In our latest FAQ, we set out the key questions AdvanceTrack gets asked about our audit support services – with answers.

The very short answer to the feasibility question is ‘yes’. However, feasibility is really a catch-all term covering a number of aspects that potential and existing practice clients ask AdvanceTrack about in terms of audit, and how we do it. It’s probably easiest to split the main areas of interest into:

  • Our people/their work
  • Our security
  • Audit ‘responsibility’

Our people/their work

First-off, we have a number of trained audit staff, and generally they’re delivering audit field work – the testing of financial information. But increasingly, as the team becomes more experienced, their work is developing.

They are being given opportunities to undertake audit planning and testing reviews. As the team continues to develop, alongside building relationships and working patterns with practices’ own audit team, that work will evolve further.

And that last point, on building relationships, is crucial to any work we undertake alongside practices. There must be investment from both sides to ensure that work will be undertaken as smoothly as possible.

Our security

And, so with audit, there are questions that we face around data security and GDPR. For those of you that have read our other blogs, or work with us already, you will know that security is our number one consideration.

There are links below for you to read in more detail how we manage security. Suffice to say that our standards are held globally, and our security and data protection protocols also translate to our audit services.

Audit ‘responsibility’

A key question we get asked a lot by practitioners is: ‘are we allowed to outsource audit?’ We are registered as a member firm of the ICAEW, and our staff are assigned to the audit firm.  We will help manage their CPD and other training requirements, but their work is very much directed by the firm, which brings us to the point of responsibility.   

In terms of responsibility for the work itself, our practice partners retain responsibility for review and signoff – they still have ownership of the process.

Further reading:

FAQ: Does outsourcing to India mean ‘GDPR compliance’?

FAQ: How secure would my client data be if I worked with AdvanceTrack?

FAQ: Do AdvanceTrack’s data and security standards matter to me as a client?

If you’d like to talk to us about our audit offering, then please contact us by clicking here

AI, or outsourcing? Or both? AdvanceTrack MD Vipul Sheth takes a big picture view on how things might develop for your practice – and for us.


Will AI be so clever, intuitive and powerful that you won’t need outsourcers to support your firm? And, by that definition, does that mean you’ll be able to reduce your own headcount?

These are the kind of questions that we’re hearing (or, quite frankly, we’re being asked) at the moment. Let’s not beat around the bush: there are a number of people in the outsourcing space that see AI as a huge competitor to their entire business models.

What about us at AdvanceTrack? Well, we’re not complacent enough to think that it definitely won’t impact us. In fact, the opposite. Those of you that have worked with AdvanceTrack will know that we’re big investors in technology. Our IT has to work with your practice’s systems, and securely. It needs to be ‘on’ as much as physically possible, and also enable fast and effective communication (of both knowledge and data) between us and our practice partners.

We’ve seen various technological leaps and iterations over the past 20 years, and we view AI as another leap. Broadly speaking, we will use AI.

AdvanceTrack is, by definition, an extension of practices’ own business. And if you’re thinking of using AI, or having it placed upon you through developments and updates across practice and accounting platform tech, then it makes sense that it will impact our systems, our operations – our way of doing things – too.

Big data, big questions

Certainly, we can envisage the likes of Xero and QuickBooks looking to add intelligence into their offerings. After all, with masses of data at hand they will be able to turn that into knowledge to be actioned upon. This evolution will drive hundreds and thousands of micro-decisions made on your behalf, which will save practitioners seconds, that turn into minutes and then hours.

Perhaps, at AdvanceTrack, our masses of information at hand will be similarly leveraged by AI tools? It’s still conjecture – and we would be rightly cautious about what that would mean for your clients’ data security.

AI may well free up your people’s time even further than current levels of automation can do. That’s true – but that will be the case for AdvanceTrack’s people, too. We’ve no doubt that our offering will evolve, in tandem with the way practices operate too.

We’re still not at the stage where just a review is needed of client files. There is still plenty of up-front work and checking before the validation stage. Things will change, and it’s possible at a faster rate than we can envisage. But, whatever the pace of change, we hope to still be very much in the mix of helping practices grow – perhaps with AI in there too, helping us all grow faster and higher.

