There are many ways to send work offshore and we’re going to discuss five common ones. There are subsets within those methods, but we’ll focus on the major ones.
We're going to discuss five valid models for either offshoring or outsourcing your
work. It’s up to you to choose the model that best fits your firm.
The Five Main Ways to Send Work Offshore
Back when we started our accounting firm, the two main choices were Elance or oDesk. There are great contractors on these websites. Unfortunately, it’s tough to find them. On the upside, I have had some fantastic contractors work for me and it has saved us thousands of dollars. For small, 30 minute odd j obs, a freelance website like oDesk (now called Upwork) will be your best bet. If you’re looking to place full time staff and build a team, this type of freelancer website is the last place you want to be looking due to the mixed results you will get.
You can hire people full or part time as independent contractors in the Philippines. There are several ways to do this. You can build your own networks so you can find staff yourself, or you can use a service provider who will match you with contractors. You will be responsible for paying them directly, either through a direct bank deposit, PayPal or some other payment tool. If your team grows, managing it will become a challenge. Fortunately, all these things can be overcome with clever uses of technology.
This is a model where you use the service on an hourly, part time or even full time basis, with different price points depending on the amount of time you use. The upside of this model is there is a lower training requirement for your offshore staff. If you are having workflow issues, my suggestion would be to find a quality provider in this space and get some guarantees around the two high risk areas concerning (1) turnaround time and (2) quality.
Staff leasing is where a company in the Philippines (usually called a BPO) employs team members on your behalf. As a foreigner, you can’t hire staff directly without the correct corporate structure in place. This is the model we specialise in, and we believe it’s a great model for accounting firms that have a long term view to create a low cost, sustainable offshore team. Your job is to train the staff and to manage their workflow while the BPO handles the back end issues around office, internet, HR, legal and so on.
This enables you to bypass the services of a BPO when hiring a team offshore. Rather than using one to employ the staff and provide support and infrastructure, some firms choose to set up their own foreign entity and do it themselves. This is often a difficult path and not one I’d recommend for most accounting firms.
The main thing to decide, after you decide to offshore/outsource your work, is the model that best suits your firm. They all have their pros and cons, and it’s critical to make this choice wisely after doing your research.
Where to From Here
If you are ready to be at the forefront of the accounting profession by building an offshore team, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment with our team to get you started.