It’s now mid-May and post budget and post busy season it’s a good time to look to trends affecting the next tax season.
Is resistance useless?
Outsourcing and offshoring isn’t the dirty secret it used to be. Outsourcing is providing a level playing field enabling smaller firms being able to take on work without worrying about resource issues. We’re seeing the younger practice owners embracing this change. Younger clients, brought up in the digital age, want immediate responses, immediate current data, and to be able to immediately able to contact their accountant.
However, there is some resistance to sending work overseas. The big question is whether not taking on new skills and revenue streams adds value to the firm’s accountants and the accounting firm, and whether resistance to change erodes to competitiveness of the accountants and the accounting firm.
Some industry experts are indicating that firms who do not adopt outsourcing and cloud will go out of business.
Outsourcing, the Cloud and Compliance moving overseas
This year there have been many articles coming thick and fast about Outsourcing, the Cloud and Compliance moving overseas:
- 30 April 2013, Charter, “Public practice revolution” , a rapid transformation has begun, powered by cloud technology and market forces, that will redefine accounting firms forever.
- 20 April 2013, “Accountants – embrace the cloud or lose SME clients”, research by CCH disclosing Australian SME’s will replace their accountant if they fail to make the transition to cloud-based computing software.
- 03 April 2013, Financial Review, “Accountants told to divulge outsourcing”, a comment on the new APES GN Outsourced Services being released.
- 30 March 2013, Institute of Public Accountants, “Offshoring: New Directions” mentions routine accountancy work moving offshore as Australian accountants focus more on interpreting accounts and advising management.
- 1 March 2013, Self-Managed Super, “How Low can you Go” talked about cloud technology and overseas outsourcing.
Most successful outsourcing service companies are overwhelmed with the take-up of their services. We’re hearing many cases where quality is being compromised as outsourcing companies are hiring and putting employees straight onto live client work without training.
Our view is that outsourcing is not about hiring an overseas worker, but about having a job done. Any outsourcing firm that sells “resources” isn’t selling you a completed product, just a “resource”. The goal of outsourcing should be to free up your internal resources from compliance, and not to have you managing resources overseas as well as locally.
You should expect a quality product delivered within an acceptable timeframe with an acceptable price. Anyone selling anything else isn’t selling a full solution.
We’re seeing many accounting firms who have adopted cloud technology taking on board bookkeeping services, and adding on regular management reports. Pricing structures are changing with offerings now including regular compliance and annual tax return, with a monthly fixed fee covering all this work. Pricing levels depend on service levels offered.
These changes in pricing reflect the major impact of cloud and outsourcing and will probably do more to getting Australian accountants to move away from the hourly charging than ever before. The big downside is scope creep on fixed price offerings.
The Odyssey Motorbike trip for Australian Accountants – depart Hanoi July 6 to 14
This is the last year we’ll be running the Odyssey motorbike trip, but this last year it’s bigger than ever. We already have 20 participants, but have space for a few more. If there’s a bit of spark left in the body post tax year then come join us from Saturday 6th July to Sunday 14th July. This year we’ll be travelling to the North West of Vietnam, including Dien Bien Phu!
If you are on top of your compliance work and feel like coming then let us know. Click the box below to view last year’s video
Many thanks for reading. If you would like more information on Odyssey’s outsourced accounting services offering then please drop us an email.
From the team at Odyssey.