Vipul Sheth is MD of AdvanceTrack Outsourcing

If you’d like to talk to us about helping your practice grow and develop, please get in touch by clicking here.

Myths are circulating about outsourcing and GDPR. Here are the facts.

If an outsourcing provider is accessing your servers from India then this, on its own, does NOT mean ‘GDPR compliance’.

Without other security measures and protocols in place then the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could find what your practice is doing is illegal.

The ICO states that a restricted transfer takes place if “you are initiating and agreeing to send personal data, or make it accessible, to a receiver who is located in a country outside the UK” – note the part marked in bold.

You must also be aware that most accounting firms handle ‘special category’ personal data – such as healthcare invoices, records of union fees paid, or political/religious donations. So, if your outsourcer experiences a data breach and your controls are inadequate, you have a big problem.

So, what do you need to make sure is in place?

  • Firstly, there needs to be appropriate risk assessment of, and contracts in place, with the overseas legal entity.
  • Secondly, your client engagement letter needs to reflect the possibility of transfer.
  • Finally, the data being transferred needs to be treated securely, both on your network and on the network of anyone accessing it.

At AdvanceTrack we work with a top legal firm to ensure that we have the correct contractual measures in place. You contract with our UK legal entity and we handle the transfer to India.

We have also made considerable investment in security measures and controls around use of personal information, and have been assessed on this by numerous top accounting firms.

Additionally, we are certified by BSI against ISO27001:2022 Information Security and ISO27701/BS10012 Personal Information Management. More detail on our security can be found by clicking here.

AdvanceTrack give data protection the investment in time and resources that it needs. We need to sleep soundly at night – and so do you. Which is why data security and protocols receive our highest priority.

If you would like to speak to us about outsourcing and offshoring, please click here.

Believe the GDPR myths, and you could see the information regulator come down on you and your firm.

There are a few myths circulating in the accounts outsourcing industry about what is required to make outsourcing legal from a GDPR perspective. Chief among these is the idea that if someone is accessing your servers from India then this, on its own, is GDPR compliant. Without other measures in place this is actually illegal, and you can get into a lot of trouble with the ICO as a result. The ICO makes it quite clear that this is the case – they say that a restricted transfer takes place if “you are initiating and agreeing to send personal data, or make it accessible, to a receiver who is located in a country outside the UK” – note the part marked in bold.

To make this worse, you may not be aware that most accounting firms handle ‘special category’ personal data – such as healthcare invoices, records of union fees paid, or political/religious donations. So, if your outsourcer experiences a data breach and your controls are inadequate, you have a big problem.

So, what do you need to make sure is in place?

  • Firstly, there needs to be appropriate risk assessment of and contracts in place with the overseas legal entity.
  • Secondly, your client engagement letter needs to reflect the possibility of transfer.
  • Finally, the data being transferred needs to be treated securely, both on your network and on the network of anyone accessing it.

At AdvanceTrack we work with a top legal firm to ensure that we have the correct contractual measures in place. You contract with our UK legal entity, and we handle the transfer to India. We have also made considerable investment in security measures and controls around use of personal information and have been assessed on this by numerous top accounting firms. Additionally, we are certified by BSI against ISO27001:2022 on information security and ISO27701/BS10012 on personal information management.

AdvanceTrack give data protection the investment in time and resources that it needs. As a result, we are not the cheapest in the market, but you need to ask yourself how much it is worth for you to sleep soundly at night!

If you’d like to talk to us about planning for outsourcing, or getting a better understanding of the regulation that both you and Advancetrack must comply with, get in contact by clicking here.

Outsourcing has emerged as a powerful strategy for accountancy and tax practices seeking to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and access global talent. By developing a well-crafted outsourcing strategy tailored to your practice’s unique needs, you can harness its transformative potential and set your firm on the path to growth and success.

This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth look at how to create an effective outsourcing strategy for your accountancy and tax practice. Gain insights on crucial steps, such as identifying needs, setting objectives, choosing an outsourcing provider, and establishing communication channels. Learn about key considerations, including data security, technology integration, and quality control, ensuring a robust and productive outsourcing partnership.

Empower your accountancy and tax practice to thrive in a competitive marketplace by mastering the art of outsourcing strategy. With this ultimate guide, navigate the complexities of the outsourcing landscape and build a foundation for lasting success across all aspects of your practice.

