What can I outsource in my firm?
Outsourcing is no longer out of the ordinary. The outsourcing journey begins with accepting that.
We all know that the accounting profession has seen some big changes in the last decade – out with the old and in with the new, the more efficient and the most profitable.
Some small firms with a handful of tax-only clients may be able to coast along for a while doing things the way they always have. But for those looking to grow and thrive, it’s a case of adapt or be replaced.
That being said, it seems there’s still some lingering misunderstanding about outsourcing, what can be outsourced, and how it can contribute powerfully to the growth of your firm.
As far as we’re concerned, outsourcing isn’t about just getting some help with compliance.
It’s a tool to help you transform the nature of your interactions with your clients.
Are you stuck hoping the dam won’t crumble?
When clients come to us, they’re usually overwhelmed in one way or another.
Remember the story about the little Dutch boy and the dam?
In the popular fable, a little boy notices a crack in a dam. Since much of the Netherlands is below sea level, a leak in the dam could be a fatal disaster. So the little boy plugs the crack in the dam with his finger. The leaking stops. The little boy knows that if he moves, the hole will get bigger and bigger and the town will flood.
When he is finally found, the boy is hailed the hero of holland! It’s a tale of bravery. The only problem? He is still the only solution for an imminent flood.
We find many firms in the same position, stuck recruiting anyone and everyone to plug the holes in their own businesses before an imminent flood. Often we find the business owner is doing their own part to plug the dam. At this stage, we find the same issues stopping you from taking your firm to the next level:
- You just don’t have enough staff or time to find them
- Your existing staff are doing work at the wrong level
- You’re doing, rather than advising as the Business Owner
- Your team don’t have the skills required for you to scale up
- You’re unable to retain staff long term
- Your top talent are recruited by bigger firms with more to offer
Build a damn wall
Instead of trying to fill the gaps with anyone who is willing, change the structure of the way you do business. Build a wall so that you’re never fighting floods and you can do the work that is going to be the most profitable for you.
That being said, you don’t have to be in a tax work crisis for outsourcing to work for you. You can outsource at different levels within your business, to allow you to deliver more than just accounts, or find the skill set to break the barrier into advisory work.
We created the outsourcing journey, to help you identify where you are right now, but most importantly to show you what’s possible. From all of our experience working globally with firms like yours, we’ve identified that this is the route that leads to scalable growth and profitability.
Start – Everything is being done in-house. You’re maintaining, not growing.
Regular User – We combat capacity by starting with one process and nailing it. By outsourcing accounts and/or bookkeeping, you’re scaling up your team’s hours for higher level work.
Strategic user – Getting to strategic level is exciting, because you’re able to revisit your internal roles and really start to level up your team. At this point, you’re outsourcing reporting and the team are reviewing rather than preparing. Your Account Managers are able to step up and have more conversations with the clients.
Strategic + – At this point, outsourcing is your default method for accounting, bookkeeping and reporting. You now have the ability to increase your billable rates and your departments capability. At this level, your outsourced team are giving prime delivery, allowing your team even more time for advisory work.
Growth – You have built the wall. You’re growing at a fast rate, with the right structure for having the very best conversations with clients, and the right team skillset to support your client base.
It’s not just about freeing up your time, it’s about what you use your time for
Ask yourself why you became an accountant.
You are the most valuable person to your client, which means that you need to focus on what they value the most in order for your own firm to be more successful. If you’re stuck doing work at the wrong level, you’ll eventually become obsolete in the eyes of your clients.
Whether you need to build a wall to allow you time to find the right staff, or get your existing staff in the right seats for scalable growth, or you just want to do more of what you enjoy – outsourcing to a trusted team can help you accomplish your goals.
Clear on where you are in the journey? Tell us what you need