4 things to consider while you choose your offshore accounting partner.

As an accounting firm, when you work with small and medium sized businesses, you often need that extra support, extra time, extra manpower. With the fees that you get from these clients not changing much, you need to juggle within your fixed costs, while you manage these client demands. Hiring extra team members, just to meet short term requirements or hiring additional local agencies to meet your peak time requirements may not always be possible.

Besides, within your day to day work, there are several tasks and activities, which tend to be repetitive and cumbersome. While your staff does take care of several of these activities, wouldn’t it make sense to have someone else manage some of these repetitive activities, so that your teams can focus on larger objectives?

What if you could partner with an accounting firm at an offshore location in India, who can

·        Take care of your repetitive tasks, freeing up bandwidth of your team-members

·        Scale up teams to meet short term requirements, so that you don’t need to staff up

·        Offer variable cost pricing for the additional capacity used, so that you do not need to add fixed costs

·        Most importantly, offer you the experience and expertise needed to support your accounting requirements

Sounds too good to be true, but this is definitely possible. Today, it is possible to partner with capable accounting firms in India and they should be able to offer most, if not all of these benefits listed above.

While you go about shortlisting your potential partner, here are some important elements that you should keep in consideration

Business Continuity

The Accounting partner should have policies and infrastructure in place to ensure business continuity. Among other things, this also includes ensuring power and internet uptime. Related to the data that is being maintained, there should be procedures and infrastructure in place to schedule regular back-ups, either via back-up drives or tapes or by constant mirroring of data to a different work-site.

If your partner has these items covered, then you can rest assured that your data is in safe hands and your operations will not suffer due to a technical glitch or hazardous local conditions.

Responsiveness & Accountability

When you work with an offshore partner, the right level of communication is extremely important. If a request has been assigned to the offshore team, then you should be clear about when it is likely to be delivered back. It is important to have a responsive team, who will prioritize work at the offshore location based on your priorities. Most importantly the offshore team needs to communicate clearly, the time, by which the work is expected to be completed. If there are going to be delays, then those need to be communicated in time, so that you can communicate about the same to your customer as well. Along with responsiveness, more importantly, there should be a feeling of accountability within the offshore team. This usually does not come naturally, but if the offshore partner has this as an integral part of its DNA, then it becomes that much easier for you.

Domain knowledge

Related to the work that you expect to get done, you do not expect that you will need to communicate often with the offshore team in terms of training and handholding. There is a certain level of domain knowledge that you will expect, as a given, among the offshore team. Depending on the capability and the domain knowledge of the offshore team, you will feel more and more comfortable with outsourcing complex work to the offshore partner.

Integrity, Security & Confidentiality

As you work with your clients, your clients expect that their data be treated confidentially. So it is quite natural that when you work with your offshore partner, you will want these factors to be taken care of as well. Data security and confidentiality needs to be maintained by means of physical separation of teams, defining access privileges to the data etc. Also if the offshore partner is working with several accounting firms, it is very important to have integrity within the teams. While non-disclosure agreements are legal means of enforcing the same, the working culture of the offshore team really determines how they ensure integrity, security and confidentiality among their teams.

I hope you find this useful. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome

With Finsmart Solutions, you have a partner who will pass the test on all of the points mentioned above and several more areas. If you are looking for a capable offshore accounting partner, you should consider working with Finsmart. I can personally ensure that you have a very pleasant experience, while you build an extended capability for your firm.

Regards

Shalaka Joshi (Finsmart Solutions)

Shalaka@finsmart.co.in



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