1. Identifying Your Accountancy and Tax Practice’s Needs

The first step in creating an effective outsourcing strategy is identifying the aspects of your accountancy and tax practice that can benefit from outsourcing. This requires thoroughly evaluating your current processes and workforce, determining which tasks can be outsourced to improve efficiency and client delivery. Some areas typically considered for outsourcing include:

  • Routine accounting tasks: Tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, and accounts reconciliation can be time-consuming and highly suitable for outsourcing.
  • Tax preparation: Outsourcing the preparation of tax returns allows your in-house team to focus on tax advisory services and other high-value tasks.
  • Financial analysis: An outsourced financial analyst can provide insights and reporting on your clients’ financial performance without the need for full-time hires.

2. Setting Clear Objectives for Your Outsourcing Strategy

Once you have identified the tasks suitable for outsourcing, it’s essential to set clear objectives for your strategy. These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), and may include:

  • Cost savings: Estimating the potential cost savings from outsourcing, including reductions in overhead, labour, and training expenses.
  • Efficiency improvements: Identifying operational efficiency targets, such as reduced processing times and faster turnaround times for client deliverables.
  • Quality enhancement: Aiming for improved accuracy and reduced errors in financial reporting, as well as enhanced overall service quality.

3. Selecting the Right Outsourcing Provider

Selecting the right outsourcing provider is critical for the success of your strategy. Factors to consider when choosing a provider include:

  • Relevant experience: Ensure the provider has a track record of offering accountancy and tax services and understands the industry’s unique requirements.
  • Data security and privacy: Assess the provider’s data security and privacy practices, ensuring adherence to relevant regulations, such as GDPR.
  • Technology compatibility: Evaluate the provider’s technology platform to ensure seamless integration with your existing systems.

4. Establishing Effective Communication Channels

Smooth communication is vital for your outsourcing strategy’s success, ensuring your in-house team and outsourcing provider collaborate effectively. Establish communication channels to facilitate:

  • Task allocation: Implement a process for allocating tasks to the outsourcing provider and tracking their progress.
  • Feedback and performance monitoring: Create a system for providing feedback and monitoring the performance of your outsourcing provider against predefined objectives.
  • Regular updates: Schedule periodic meetings or calls to review performance, address any issues, and discuss potential improvements.

5. Ensuring Data Security and Compliance

Maintaining data security and compliance is crucial for accountancy and tax practices, particularly when dealing with sensitive financial information. Steps to ensure data security and compliance include:

  • Data encryption: Confirm your outsourcing provider utilises encryption technologies to safeguard clients’ data during transmission and storage.
  • Access control: Implement strict access control measures, ensuring only authorised individuals have access to client data.
  • Regulatory compliance: Conduct regular audits to ensure your outsourcing provider remains compliant with relevant industry regulations governing accounting and tax services.

6. Implementing Quality Control Measures

Quality control is essential for maintaining the utmost standards in accountancy and tax services. Implement measures to ensure quality control in your outsourcing strategy, such as:

  • Defined processes: Establish standardised processes for your outsourcing provider to follow, detailing task completion requirements and best practices.
  • Performance monitoring: Monitor the provider’s performance regularly, evaluating it against predefined standards and rectifying any deviations promptly.
  • Continuous improvement: Encourage ongoing improvement by providing feedback on areas where quality can be enhanced and discussing potential process improvements.

7. Adopting a Continuous Improvement Mindset

A successful outsourcing strategy requires ongoing evaluation and refinement to ensure it remains effective and adaptable to evolving needs. Adopt a mindset of continuous improvement, focusing on:

  • Performance monitoring: Periodically review your outsourcing strategy’s performance against its objectives, identifying areas for improvement.
  • Process refinement: Streamline and enhance processes, incorporating feedback from both your in-house team and the outsourcing provider.
  • Technology adoption: Keep abreast of emerging technologies and explore opportunities for integration with your outsourcing strategy to drive efficiency and innovation.

