Feb 2024

Australian Accounting firms shift change: Navigating Offshoring Work Amid Australia’s new “right to disconnect” laws”

By: Odyssey General, Outsourcing
Tags: AccountingEfficiency, CostEffective, GlobalTalent, OffshoreSavings

In the wake of Australia’s new “right to disconnect” laws, many Australian accounting firms are reevaluating their operational strategies, particularly in terms of maintaining productivity and ensuring service availability. Offshore labour emerges as a strategic solution in an ever-changing Australian labour market, offering numerous benefits that can help Australian accounting firms navigate these new regulations while staying competitive in the Australian (and global) market.
With Australian workers now given a clear sign they can clock off once their contractual time is completed, it’s likely there will be less resistance to some work being moved offshore.
One of the primary advantages of using offshore labor is cost efficiency. Labor costs in time zone compatible countries and other parts of Asia are significantly lower than in Australia. This disparity allows Australian businesses to save on expenses while still accessing a high-quality workforce. By reallocating tasks that do not require physical presence in Australia to offshore teams, companies can focus on key initiatives without compromising on output quality.

Access to a broader talent pool is another significant benefit. After a quarter of a century of offshore firms providing Australian accounting and tax services, there is now a competent layer of experienced managers with 15-25 years experience. Offshoring opens the door to global expertise and specialized skills that may be scarce or more expensive in the Australian labor market. This global talent pool enables businesses to find the exact skill sets needed for specific or ongoing jobs, enhancing the quality of work and driving innovation.

Furthermore, the ability to operate across different time zones is a critical advantage, especially now that Australian workers have the right not to answer emails or perform work-related tasks after hours. It is likely that time zones that are 3-4 hours behind Austrlaia’s eastern zones will benefit most from this new legislation.  Offshore teams can ensure that businesses remain operational well after Australian staff have clocked off through completing unfinished work, providing administration and customer support, completing time-sensitive projects, and performing routine tasks without delay. This time zone overlapping is now even more critical and vital for businesses through ensuring they can respond promptly to customer inquiries and work requests and maintain a competitive edge.

Moreover, offshoring has always had the offer of increased productivity for Australian accounting firms. However, now, with Australian staff having the option to clock off at contractually agreed hours, there is the opportunity for offshore teams to handle after-hours support and other tasks. Effectively local employees can focus on their core responsibilities during regular working hours. This focus can lead to a more engaged and productive workforce, as employees are not stretched thin across multiple tasks and can maintain a better work-life balance, thanks to the “right to disconnect” laws.

Additionally, the flexibility offered by offshore labor allows Australian companies to scale their operations up or down quickly, based on current business needs. This scalability is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment, where demand can fluctuate rapidly.

In conclusion, while the “right to disconnect” laws aim to improve work-life balance for Australian workers, they also prompt businesses to explore more flexible and cost-effective operational models. Offshore labor offers a viable solution, enabling companies to enjoy cost savings, access global talent, maintain 24/7 operations, and improve productivity. As Australian businesses adapt to these new laws, the strategic use of offshore labor will likely become an increasingly important component of their operational strategies, ensuring they remain competitive.

If you are seeking accounting outsourcing advice, then drop Odyssey a line to chat. And don’t hesitate to consult us for any of your concerns.

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