Think of outsourcing, and what springs to mind?
If you are running a business in the west, the answer is likely to be ‘20-something Indians with thick accents trying to master English salesmanship on a phone call.’ I’ve spent a lot of time challenging these stereotypes – whenever I speak to new or potential clients on how we run our business.
There are some staple arguments, mostly queries, that pop up when new clients are trying to jump on the outsourcing bandwagon with us. Considering the geographical gap, the cultural divide and the novelty processes – a lot of these questions are out of curiosity but some are rooted within the common stereotypes on employing offshore staff in India. Some of the most common issues are:
1. The Knowledge and Expertise of an Offshore Employee
Assessing the expertise of your offshore employees is also a great way to take stock of the quality of work that will be processed.
Whether you have decided to venture into offshoring or still figuring out a strategy – it’s often the first question that pops into an accountant’s mind.
I understand why hiring an offshore employee could mean stepping out of the comfort zone for companies who are used to autonomy but the truth is – losing control over your business because of offshoring is largely a myth.
Offshore outsourcing companies like QX, follow the traditional hiring process – they send you resumes of qualified accountants to choose from and then interview the shortlisted candidates to form your offshore team. In short, businesses can form a handpicked team of global offshore employees to work for them.
Contrary to popular belief, most offshore accountants in companies like QX, are qualified-chartered accountants from top colleges or certified by ICAI, an accounting body in India equivalent of ACCA in the UK.
2. The Seamlessness Despite the Geographical Distance, Time Zone and Cultural Divide
The next major area of scepticism is communication. Considering the gap between the time zones, most accountants worry about monitoring the operations or staying in touch with their offshore employees outside of their working hours. How can you work alongside as a team, if they aren’t physically alongside you and the rest of your team?
The answer is simple: flexibility. Apart from functioning 24/7, most offshore outsourcing companies lay out a plethora of high-end communication options for clients across the globe. Apart from just emails and messages, they offer video conferencing and next room telephony (which means desk-to-desk phone calls charged with local UK rates and UK telephone numbers).
3. Monitoring, Assessing and Reviewing Work
Who’s going to look after it all? This question’s a bit of a late bloomer but it’s a constant.
Work getting done by accountants must be monitored and assessed throughout. While sometimes, clients have onshore staff to carry it out; providers like QX funnel the work through a two-tier review process :
1. After completing a task, your offshore employee, tallies the work via a checklist for errors and accuracy.
2. The checklist is then reviewed by the Team Leader who fills out another checklist to make sure all the requirements are met.
3. The Checklist is then passed off to the Manager who reviews it one final time and then sends it over to the client.
4. Data Security
Since the advent of GDPR and all kinds of fancy cyber-security laws – data security has been the talk of the industry. Potential clients assess the data-security initiatives of the outsourcing partners before they go any further in their decision making.
QX jumped on the GDPR bandwagon, pretty early on but unfortunately, many Indian outsourcing companies are still lagging behind to catch-up with taking steps toward ensuring data-security.
For pointers, before choosing a provider, one should look out for GDPR certification to stay out of EU’s radar of fines and penalties. An outsourcing provider should be regularly audited for data-security by an international body. For example, the British Standards Insititutions (BSI) monitors QX’s processes on a quarterly basis to ensure that the company meet the requirements of its GDPR-certified status.
5. All that’s fine – But who’s keeping a track of it?
Introducing state-of-the-art technology is doing wonders to the outsourcing industry in India.
Bringing hands-on technology support and app experts together under one roof, gave us the QX tracker app. It further in-seams the task by showing the live-status of where and at what stage of the process, the work is in at that point of the time.
Easily accessible on your smartphone, tablets and laptops – the app can be used to raise queries about jobs, search the dashboard, and filter jobs by job code, name, status and dates for the outsourced job. Pretty handy, isn’t it?
I agree that some processes in offshoring are a bit too tricky but the complexities are often left to be tackled by your provider – on the client’s side though, it’s a just as simple as your regular hiring process and day-to-day work functions. But don’t take my word it. visit us at qxas.co.uk and get a 10-hour free trial of how it actually works and see for yourself!
I’m a Senior Account manager at QXAS UK. I’ve been a part of the Knowledge Process Management (KPM) industry for 10 years. I specialise in tax returns services and regularly advise my clients on what’s the best way to go about it. When I’m not busy managing accounts, I like to discuss accounting tactics with my team of 12 brilliant accountants. I am also a ardent Cricket enthusiast.