By following these steps and employing a structured approach, you can build a successful outsourcing strategy tailored to your accountancy and tax practice’s unique needs. By focusing on identifying needs, setting objectives, selecting the right provider, establishing effective communication channels, ensuring data security and compliance, implementing robust quality control measures, and adopting a continuous improvement mindset, you can maximise the potential of outsourcing and drive your firm’s growth and success.

Unlock the Potential of Outsourcing with AdvanceTrack

Building a successful outsourcing strategy for your accountancy and tax practice requires careful planning, implementation, and continuous improvement. By focusing on your practice’s unique needs and employing a systematic approach, you can unlock the myriad benefits outsourcing has to offer, including cost savings, enhanced efficiency, and access to global talent.

AdvanceTrack, a professional accountancy and tax outsourcing provider, understands the importance of a well-crafted outsourcing strategy. Through our expertise in outsourced accountancy and tax services, innovative technology solutions, and commitment to data security and compliance, we help firms like yours create effective, tailor-made outsourcing strategies.

Ready to transform your accountancy and tax practice with a robust outsourcing strategy? Visit our website to learn more about how AdvanceTrack can support your practice in achieving growth, competitiveness, and long-term success through outsourcing solutions for accountants. Partner with AdvanceTrack and embark on a brighter future for your accountancy and tax practice.

In today’s competitive business environment, accountants face the challenge of providing high-quality services while finding ways to reduce costs, maximise efficiency, and adapt to new technologies. As a result, many firms are exploring different approaches to achieving these goals by leveraging global resources and expertise.

Outsourcing and offshoring have emerged as two popular strategies for accountants to delegate specific tasks or operations to external service providers. However, both concepts often get misunderstood or wrongly used interchangeably.

Outsourcing refers to handing over business processes to a third-party service provider, who takes responsibility for managing those tasks. This can be done within the same country (domestic outsourcing) or in a different country (offshore outsourcing).

On the other hand, offshoring is the relocation of business processes or services to another country, usually to a different, lower-cost location. A company could either open its captive centre overseas (in-house offshoring) or outsource these tasks to a third-party service provider (offshore outsourcing).

Understanding the differences between these two strategies and their unique benefits is crucial for accountants to make informed decisions that align with their firm’s goals and objectives. This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing and offshoring for accountancy firms. We will explore the advantages of delegating tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, tax preparation, and financial reporting to external providers, and compare the benefits of adopting outsourcing or offshoring as a strategic approach.

The following sections will discuss how these two strategies can lead to cost savings, enhanced efficiency, and access to specialised skill sets. Additionally, we will offer insights into the potential risks and challenges associated with these approaches, such as data security, regulatory compliance, and communication barriers. Furthermore, this holistic guide will reveal industry trends, best practices, and tips on choosing the right outsourcing partner or establishing a successful offshoring relationship.

As an accountant, selecting the best path for your firm can be daunting. Armed with this comprehensive analysis, you will be better equipped to make an educated decision that will free up your time to focus on the work you enjoy and drive business growth.

Cost Savings: A Crucial Benefit of Outsourcing and Offshoring

One of the most significant advantages of outsourcing and offshoring for accountancy firms is the potential cost savings. By outsourcing specific tasks or operations, businesses can reduce overheads, eliminate the need for investment in additional infrastructure and avoid hiring full-time employees. Offshoring can provide even more significant cost benefits, as lower labour costs in the target country can result in substantial savings.

However, it’s essential to consider other factors besides labour costs, as quality of service should never be sacrificed for cost reductions. Assessing potential service providers’ knowledge and expertise is crucial in ensuring your firm receives the best value for its investment.

Efficiency and Scalability: Streamlining Business Processes

Outsourcing and offshoring also enable accountants to delegate time-consuming tasks, allowing them to focus on their core competencies, build stronger client relationships, and offer higher service. By entrusting routine tasks like bookkeeping, payroll, tax preparation and financial reporting to experienced professionals, firms can minimise errors and ensure efficient completion of these processes.

In addition, these strategies offer increased scalability for growing businesses. As your firm expands its client base or requires more resources, outsourcing and offshoring can provide the necessary support without burdening your in-house staff with additional workload.

Access to Expertise: Leveraging Specialised Skill Sets

By outsourcing and offshoring, accountancy firms not only save time and money but can also tap into a diverse pool of talent that may not be readily available in their local market. Third-party service providers often have specialised knowledge in specific areas of accounting, tax regulations, and financial compliance, allowing your business to benefit from their expertise without the expense of building an in-house team.

