Training your Offshore Team



The elements of effective training for your firm



  • Customised and interactive

Can be tailored to the needs of the user and put into their language. Often involves activities and interaction so that they get ‘hands-on’ learning.

  • Leveraged

This is where the training can be used over and over again – usually because the session has been recorded for later use. You may sacrifice some customisation, but you’ll save time and money in the long run.

  • Delivers technical improvement

Mainly focused on local tax laws and local practices. It’s more challenging to deliver this in a non-boring way.

  • Delivers non-technical improvement

Delivers improvement in employee confidence, firm culture, English speaking, writing and ‘soft skills’ such as team building or self-development.

  • Return on investment

Labelling something ‘cheap vs expensive’ is difficult as it depends on the outcome of the training. Most firms are willing to spend good money on training if it delivers a strong return.

Once your offshore team is competent, they will become the new trainers as you grow your team, decreasing your time, input and cost substantially. Here are some options to train an offshore team:

1. Tax boot camp

This is essential for a new offshore accountant. It can be customized and requires a larger upfront investment, but it accelerates the learning.

2. Overseas trip: staff come to you

Many firms arrange for their staff to visit Australia or the UK and work in their office for a period of time. The new accountants get the opportunity to build relationships with the onshore staff and observe how they work in the office.

3. Overseas trip: you go to the staff

Doing the occasional trip to the Philippines allows you to observe your team in their work environment. You can customise training to their needs and work through jobs on the desk next to them. You’ll be surprised how well the ‘nonwork’ activities can break down the walls between cultures, facilitating confidence and communication between offices.

4. Face-to-face online training

This can be structured or unstructured. Our current preferred tool to deliver this is Zoom software, but Skype, GoToMeeting, Lync or Hangouts are also fine. You can also share your screen or PowerPoint slides or stand in front of a whiteboard (your team watch you on screen).

5. Webinars and tax updates

2020 Innovation Group offer online webinars and tax updates so I suggest you have your staff attending as many of these as possible.

6. Technical reading

Ideally, staff members have access to tax legislation and guides so they can look up specific issues. Like all accountants, they need access to resources.

7. Software certifications

There are many other training courses, mostly online, that relate to various cloud software products and can be useful.

8. English training

For the staff members, I prescribe online email training for structuring and writing their emails and Toastmasters for learning to speak in front of groups and developing their English skills and confidence.



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 mktg@frontlineaccounting.com or book an appointment with our team to get you started.


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