Australian accounting and professional services firms are constantly seeking innovative strategies to optimise operations and foster growth. Two of the major inhibitors for growth across accounting firms are the difficulty in finding talent, especially at the intermediate and senior levels, and the problem of ever-increasing costs.
Here is a Profitmaster success story of one of our clients, an Australian accounting firm of two partners with six onshore staff who worked with us to harness the benefits of outsourcing to the Philippines. It is just one example highlighting how we have been able to collaborate with an Australian firm to make a significant strategic move, making an immediate contribution to their growth and profitability.
The Melbourne-based accounting firm, let’s call them “Koala and Co”, faces the familiar challenges of increasing overhead costs and a growing demand for client services. As the firm expands its client base, the need for efficient task management and streamlined operations has become more and more apparent to the partners. They also had a need for two intermediate accountants to complement their onshore team. They had been advertising and head hunting for local talent for some time and found that hiring locally is not only costly, but finding skilled professionals is becoming increasingly challenging.
The Solution: Outsourcing to Profitmaster Global Outsourcing
Recognising the potential of outsourcing, Koala and Co contacted us to explore the skilled labour market in the Philippines. Initially, it was the country’s reputation for proficient English speakers, cost-effective labour, and time zone closely aligned with Australia that piqued their interest. The partners identified Profitmaster as a reputable outsourcing partner in the Philippines and engaged us to establish a dedicated offshore team.
From the outset, Profitmaster assisted the partners to develop their offshoring strategy, outsourcing action plan, amendments to workflow programs and formulation of induction and training programs. This work included a plan to evaluate candidates on their use of Australian accounting platforms, firm compliance with APESB2, ATO portal and tax return preparation.
What happened …..
Cost Efficiency: By outsourcing tasks such as bookkeeping, data entry, tax return preparation and ASIC related tasks to the offshore team, onshore resources became available for core onshore functions and business expansion initiatives.
Access to Skilled Talent: The most notable aspect of our engagement with Koala was their ability to access candidates through our in-house HR team’s Recruitbank of bookkeepers, accountants, and administration staff. The staff selected by Koala were two intermediate accountants with 2 years Australian experience. They are university accounting graduates and members of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). This has boosted the firm’s service quality and efficiency across the team, both onshore and offshore. Staff were onboarded to the client less than 7 weeks after the commencement of the recruitment process.
Seamless Communication: Koala also found the English proficiency of their Filipino staff ensured smooth communication and collaboration between the onshore and offshore teams, eliminating language barriers, and enhancing teamwork. This has proved to be a core strength of Profitmaster’s talent bank located in Pampanga, including the Clark airbase which was formerly used by the US air force.
Time Zone Synergy: It was important for Koala that the staff would be working inside a secure office facility and would be working the same hours as their Australian staff. The favorable time zone overlaps between Australia and the Philippines means that Profitmaster staff are effectively working a 9 to 5 workday alongside their Australian colleagues. This has enabled real-time communication and swift project coordination. Client services are uninterrupted, bolstering Koala’s client satisfaction.
Scalability and Focus: The Koala team started with two offshore staff. We are currently recruiting another staff member, this time at the bookkeeper level. With many of the tasks typically performed by onshore accountants now being done in the Profitmaster office in the Philippines, the workflow of the Koala team’s onshore staff is being reorganised to accelerate firm growth through greater client engagement and providing more advisory and consulting work to their clients. This in turn has also improved employee contentment with their work and their career growth plans.
And the result …….
Working with Profitmaster has been a transformative experience for Koala and Co.
Koala has increase their accounting professional staff by two intermediate accountants who are registered CPA’s in the Philippines. They have reduced their wages cost by AUD$38,0001.
Outsourcing has had a significant impact on the firm’s partners, staff, and clients. By leveraging the advantages of cost-efficiency, skilled talent, constructive collaboration and streamlined operations, Koala has positioned themselves for greater success in the increasingly competitive accounting services sector. Koala stands as a testament to how strategic outsourcing can unlock growth opportunities and empower other firms interesting in exploring the Philippines’ outsourcing opportunity.
[1. Based on Business Services Graduate in Melbourne, 3+ years’ experience – Hays Salary Guide FY 2/23]