In addition, as technology continues to transform the accounting industry, partnering with service providers familiar with the latest innovative tools, software, and platforms can help your firm remain competitive and agile, streamline operations, and provide an exceptional customer experience.

Regulatory Compliance and Data Security: Navigating Risks and Challenges

While outsourcing and offshoring can offer numerous benefits to accountancy firms, it’s essential to be aware of the risks and challenges associated with these strategies. Data security and regulatory compliance are primary concerns when working with third-party service providers, particularly when dealing with sensitive financial information.

To mitigate these risks, accountants should carefully assess service providers’ data security practices, ensuring they adhere to industry standards and comply with relevant regulations. Moreover, establishing clear communication channels and protocols can help maintain coordination and address any concerns that may arise during the course of the partnership.

Making the Right Choice for Your Accountancy Firm

Outsourcing and offshoring present unique opportunities for accountants to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and access specialised expertise. As detailed in this article, these two strategies can have distinct benefits, and it is essential to carefully analyse your firm’s specific needs, goals, and objectives before making a decision.

Ultimately, the choice between outsourcing, offshoring, or a combination of both will depend on your firm’s priorities, the level of control you wish to maintain over your operations and your comfort level with working with remote or overseas service providers. To make the right decision for your business, take the time to research potential providers, gather feedback from industry peers, and assess the potential benefits and risks associated with each approach.

By doing so, accountants can confidently implement a strategy that streamlines their operations, allows them to focus on the work they enjoy, and ultimately drives business growth. Visit the website of AdvanceTrack to learn more about outsourcing and offshoring services for UK bookkeepers.

In our latest FAQ, AdvanceTrack MD Vipul Sheth sets out the firm’s ‘elevator pitch’.

In some ways this question is difficult, because I believe we have numerous outstanding traits that make us a brilliant outsourcer and offshorer.

But, if pushed to provide a three-pronged elevator pitch, this is the response:

Why we do what we do

My parents ran a business that, without the support of their fantastic accountant, wouldn’t have got to where it did. His advice and insight has proved inspirational to me and, as I developed as an accountant, I saw an opportunity to develop a business that would be a critical business partner to the advisers themselves – you.

This forms the start of my elevator pitch because I feel that it sets out the stall, the foundation, for everything we do at AdvanceTrack. We want to make lives better, and we want our practice clients to want the same for their clients. Our relationship is formed on this basis. Read our FAQ on how we begin working with practices.

Technology as a foundation, led by people

We are a technology-driven business. We’ve been paperless from the start, developing and evolving our cloud platform for many years. The tech enables us to keep our promises around the most robust security combined with good workflow and processes. How do we prove that?

Firstly, we have case study material – our most recent case study is here. Secondly, and much more fundamental to our operations is the consistent high-level external audits that we face every year. Our many BSI certifications covered international standards on security, data privacy and business continuity. We recently broke ground by achieving a UK-first security standard – details of which can be viewed here.


We’re an ethical business, which includes a company-wide commitment as an ICAEW member firm (and for me as an ICAEW-qualified chartered accountant). Honesty and complying with the law are things we do as a matter of course. Proving this is not so straightforward – again, the quality and long-term nature of our client base is probably the best evidence in providing demonstration.

If you’d like to chat to us about helping you develop your practice, please get in touch by clicking here.

Our latest FAQ looks at the typical qualities and attitudes that pervade the firms we typically work with at AdvanceTrack.

Technology and culture

We see that firms are proficient with technology. More importantly, there is usually a culture that is open to change – to adopt new processes and workflow – and by definition, this means the embedding of new technology. When a practice begins working with us then there are inevitably some changes in how the work is undertaken and tracked – but the vast majority of practices are open and proactive and looking to make the venture succeed.


Making any change, particularly in an accounting firm, is viewed as a risk: ‘We could perhaps be more efficient and improve profits and service, but why ruffle feathers when we do OK?’ But there are firms that do try different things, and crucially, understand that these won’t always work. These firms will try something and, if it fails, then they learn to fail ‘quickly’. 

