Managing partners recognize outsourcing as a viable, smart business decision (and truth be told, in today’s profession is a must). There are a few standout questions we find them asking, which are important to answer before moving forward with this strategy.
This article will unpack those five questions and address any core considerations around outsourcing.
1. How do I talk to my clients about outsourcing?
Maybe the better way to phrase this question is actually “How do I talk to my clients?”
Outsourcing, like anything else, is just a part of an honest and professional discourse. The good news is there is no need for trepidation. Your clients will not get mad, resist, or fire you for this business decision.
How do we know this? Because we (as an industry) are required to inform our clients when using offshore resources. All of the firms that have done this successfully for decades have not seen a negative impact.
Trust in your relationship with your client, be a good partner and don’t worry about it.
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2. How do I know if I am ready to/should outsource?
Here are some helpful questions:
- Can we do all of the work we currently have?
- Do we wish we could do more of the work we currently want?
- Can we wait any longer to find local talent?
- Would our existing talent stay longer if they could focus on their most meaningful, level-appropriate work?
- Would the firm benefit from lower cost, external resources that turbo charge our larger, existing, talent investments here?
Depending on how you answer these questions with your leaders and partners, you’re likely a good candidate for outsourcing.
3. What types of outsourcing options are available?
Outsourcing accounting services (especially tax) isn’t new to the industry. You may have already bought into the original model of it or, at least, dipped your firm’s toes into the pool and tried it out.
We are leading the industry into a new generational model. Here’s what we mean:
- Gen 1: You buy the output (e.g. “I’ll take 1,000 tax returns, please.”)
- Pros: This type of warehoused solution is efficient, very low cost, and easily replicable.
- Cons: This is a blackbox solution with very low experience requirements and no/low collaboration with the talent executing the order and submitting it.
- The Next Gen: You outsource/“hire” experienced talent (e.g. “What I need are 4 staffers in A&A and Tax, 2 Seniors in TAS, and 1 Senior Manager for a CAS team.”)
- Pros: Sophisticated talent dedicated to your firm and your firm only, recruited and hired specifically to your requirements, and managed by accounting professionals where they are.
- Cons: While still meaningfully less expensive than onshore talent, not a bargain basement solution.
A note on timezones & language skills:
- Different outsourced solutions are located around the world. An advantageous timezone and language/accent will have a huge impact on the amount of collaboration possible in this relationship.
4. How much does outsourcing cost?
The honest answer is: It depends.
There is a wide range of price points but what holds true elsewhere, holds true here: You get what you pay for. With the right partner, you will get sophisticated talent while still maintaining a very strong talent arbitrage position.
We believe cheap solutions are dangerous solutions. Why? Quality, Turnover, Hidden Costs, and inevitably, exploitation of workers.
Trigger pays your assigned teammates at above local market salaries and they are full time employees of Trigger. Why? We think our clients deserve a stable and sophisticated work force. We also know that when both sides of the labor equation see an upside to the arrangements, it is most conducive to the highest quality service and output.
5. How do I know if it is working? What does success look like?
What is the success metric for outsourcing?
These questions will be helpful for setting the criteria and benchmarks:
- Are your clients happy with your work for them?
- Is your onshore talent happier and less harried?
- Do you feel less like you outsourced work and more like you’ve simply grown your team?
- Are you getting work done and making more money?
If answers are “Yes”…it’s working.
Founder & Global CEO