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January 15, 2019

OUTSOURCING: THE MAGIC PUDDING

These days there are countless marketing initiatives from Outsourcing and Offshoring companies promising to solve all your problems.

You know the ones. Constant time pressures, long hours, slow paying clients, staff problems etc.

So you get an email from an outsourcing company offering you an immediate solution to all your problems. The emails resonate, the webinars or phone calls hit the mark and just maybe there is an escape valve from all the pressure.

I was reminded recently why this magic pudding is doomed to failure. There is no quick fix and there is no escape valve. Anything worthwhile is the result of investment and effort.

Outsourcing can be a truly transformational solution. But it is not plug and play. You don’t just switch it on. To build a team that is effective will take quite some time. Roughly the same time as if you decided to do it in your own office.

If you want to get the benefit of outsourcing you have to understand that the rewards will come with time. The offshore team needs to win the trust of your local team, the training has to be done and more importantly the systems and processes must be in place.

Unfortunately the lack of systems and processes is a deal breaker for outsourcing. And unfortunately the accounting profession is one of the least invested professions in systems and process.

For the accountant maybe it is what I call the builders back yard syndrome. They explain the benefits to their clients but don’t put it in practice themselves. This lack of investment will mean that they suffer in the long run and miss out on the benefits of outsourcing.

To stay with the accountants for a bit what is even more disturbing is the lack of understanding as to what makes a system or process. Using last years file as a precedent and a software platform is not a systemic process.

A systemic process results in the same task being performed the same way each and every time.

So for a firm that is under-invested in systems how do you get ready for outsourcing?

You know the old saying, a thousand mile journey starts with a single step.

So firstly you need to find a partner that you can work with. This partner needs to be able to take a long view and not be a sales driven marketing company. The partner should be deeply invested in your industry/profession and there needs to be a high level of mutual trust and respect.

My advice to people looking to outsource is talk to the marketing companies first and possibly even engage one of them. When it has not worked out call us at DBA and you will find a firm that can partner with you for the long term.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Totally agree..trained as a Chartered Accountant, but know what I don’t know.
    Recently Guidepoint reached out to me on a subject I am a genuine expert. Unfortunately their simplistic approach meant when I finally managed to talk with their client (@USD 300/hour) we both lamented they clearly had not understood the insights their client was seeking!

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