It’s tough being the new guy at work. There are accents to master and protocols to learn; let alone the staggering number of after-work hours that are left to be covered. Being an offshore accountant no easier than managing a regular accounting job in the host country.
However, somehow, due to the geographic distance or the gap between the original wages and new ones – combatting stereotypes surrounding offshore outsourcing still remains to be major struggle for many outsourced accountants. It’s only fairly recently that offshore outsourcing has begun to trend as a preferred option for small to medium sized accountancy practices that are trying to ease the logjam of the office mainframe.
But with the advent of remote revolution, our imaginations have also taken a flight to a wide variety of possibilities - we imagine sun-kissed offshore staff guzzling down martinis by the beach or worse, rows full of accountants spread under a parched factory roof, tapping away at their keyboards with lifeless eyes. No matter what our perception of offshore outsourcing is, it is always an extreme alternative of our normal work environments. However, how accurate is it?
Here are some myth-busters that are supposed to shake you by the shoulders and help you know more about offshore accountants working from across the globe:
1. No, they’re not rummaging through your clients’ financial records at a tropical island
Offshore outsourcing companies like QX, prioritize the need for information security over everything else. With the advent of GDPR regulations, third-party data processors are mandated to be GDPR-compliant and function under the highest level of privacy standards.
In fact, most offshore accountants are just like your staff– they work from offices that have a contemporary look of many startups: open-walled setups, whiteboards covered with scribbled code and a conference table piled with laptops and cookie jars.
Much to the chagrin of our preconceived notions, offshore accountants, unlike digital nomads, don’t function from remotely wild locations; sunbathing while stacks of your data fly off into the air. They work in data-secure environments and become a part of your extended team.
Much like the rest of your office, they closely collaborate with you to work alongside your business cycles and organise your accounting and bookkeeping work to achieve quicker turnaround.
2. You can still be the control freak that you are
If the thought of delegating work is keeping you awake at night, then outsourcing might just work better than those pills.
Thanks to the time differences and 24/7 operations, offshore accountants have got your back even during the wee hours of the night. Moreover, through tactics like performance metrics, you can regularly measure the task-based performances of your offshore employees.
Offshore accountants can be just as accessible to answer questions, review work or monitor progress as one’s regular employees – but without getting caught up with too many meetings and check-ins. You can still stay wide awake, biting away at your nails, brooding on the projects for the next day, but your outsourced accountants might have already wrapped those up and come up with some new leads for the next day.
3. Offshore Accountants are not job-wreckers
It’s quite the opposite actually, offshore accountants are supposed to help your in-house staff focus more on building client relationships and servicing new clients.
They handle a major part of your non-core functions like calculating income and corporate tax obligations, filing MTD compliant VAT returns, keeping accurate books, preparing year-end accounts; just so that your in-house accountants can work toward functions that are directly profitable to the company.
Outsourcing accounting services to offshoring companies might be the easiest way to provide better employee satisfaction. It gives your in-house team a better focus since they don’t have to expend time and energy on bookkeeping or reading up on new tax laws. Moreover, in 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported that for every one job added abroad, companies added almost two new jobs at home. While outsourcing may send some jobs overseas, it simultaneously creates more jobs and the net result is a positive job creation.
Rearranging where and how work is done has been going on ever since the farmers decided to trade milk for wheat on a regular basis. Outsourcing work is merely an extension of this age-old specialisation; similar to how offshore accountants are an extension of your own in-house team.
It’s easy for the in-house team to have visions for their offshore co-workers doing something fun while they are slaving away. But barring the geographical separation, the cultural shift and the time differences, offshore accountants are just as much of a traditional profession as regular accountants are – with long work hours, incessant client calls, final reports and a few vacations spent at the beach.
Want to build your offshore accounting team? Have a look at our guide to hiring outsourced accountants for your accountancy practice.
My name is Rishmita and I’m an aspiring journalist and blogger. I love telling stories – of people and brands. When I’m not too busy typing out incessantly on the computer, you’ll find me reading some old American classics or petting some furry stray cats.