Speaking with AccountantsDaily, My Accounts founder Simon Allsop revealed that the firm is beginning to test offshoring work with real clients.
“We're testing the water with some offshore work at the moment to see whether some of our smaller clients with very repetitive-style work can be done from the Philippines,” Mr Allsop said.
“The offshoring needs to be highly repetitive tasks that can be basically systemised, and I think that's the first step to the automation of the task. I think it’s the way of the future.”
Mr Allsop said he is aware of a few other accounting firms looking at the idea, but that nobody has yet done it well on a large scale.
“I’m fully aware that Deloitte has invested a significant amount and yet have struggled, and it’s come back with some pretty big repercussions for them on client relationships as a whole,” he said.
Mr Allsop believes it comes down to structuring your offshoring arrangement to ensure it runs smoothly.
“I think it comes down to the way that you actually design the setup. The way we've designed the setup has one local person based out of our Sydney office who maintains all the client relationships, and we really use the offshore team as the data processors,” he explained.
“That enables our local person to have conversations with their portfolio of clients at any point in time because they've got their team of five people offshore updating Xero files and other cloud-based software on a daily basis.”
This, he believes, opens up great opportunities for local accountants to get more involved in the more interesting aspects of their work.
“It creates a fascinating role for someone locally because all the mundane, systematic, process-driven stuff just gets taken care of and done by somebody else, so the role of the person internally really goes from accountant or bookkeeper and turns into a business analyst-style role,” he said.
“They get to analyse some really interesting information and then have really interesting conversations with our clients about what it means, about what trends we're seeing and what forecasts could potentially be made, because the headspace is cleared up to be able to have those conversations and they don't get lost down in transaction level.”
Where Mr Allsop believes other firms have failed by putting their offshore team in direct contact with their clients.
“Then you've got language barriers and ... they've skipped the review process and other quality assurance steps that I think are key to making sure you can trust what's being delivered.”