This requires an investment of time and money. But, with a risk-based approach, driving change can bring about huge benefits – certainly in a climate where many practices have an opportunity to improve. Which leads to…


Practices that can deliver change, make improvements, are usually good at project management. And a key aspect of the out-turn of a project is using metrics that allow you to track the impact of the changes made. For firms that work with us, they will eventually look at the impact on their bottom line. But, beforehand, we see them use client service measures, including job turnaround. And, if we can help client work be undertaken quicker and more efficiently, then cashflow and lock-up improves. Firms that work with us certainly measure – and see – improvement in the revenue per head.


Finally, the firms we work with usually have leaders with a clear ambition – and these revolve around practical targets such as gross margins. But that is normally tied into running the firm better, offering clients more, upskilling team members – which all creates a more saleable asset. They see that improving the firm’s value is the ultimate goal.

FAQs for you

We’ve produced a number of FAQs – and here they are. Just click on them to view:

If you’d like to speak to us about how we could help your practice, please get in touch by clicking here.

In the second of AdvanceTrack’s FAQs, we ask our MD Vipul on your behalf: ‘How would my practice begin working with AdvanceTrack?’

Initially we have a fact-finding meeting. It’s effectively the first – and one of the most important – tasks. It’s vital for us at AdvanceTrack to know how your accounting practice works, and for whom. We are well-versed at getting down to the important details quickly! There are a whole host of questions but, essentially, we ask about the practice’s structure, processes and technology stack.

The next part of the fact-finding mission is also very important. We ask: “what problem do you think we’re going to solve for you?” This is all about getting to the heart of whatever issues or tactical aims the practice views us as being the solution for. Sometimes we can see a clear path for us to help, but on occasion, we might have to explain why another option may be best for the practice to pursue.

The issues we’re confronted with, though, usually fall into two buckets: your firm is either in the midst of having difficulties in maintaining service for the clients; or the firm has growth plans and require our flexible capacity to help them scale.

It’s ‘nicer’ to be able to methodically plan and support growth, but we understand that things aren’t always that straightforward.

If a firm’s processes and tech are in a sufficient place for us to be able to link well, then we look at the strategic needs and provide advice on whether we think an outsourcing or offshoring solution would work best. The former is structured around us completing a set amount of work on behalf of a firm in a set timeframe, whereas the latter is about the provision of dedicated offshore team members to work with that firm full-time. It is an important decision, and a decision made carefully between us and the firm’s leaders.

Whatever the route, we would always say that the next step is about communication between the firm, our technical team and us at head office. This would certainly be front-loaded to ensure that things are working smoothly.

How we manage and progress our relationship is a story for another day – but keep an eye on our blog for more FAQs. Our first FAQ, on client data and security, can be accessed by clicking here.

If you’d like to talk to us about your accounting firm, and how we could help, please get in touch.

As the founder of AdvanceTrack Outsourcing, I get a unique view of what goes on in the accounting profession, and wider. I speak to practice leaders and their teams about how they run their operation, and understand that they want to provide efficient and valuable services to a client base that trusts them… but also wants more from them.

I am kept very busy – as they are. In a positive way, of course. But that can mean that I don’t spend enough time holding discussions about my views and experiences more broadly, to a wider community.

It then made me think that outsourcing can be seen as impersonal: that tasks and processes are ‘handed over’ to simply drive efficiencies, saving money. However, it’s the exact opposite, at least that’s how I see it for myself and the AdvanceTrack team.

First and foremost our tech and processes have to be optimal, in terms of how they work but also from a security perspective. But, AdvanceTrack’s people have to be great at communicating with the practitioner clients they work alongside. And, crucially, the efficiencies gained through outsourcing tax and accounting tasks isn’t merely about lowering costs. It frees up valuable resource within a practice, enabling leaders to change and adapt their offering to suit complex and deeper end-client relationships.

What is an accounting practice but a series of relationships between accountant and client? And the relationship is integral to AdvanceTrack’s arrangement with accountants.

This ties into my original point, which is you’ll be hearing more from me, AdvanceTrack and our clients in the months to come. Relationships and communication are, after all, central to what we do.

Vipul Sheth is MD and founder or AdvanceTrack. He can be contacted by clicking here