So you are likely to be considering outsourcing your compliance work overseas, but with the hundreds of companies available, how do you determine which one is right for you?
Certainly there are loads of offshore companies bombarding your email inbox, smashing your social media feeds, and attending various workshops and seminars. Leaving aside the fact that workshops and seminars operate by charging money for presenters to present, and stand members to attend, where do you find out who stands out as the best amongst the best.
The first way is usually to ask around your circle of Accounting firm owners. Word of mouth referrals usually speak volumes about a business. It’s the quiet achievers that have knuckled down and provide the service, and not on the hot acquisition trail of picking up any client any time. For Odyssey, we operate only on word of mouth. You won’t find us at any trade fairs or seminars, we don’t actively market in Australia.
As a mature business, we’ve worked out that we like our customers, we like working with them, and we usually love their friends. After 15 years in the business we’ve also kicked out the rude customers, the non paying customers, the customers who are technically lacking. It’s an enlightening experience, makes your business day better, makes the staff business day better, and just all around is beneficial to the health of every business. We highly recommend it for all Australian accounting owners!
The second way is to get on the phone and talk to the Outsourcing firm owner. Find out who he is, whether he/she is an Australian accountant, whether he’s been in the compliance trenches, find out all about the owner, and about his business. At the end of the day, knowing the business owner is going to mean you have a good feeling going into the engagement, and knowing you can reach out to solve any problems that might arise.
Thirdly, look at the longevity of the business. A business that has been around more than 10 years is likely to be doing something right.
Fourthly, do a search online. Have a look where they rank online, and what everyone else is saying about them. Glassdoor and other sites will usually list employee gripes. Do their employees like working there? Have a look at their social sites, social feeds, videos of the office environment.
Fifthly, go visit. Nothing better than having boots on the ground.
Certainly there are loads of online resources with checklists that you download, and Odyssey has a bunch available on our website under our Odyssey’s Practice management series which are designed to help you get through the due diligence process.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to gut feel. So get on the phone, get on a place. Go meet the owner, go look at the premises. You’ll be happy you did so!