The Back Room was started by Wayne and Scott Findlay from Findlay & Co Chartered Accountants. Wayne and Scott are brothers and proud of their rural heritage in the deep south of New Zealand (Tuatapere) where they learnt a strong work ethic and resourcefulness at an early stage. Wayne and Scott have built a successful and modern accounting firm (formerly called Findlay & Co, now Findlay Sidekick) in Wanaka, New Zealand.
Findlay & Co was started by Wayne in 2002, they were early adopters of Xero and fully converted to Xero at an early date. They have won multiple awards from Xero and have been recognised as industry leaders in New Zealand for the way they run their firm and for their innovative and proactive approach with clients.
They have had their firm in the cloud for many years now and this enabled them at an early stage to look at outsourcing options. On a training trip to the Philippines, Wayne met Mark Stables … watching a Highlanders Rugby game! Wayne and Scott had previously thought about setting up their own outsourcing business but couldn’t perceive how to do this. Mark, a New Zealander who was managing hotels in the Philippines was keen for a change and, with his help, Wayne and Scott set up The Back Room.
Starting from scratch Wayne and Scott wanted The Back Room to be Offshoring rather than an Outsourcing business. (See Wayne’s White Paper, An Introduction on Outsourcing, on the difference between the two. You can download it here.) They also wanted the following key attributes in their business.
When an accountant is employed they have an onboarding period where they are Xero Certified and familiarised in the tax and accounting if the client is from NZ.
The Back Room has invested heavily in Training and Development. We have a dedicated Training and Development manager whose sole role is to onboard accountants and develop training programmes to upskill all employees. As a result of this we are CPD certified in the Philippines so most of our training and onboarding programmes attribute CPD credits to our employees. This is very helpful as we can run training programmes relevant to the industry and get credit for this.
Through their time at Findlay & Co, Wayne and Scott, with the help of their Business Manager, Margaret Gimpel (a process Queen!), have always had a strong focus on systems and procedures. This has flowed through to The Back Room and proven very helpful in getting employees up to speed very quickly on their tasks. One system Wayne and Scott are very proud of is the prepping process which they implemented at Findlay & Co (see Wayne’s White Paper on Prepping, download it here). They have shared this system with The Back Room clients and it has proven valuable for these firms to get their offshoring team producing great results at an early stage.
It’s essential for a business like The Back Room to give continual feedback on its employees to clients and always look at ways to develop each employee with training and knowledge so they can provide better results for the firm they work with.
When at Findlay & Co, Wayne and Scott were always early adopters of technology. This has flowed through to The Back Room and also been shared with clients.
To be honest it doesn’t take much to create a fun and friendly environment in the Philippines workplace. The team over there have been able to create this culture from day one … every day there seems to be a celebration for a birthday or achievement etc!
Wayne and Scott from their accounting days have always had the philosophy that if for whatever reason you don’t want to work with us, we respect that. We don’t lock clients and employees into long contracts with harsh penalty clauses … we believe you can’t force someone to work with you. You need to want to.
Just recently Wayne and Scott sold their accounting business to a progressive NZ accounting firm. This has freed up Wayne especially to focus more on The Back Room and take it to the next level.
Confidentiality is the foundation of our business systems and operations. Keeping our clients’ information safe and sound is an imperative business function. Integrity means no client knowledge is available outside of the business, this means intensive cyber security and honesty within our staff.
Accuracy and attention to detail are incredibly important to us. A high standard of accuracy means quality delivery of accounts and advice to our clients.
Mutual respect for one another and all the people we come into contact with, is one of our core values. We believe it is important to be mindful, empathetic and respectful of our team, clients, community and industry.
Fun is at the heart of our business. We strive to make sure our places of business are fun, upbeat and positive. We know a fun, friendly work environment will reap rewards in staff retention.
Communication encompasses being transparent, fair and honest in all our business dealings. This means working within the law, keeping accurate records and being scrupulously authentic and trustworthy. All of our staff can communicate very well, verbally and written, in English.