Now, we don’t want to constantly be mentioning the past two years and the impact COVID has had on, well, just about everything, however this is our new norm. When asking just about anyone anything, most will typically ponder whether the answer or event was pre or post COVID. Whether we like it or not, it’s a reference point in time. Almost to the same parameters as asking someone where they were when man landed on the moon, or JFK was shot, or the planes went into the towers on 9/11.

With that acknowledgement out of the way, a big question to watch is whether the past couple of years have softened part of the accounting profession’s opinion or view towards outsourcing or offshoring. To this day, a proportion of the profession remains strongly against the use of these types of services. Concerns lay around required conversations with clients, data security, time zone differences, communication challenges, work quality and so on.

Another percentage of the profession have endeavoured to utilise these services unsuccessfully, in part because they have used the wrong service or have failed to perhaps give the initiative sufficient time to succeed. However, there are certainly those that have implemented the use of outsourcing / offshoring with great success and enthusiasm. For some, the tightening of the recruitment market will almost mandate the consideration of such services, particularly for some regional centres. We have several clients who have successfully implemented to the utilisation of such services because they simply cannot get staff and had no other choice.

Thus, as we look back on the past couple of years, where all of Australia has at least at some point been required to work from home, however, particularly within NSW and VIC, it had me pondering whether those firms significantly adverse to the use of outsourcing may now be a little more open or supportive of such services. All we have heard about more lately is how staff across of virtually all industries have been working from home. With such activities taking place, does the presence of these staff in Turramurra, Toorak or Thailand really differ that much? Is a staff member logging into the firm’s data in various parts of Australia that different to the service providers throughout various Asian countries?

With clients having to be more accepting of staff working from home and therefore accessing data remotely, this may be a perfect time to have that previously hard or uncomfortable discussion, about where our staff work from. After all, outsourcing staff are still considered your staff. Now may be the opportune time for your firm and your clients to transition across to the inclusion of outsourcing / offshoring services, with COVID having done the heavy lifting for you. It may still not be appropriate for your firm, but nonetheless, it is certainly worth consideration as most firms struggle to recruit and retain key personnel.

Leave a Comment