Outsourced Services

What kind of services can accounting firms outsource?

By: Odyssey Practice Management Series

Accounting firms normally outsource the business activities related to accounting, taxation and bookkeeping compliance.

In the digital age, many firms are considering the outsourcing of other ancillary services such as marketing, sales and administration.

The checklist below will help you identify which areas and which services you wish to outsource.

Accounting function services

Accounting compliance is the usual standard service considered for outsourcing. Services in this area include: Accounting / bookkeeping software setup – Conversions, Accounting / bookkeeping software, Accounting / bookkeeping client or local accounting staff support, Bookkeeping, now important with the impact of cloud., Budgeting, Business accounting for the accounting firm, Business activity statements (BAS) for clients, Cashflow forecasts, Entity setups under ASIC e.g. Company , Company registration for TFN, ABN and GST, Corporate secretarial work, including ASIC register updates, Financial statement preparation, Management and KPI reporting, Payroll processing and services, Period end reconciliations and reporting, Personal accounting and taxation ITRs, SMSF accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, tax returns, tax planning, Tax returns

Marketing Ancillary services

With the impact of the digital age, and with new apps coming online virtually every day, it is critical for accountants to move away from “compliance based” local area businesses, and engage marketing resources to assist getting the message out in the digital world to bid for business based on “job types” and not “location”.

Digital marketing can assist in the following areas: Article writing for blogs etc., Branding, Market research, Outbound calls for research etc., SEO services, Website design / hosting

Sales Ancillary services

With the impact of the digital age, more information is now widely available on prospects. Areas in which outsourcing can assist include: Direct marketing, Email campaigns, and Outbound calls

Customer Support Ancillary services

Training is critical with respect to customer support. Accents are important. Having clear procedures and processes on how to accept calls, how to handle calls, and how to resolve customer complaints. Below are some areas to consider with respect to customer support: Help desks, Inbound calls, Sales support, IT, IAAS – Infrastructure as a service, SAAS – Software as a service e.g. bookkeeping, accounting, Software development, VOIP and telephony

Administration Ancillary services

Administration is key to a lot of businesses, and is usually the poor cousin at the table. Tasks that can be outsourced include: Administration re clients of firms (set-up clients, database management, ATO correspondence etc.), Administration relating to the firm (debt collection, accounts payable etc.), Content management, Client service roles (prepare agreements, arranging signing, new entity set-up etc.), Data entry/ document processing tasks, Personal assistant tasks, Reception / phone answering.

Many of the administration tasks involve client handling, and dovetail with the sales/marketing tasks.

Operations Ancillary services

Operations ancillary services relate to the support within the office i.e. an internal focus. These services include: Data input, Document conversions and management, Process documentation, Ancillary services – human resource management, Development plans, policy construction, Performance review, and Recruitment and training

Other Ancillary services

Other ancillary services is the catch all for things that aren’t in the above lists. These include: Actuarial services, Audits, SMSF audits, eBusiness advice, Enterprise risk advice, Executive recruitment / selection for clients, Financial planning and investment advice, Forensic, Insolvency, Management consulting services, Reconstruction and bankruptcy, Succession planning

When you know which services you want to outsource, you can start selecting an Outsource Service Provider that will be able to cover your needs. We suggest you to have a look at the checklists to follow when selecting an OSP.

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