Practice reengineering - with outsourcing at its heart

A mid-tier practice in London had previously used outsourcing and offshoring, but turned to AdvanceTrack when it looked to take things to the next level.

Tell us about your practice

We’re an accountancy firm with more than 250 team members – providing a full service, from tax to large audits. We’re on a growth path, with private equity investment in place. We’re on course to make ourselves bigger and better in the next few years, as a client service provider and as an employer.

What problem did you need solving?

With the work we do – as many accountants will know – there is a restriction on resources. So, we’ve previously looked for a partner to alleviate that with their own pool of people.

A small number of our partners worked with outsourcers in India for particular types of work and particular types of client – and did it successfully for a number of years. One of the partners, in particular, had a strong relationship with the outsourcer – but when that partner left, we saw the quality of work start to diminish (and clearly that’s a two-way thing). And then you use that resource less and less.

We’d begun to review our strategy. Then, in lockdown, it gave us a chance to really understand what we wanted to do, for whom, and how. Our financial accounts and outsourcing production teams were brought together; within that wider team, people were placed into smaller specialist teams called pods. That made it easier to understand our resourcing, and where remote working fitted into that.

At this point we revisited the idea of working with an outsourcing partner.

How did you begin working with AdvanceTrack?

AdvanceTrack MD Vipul Sheth had been speaking to our CEO – the seed of a relationship was there. Once we started considering revisiting outsourcing then Vipul was the obvious person to speak to.

And once we’d spoken to him, we didn’t really feel the need to speak to anybody else.

It’s clear that AdvanceTrack is technology-driven, and that suits our direction. We also opened up outsourcing as a firmwide strategy rather than, as previously, funnelled through a few of our teams.

How has the relationship between your firm and AdvanceTrack progressed?

I would say that the biggest challenge for us was developing our processes internally and getting our people on board. But the benefits became obvious when teams were short-staffed and began utilising the outsourcing resource available – realising it was fantastic.

We now have had AdvanceTrack people working across all of our business services pods, with some serving as offshore support – meaning they’re focused purely on our firm. We think that having a mix is great, because your offshore people become ‘representatives’ for how we do things, and so they add support and knowledge to AdvanceTrack on our behalf. This helps maintain a connection and relationship.

How has your firm developed… and what does the future hold?

All firms reacted to the 2020 lockdowns by thinking more deeply about their systems and processes – and how technology is going to impact the accountancy world.

Now, rather than just producing figures, we’re looking at the best tech and processes to enable us to provide better and broader advice to our clients. With our plans to expand, we need to work very efficiently, and AdvanceTrack is important to helping us achieve our goals.

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