Wayne Findlay and his team at Findlay & Co Chartered Accountants in Wanaka and Queenstown have been using outsourced professional staff for the last 4-5 years. They have set up a remote accounting team in the Philippines to supplement their New Zealand team of accountants. They then moved into outsourcing staff for other accounting firms, setting up The Back Room Outsourced Professionals 2 years ago.

Watch Wayne’s webinar, Resourcing for Growth, in association with Spotlight Reporting, which covers the benefits of outsourcing and how to get started with outsourcing.

Here are some of the highlights from the webinar.

The benefits of outsourcing

The main benefit of outsourcing is that it gives your accounting firm more capacity.

Outsourcing frees up your on-shore team of accountants and directors to do more business advisory work. Your senior team spend less time number crunching and doing compliance work and are able to engage in more client-facing work, for example, budgeting, cashflow forecasts, business plans.

Using outsourcing for prepping

Prepping of client files, such as getting files ready for year-end, 70% of which is done in Xero, can be managed primarily off-shore.

Wayne uses a doctor-nurse analogy where the team in the Philippines can be compared to a team of ‘nurses’ who do prep work to hand over to the ‘doctors’, the senior accountants in New Zealand.

Cloud apps used for outsourcing

Cloud accounting, storage, communication and security apps are very important tools when using an off-shore team. Wayne and his team use the following:

As 100% cloud-based accountants, Xero Cloud Accounting is at the top of Findlay & Co’s list of recommended apps for accountancy companies using outsourcing.
Slack is used for communication between off and on-shore staff members. This consists of one-on-one or one-one-many chats or video calls. Wayne’s team also use recorded videos for training on individual clients.

Box.com for cloud storage. Other good storage apps include Google Drive or Dropbox.
Xero Practice Manager for workflow management to record and track milestones and checklists.
Last Pass for security management. Logins for Xero and other apps are set up in NZ and the off-shore team uses just one password to login to their various accounts in the Philippines.
ActivTrak to monitor productivity.

Human resources

Wayne reports that the workforce in their Philippines is very positive and there is high level of honesty and integrity.

With a high standard of English language skills, along with the extra training they are given, the team in the Philippines are easy to communicate with.

There are a few differences with labour laws in Philippines and, given the laws are more relaxed, Findlay & Co have been able to align the Philippines team’s working hours and holidays with their New Zealand team.

The work of the Philippines team is checked at many levels: by senior members of the off-shore team, as well as the NZ-based senior accountants and directors.

In summary

Wayne says that outsourcing has changed how their accountants in New Zealand work. Given that they are able to hand over much of their compliance work to their off-shore team, it has enabled them to be build their client relationships in a positive way.

More information

If you have queries or questions on anything covered, or would like to know more about how to outsource, please feel free to email Wayne at wayne@thebackroomop.com. He’s also happy to have a one-on-one Skype or Zoom meeting to go over any questions you may have.

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