure in place that allows for the supervision of teams (including those abroad)?
- Are your workflows defined well enough that you could take part or even most of them and assign them to someone else with minimal disruption?
One of the keys to a successful outsourcing relationship is knowing how to effectively divide labor. Your workflows and processes need to have a series of discrete, prescriptive steps that can be followed by qualified professionals with minimal supervision.
Outsourcing Your Way Out of Trouble: An Unsustainable Model
Traditionally, outsourcing has been seen as a solution to a problem. Outsourced teams are typically recruited when a firm has exhausted its own resources. By adding an outsourced team when they’re already beyond full capacity, accounting firms are not addressing the root cause: they’re treating the symptom, not the underlying illness.
Moreover, these firms are rushing into a major business change at the worst possible time: a time when they’re already working flat-out to keep up with client demand. Firms frequently lack the processes to effectively incorporate remote talent, leading to miscommunications, duplicative processes, and unsuccessful outcomes.
Instead, firms need to establish the processes and frameworks that enable successful outsourcing relationships––before they need them to survive. This ensures an intentional, thoughtful working relationship that’s designed to produce long-term results: not just plug holes in the boat.
From Outsourcing to Insourcing: A Modern Approach
Outsourcing can be intimidating, but it isn’t necessarily hard. Today, there is top-tier accounting talent all around the world.
The best way to approach outsourcing isn’t to think of it as having a stranger work on your audit, but to hire talent in a way that’s consistent with how you would hire US-based accountants to work on your team.
Done right, outsourcing should feel like your team has grown, not that you have a group of people somewhere doing something for your team.
This is insourcing: a more modern, sustainable approach to hiring outsourced talent. At Trigger, a leading insourcing partner for the accounting profession, our team structures are built to match the hierarchical structure of a US accounting firm. US-based managers speak to offshore managers, US-based directors speak to offshore directors, and so on.
Your US team isn’t expected to manage a new team of auditors thousands of miles away: managerial oversight is provided by experienced offshore leadership. Your offshore talent should fit into the way that your firm already operates. Embracing this approach allows firms to plug new teams into their existing reporting structures and workflows extremely quickly and, most importantly, to scale into growth.
Start Building Your Ark Today
One thing is clear: the talent scarcity water levels are not receding any time soon. If your firm isn’t already running at or over capacity, the chances are that it will be within the next few years.
Do you want to be the firm that builds the ark when the water is at your ankles, or do you want to be the firm scrambling for a solution when the water closes in over your head?
We’re here to throw you a lifeline. If you’re ready to plan for success and embrace a modern approach to outsourcing, the team at Trigger is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our outsourced accounting solutions.