Are All Outsourcing Firms the Same?
Finding someone to provide remote staff can be daunting. A quick search shows options from all over the globe. Many companies provide support for more than one industry. You can employ a PA and have someone do your IT from the same provider. Or, as is most common, you have one company provide one service. This article will explore the options for accounting services.
No matter what service you want, you need to ensure it’s the best fit. Consider what you require. Are you thinking of sending the odd job? Are you planning on having a whole team? Maybe you just want one person. Whatever service you require, most firms will give it a go, so make sure whatever they promise can be fulfilled. Each provider will have different systems.
Some providers are job-based. You have a set task to get done and you send it off. You have a contact person at the other end and someone else does the work. Your contact person will check over the work and question backwards and forwards with you any queries until the job is completed. This way can be quick, but you cannot ensure you will get the same level of service again as someone else might do the job. Different jobs have different fees which are usually set, so you are aware of the cost upfront.
A good service provider can help you set up your own team. You need someone dedicated at your end to ensure you are getting the service you want. You set the terms and confer with your provider. Having a successful team has to be run by a leader. Make sure the provider can give you a top class person to establish your team with. Consider how good the backup is for your team. What training will they need? What about the language differences? Do they have a senior accountant on the ground experienced in New Zealand procedures? Or do they have to seek answers elsewhere? Will the team be well qualified? Can issues be dealt with instantly? The fees for this level of service vary among providers. Make sure you get the best bang for your buck.
Maybe one remote staff member is what you need. The cost of getting per-job-based work done over time may not be too different from having your own staff member at hand. If you cannot guarantee your work is being done by the same person then consistency will be an issue. With the same person working for you, all security and software falls under your control. One-on-one communication can be utilised as you deal with the same person and not a supervisor. As your business grows, you could set your initial remote staff member up as a team leader. Again, the cost of this service varies among providers as does the level of backup service onsite.
Consider company culture. Most providers share social media of their staff having fun and promote their businesses as being great places to work. But still, find out more if you can. Ask about salaries and general working conditions. Most companies will pay competitive salaries if they want to retain staff. Some provide uniforms and rewards beyond salary. Find out about staff training and whether English skills are enhanced. Work hours may vary. Some will work staff to the bone, others will stick to more civil hours.
Lastly, figure out what the best fit is for you. Cost up front per job has its merits, especially if you do not want a full-time person. You know your fixed cost. However, having your own remote staff member is a also fixed cost, you just need to ensure that you can provide enough work. The best long term strategy might be to have someone who works exclusively for you. You can build relationship and your remote staff member becomes an integral part of your team. Whatever you decide, chat with providers beforehand and find the best fit for you.