We’ve all experienced the challenge of achieving the right ratios of knowledge, expertise, and staffing at the right time. Busy season is always a balancing act of prioritising and staffing and often it’s the same cycle of exertion and exhaustion every year.
Seven ways to do outsourcing right.
Choose the right outsourcing company: The firm you select will be your partner, so make sure you research and understand their offering. Do they provide team additions or just bench outsourcing? Do they understand your market and have the cross-cultural expertise to enhance your team? Get references, check online reviews and industry data to ensure they have a quality reputation. Investigate their certifications and licenses to ensure they’re in line with regulatory requirements.
Plan objectives, roles and responsibilities: Make sure you know exactly what you want. A reputable outsourcing partner will assign you an account manager to help you establish exactly what type of help you need and for how long. Before you start this process, you should be clear about the roles each member of the team will assume. Make sure all your requirements are clearly laid out in your scope agreement, together with usual contract terms. Assign an outsourcing champion role to your upper management to ensure top-down success.
Communicate your strategy at home: Discuss your plans early and often with your home team members to ensure maximum buy-in. Make sure they clearly understand how your outsourcing agreement will positively impact them and why it’s being done. Let your home team know how this arrangement will benefit them and the practice and dispel any worries immediately.
Have your say: Interviewing potential outsourced team members should be part of your selection process. An interview process is the best policy for any hiring decision, temporary or permanent. This person will be your team member and you should make sure they fit your team and your culture. The interviews shouldn’t be onerous, because your account manager should shortlist and arrange them for you, but your input to the selection process is vital. You want the right people that will work well with you on your team and are committed to long-term excellence.
Set your new team member up for success: Make sure your new team members become productive as soon as possible. A quality outsourcing firm will draw up an onboarding plan specific to you and help implement that. Meet with the new team member to discuss their responsibilities and goals and establish work guidelines. Get them onboard like any other staff member. Have training ready, ideally facilitated by their team colleagues, on topics such as operating practices, methodologies, and any standard operating procedures. Get their tech ready so they can hit the ground running. IT delays at your end will impact productivity so get essential technology and training organised before your new team members start.
Be clear about targets: It’s a good idea to set expectations for your new team member and key performance indicators (KPIs), are a clear way to help them understand what’s expected. Set up a simple process before work begins so you can monitor progress. Discuss hours incurred or working paper reviews as the engagement progresses.
Insist on transparent communication: Be transparent with your outsourcing partner. Be open about any issues from the start and use your local account manager as a vital tool in your success. This includes being honest about performance and any problems encountered with your outsourced team member. Having a free and reciprocal flow of communication is crucial to quality work done and successful collaboration.
How to guarantee success
Modern outsourcing is all about working together and establishing the most successful collaborations. Successful outsourcing partnerships feature a deep knowledge of the regulatory frameworks and business environment they operate in. These are partnerships of quality, built on and maintained by a thorough understanding of company culture. Partnerships of unbroken commitment maximise quality, minimise disruption and eliminate breaks in continuity.
When Irish accounting practices work with an outsourcing partner whose business is rooted in the Irish financial industry and who understands that real benefit comes from the promise of dedicated quality, they’re assured of the best approach.
Teams PLUS is an Irish outsourcing company specialising in providing services to Irish Accounting practices. We offer our clients a unique outsourcing opportunity by sourcing, interviewing, and hiring team members to work exclusively with your practice, eliminating the bench and guaranteeing quality continuity.
This innovative approach guarantees that outsourced staff are dedicated to one client only, are deeply embedded in their client’s organisation and are backed by training to deliver work to the standard and manner you require. This guarantees consistency of quality and continued client control, eliminates local team disruption and allows clients to develop a long-term growth strategy.
– Jimmy Sheehan FCPA (Jimmy.Sheehan@Teams.Plus) is Managing Director of Teams PLUS. Contact him to learn more about outsourcing in Ireland and the opportunities to revolutionise your practise and build your future.
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