Aug 2021

Is keeping Australian compliance jobs in Australia the way forward?

By: Odyssey General, Outsourcing

This week we were chatting with an accounting firm owner who commented “I don’t offshore”.

What’s interesting is this position normally involves one of three different issues:

  1. I’m concerned about the security
  2. I’m concerned about what my clients might think
  3. I prefer to keep jobs in Australia

This week we’ll touch on the third issue, which seems the most complex.

As background, most people would accept the benefits of globalisation and appreciate most manufactured goods come from overseas, as well as a lot of food and other products. Many IT, call centre and other service staff are also based overseas.

However, the complexity of this last point is exacerbated with with the ongoing large numbers of foreign students who attend Australian universities in Australia, and the large number of foreign countries in which Australian universities have either setup (RMIT Melbourne has a HCM City campus) or have strategic alliances with local universities to teach their courses such as Swinburne.  Add to this the professional accounting bodies also have offices overseas and engage with university graduates to undertake their professional qualifications. For example, CPA Australia has two offices in Vietnam.

More recently, the skilled worker list added “accountancy” to the list of skilled workers that Australia was seeking.

So we can see that under globalisation, Australian education and professional bodies have engaged offshore to educate and provide a path to professional accreditation.

And more recently, with WFH (Working from Home) being proved in Australia for successful firms, there seems no logical reason to assume that an Australian professional in regional Australia would be any different to an Australian professional in an offshore country.

Perhaps the reticence to send work offshore is more about concern for the value of the firm, in that what is the true value of the firm if clients are transitory, workers can work from anywhere, there is little need for office space, and software is now SAAS (Software as a service) with little need for the large servers onsite as in the past. This needs a shift in thinking to resolve this dilemma of the value of the new firm.

At the end of the day, the likely issue in sending work offshore revolves around how the accounting firm business owner values their firm, and if compliance work can be easily sent offshore, then it’s clear the accounting firm needs to move into new business and new revenue streams. Compliance itself shouldn’t continue to be the base and foundation for the firm of the future.

If you need assistance with outsourcing your work offshore then drop us a line.

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