Just last week a news article came out with the heading: “Australian accountants are using offshore outsourcing”
In an era where newspapers search for newsworthy news, this might be as shocking as it gets in the accounting world.
The first interesting question is why, after a week of the article being online, there are yet no comments. Perhaps this isn’t the noteworthy news that stirs up community angst as would be expected.
However, it raises the interesting dilemma of outsourcing and the impact on the local accounting community. Are the battle lines drawn? … Probably not… At least not evenly. There seems a small handful of accountants that have come out in public against outsourcing, and yet there are legions of Australian accountants who are positive about the effects of the use of outsourcing. Some of those against outsourcing worry about eroding compliance margins in their firms, while some talk about local employment and being competitive.
For Australia to be competitive on an international platform, we must embrace the latest trends, and these trends include globalisation, cloud/technology and outsourcing. This also means that Australian accountants need to remain highly competitive in an increasingly globalised world and yes, your competition is now currently coming from overseas.
This isn’t any different than any other digitally affected businesses, be it architecture or whatever. Argentina and Vietnam are the top 2 outsourcing destinations for Australian outsourced architecture services.
Being competitive in the digital world means Australian accountants should be helping their clients to be highly competitive in the “today”, and not rekeying bank statements that are 12 months old or doing other compliance type work.
With hundreds of thousands of Australian tax compliance jobs overseas, and thousands of firms now outsourcing, it’s interesting the article notes “Whether this is a sustainable approach to doing business is yet to be seen”… Since outsourcing Australian accounting overseas has been going on for over two decades we would think the sustainability question was long answered.