Outsourcing: is there more than one way to scale up your firm?
There are many factors that keep accountants on their toes: ever-changing compliance, evolving client needs, and the difficulties of competitively pricing services.
Often, by implementing modern software, firms can partially resolve these challenges.
Automating mundane tasks will allow for an increase in efficiency, freeing accountants up to focus on collaboration between their teams and clients.
But alongside these process-driven challenges, there is another burden becoming increasingly problematic, and it isn’t quite as easily resolved: the struggle to recruit and keep the right talent.
The solution isn’t as simple – in fact, it isn’t even widely known. But there is a way that firms can navigate the skill gap.
Instead of recruiting more people, firms can get outside resources to help with the most time-consuming tasks.
What does outsourcing mean for accountants?
An outsourcing service is when you outsource responsibilities that are typically high volume, but low value to a third-party.
Outsourcing doesn’t stop firms from growing their client base and offerings – in fact it’s the opposite – getting work resourced enables accountants to focus on growth and value-added services.
When using an outsourcing service, it’s important to note that you’re still fully in control of your client relationships, and in most cases, clients don’t even realise that you’re getting a helping hand via resourcing.
This is because a professional resourcing solution provides continuity of service to minimise disruption that arises from gaps in capacity or sudden staff absences.
Act big, think big – even when you’re small
For many firms, even those just starting, growth is an important goal; however, we continuously see firms struggle to expand as they don’t have the people resources to take on more clients.
This is why we are seeing an increasing number of accountancy and bookkeeping firms opting for an outsourcing approach.
Not only does outsourcing help with capacity issues, but it also means firms no longer have to bear the costs and responsibilities of being a large employer.
Overheads such as renting big office spaces and purchasing numerous pieces of expensive computer equipment become minimised when integrating an outsourcing partner.
Outsourcing as a solution to Making Tax Digital (MTD)
With the looming pressure of Making Tax Digital, there is a major responsibility for firms to get themselves and their clients ready, creating additional work.
One of the most challenging MTD tasks is getting clients onboarded digitally; doing this for numerous clients with a restrictive timeline is a massive task on top of daily responsibilities.
If you’re already working at maximum capacity, it’s not simply a case of finding extra time, and this is where outsourcing can help.
MTD: increasing client demands
With the widening of MTD, there is potential for an increased volume of work as more clients seek to make themselves compliant.
Getting this type of work outsourced will help you to keep on top of your workload, even if there’s no one available to do it.
Additionally, due to changing client needs, accountants have an opportunity to offer additional services, such as bespoke reporting; while many firms lack the skills needed for bespoke reporting in-house, outsourcing enables you to deliver these reports directly to your clients on a regular basis.
Outsourcing digital onboarding: an answer to your prayers?
In my previous blog – Compliance is dead. Long live Compliance! – I highlighted that compliance-related work is here to stay, and its volume will increase.
For Making Tax Digital, you need to onboard clients onto your MTD-compliant software, including their business details, VAT quarters, list of suppliers and customers, in addition to the list of their products and services.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if this was done for you, for a fraction of the in-house cost?
That’s the beauty of outsourcing services – they can take on all this additional work, giving you time back to focus on value-added activity which allows you to scale up your firm.
Need help with outsourcing?
If you would like to know more, reach out to our team here, and they’ll help you identify which outsourcing solution is right for your business.