Where Are The Significant Growth Opportunities For Accounting Firms?
According to the article published by CPA Australia in May 2010, 'Offshoring: Impact on the accounting profession' the total number of finance and accounting services that are outsourced is expected to increase by 70% approximately over the next few years. The article reported that 97% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) purchase advisory services from external accountants.
The article also outlined that the SMEs are outsourcing activities such as accounting and financial statement preparation (80%), taxation (83%), audit and other assurance services (54%), business advice (67%) and other (9%).
The business advice purchased externally includes planning and review of operations (38%), systems reviews (26%), corporate finance and related activities (58%), financial planning (60%), and other (10%).
How can accounting firms increase their client revenue by up to 50%?
Based on the article published by CPA Practice Advisor in August 2020, the report "Where Opportunity Meets Value: Business Model Trends for Accounting Advisory Services" published by Bill.com, CPA.com and Hinge Research Institute in August 2020 outlined that strategic advisory services are one of the growth opportunities for accounting firms.
The report also stated that the survey of over 650 accountants and business clients suggest that accounting firms may be able to increase their monthly client revenues by up to 50% by offering strategic advisory services.
The report outlined that the strategic advisory services that the buyer participants identified as most desirable include revenue growth and business modelling (65%), budgeting (46%), tax planning (38%), risk management (38%) and advanced key performance indicators reporting (35%).
According to the survey, the most significant monthly increase was for packages that combined strategic advisory services with tax preparation and payroll which resulted in a 48.6% increase in monthly revenue.
Is outsourcing an opportunity or a threat in the accounting profession?
According to a CPA Australia article published in October 2016, "Outsourcing: Opportunity or Threat?" the trend of outsourcing professional services grew rapidly with benefits such as staff utilisation on core activities, lower costs and access to specialised skills which resulted in greater efficiencies in the performance of professional services.
The report outlined that those Australian accounting firms which are using outsourcing expected the volume of work being outsourced to increase.
Based on the report also outlined that according to the Business Fitness report published in 2014, "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the Australian Accounting Profession" noted that 30% of the Australian accounting firms surveyed which are currently outsourcing, 39% of those firms were looking to commence or continue to outsource in the next year.
Do you feel like you can do more to grow your business but you are time-poor, feeling stuck, constantly putting out fires and too busy working in the daily business operations so you do not have time to work on your business?
Outsourcing may be perfect for you. Outsourcing procedure-based accounting tasks can assist your business in offering 'forward-looking' services that allow you to have more time to offer advisory services to your clients on how to build their business, increase profits and protect their wealth.
By using an outsourcing service, it will help in removing the bottlenecks in your business. It will also assist in optimising your back office workflows when you delegate low-value tasks to virtual assistants so that you can spend more time doing high-value activities based on your expertise and skillsets.
The outsourcing service provider can assist in identifying the most time-consuming tasks that are getting in the way of taking your business to the next level.
By outsourcing tasks, you can expand your business by transitioning from providing commoditise services such as compliance accounting work to providing more future-focused value-add services such as business advisory services as a way to differentiate your accounting practice and in developing a long-term competitive advantage.
When you use outsourcing services, it can assist in systemising your business to maximise return on exit as buyers can clearly see how easily they can scale your business when you remove the key-person risk and the business can work without your daily involvement.
What types of services can accounting firms outsource?
There are over 160 things you can outsource as outlined below. You can outsource various tasks so that you can free up some time to work on your business instead of working in your business to take your business to the next level.
General Administration Tasks You Can Outsource
1. Filtering emails and managing spam emails.
2. Building your client database such as updating the contact details in your Client Relationship Management (CRM) system.
3. Replying to customer service-related emails.
4. Sending greetings ecards, event invitations, etc.
5. Calendar management.
6. Appointment scheduling including everything from free trial classes to hair salon appointments.
7. Travel arrangements and planning.
8. Task management and reminder services.
9. Organising files in Dropbox and Google Drive.
10. Data entry in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
11. Creating and managing spreadsheets.
12. Preparing Powerpoint slides and keynote presentations.
13. PDF file conversions such as splitting and merging files.
14. Transcription of video and audio files.
15. Simple eBook layout and formatting.
16. Preparing meeting minutes.
17. Report creation.
18. Forms creation.
19. Document template creation.
20. Online research.
21. Data mining, database development and lead generation.
22. Blog publishing management.
23. Moderating blog comments.
24. Adding tags and images to blog posts.
25. Receptionist duties.
26. Voicemail checking.
27. Sending client invoices.
28. Basic bookkeeping (MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks)
29. Personal errands such as purchasing gifts online, etc.
30. Adjusting direct debit payments.
31. Project and task management between you and your team.
32. Preparation of training materials.
33. Training of new Virtual Staff.
34. Deadlines and deliverables tracking.
35. Social media management tasks.
36. Creating Facebook fan pages and groups.
37. Posting and scheduling Facebook posts.
38. Promoting Facebook pages.
39. Collating and interpreting Facebook insights.
40. Creating social media accounts.
41. Posting and managing an Instagram page.
42. Managing Pinterest account.
43. Create and manage LinkedIn account and profile.
44. Scheduling and tracking Pinterest pins.
45. Create and manage a YouTube account.
46. Moderating YouTube comments.
47. Uploading videos on YouTube.
48. Answering enquiries and messages on all social media channels and profiles.
49. Create Slideshare presentations.
50. Uploading blogs and videos to other social sharing sites and social media channels.
Financial, Accounting and Business Advisory Services Tasks You Can Outsource
51. Set-up client files.
52. Add client to the accounting and business advisory software.
53. Prepare forms, documents, templates, etc. for client meetings.
54. Implementation of business advice.
55. Establish key performance indicators for monitoring regularly.
56. Prepare business analysis reports.
57. Prepare product enquiry forms and research.
58. Prepare product comparison reports.
59. Prepare insurance premium estimates and quotes using specific software.
60. Prepare application forms.
61. Download product documents.
62. Submit application forms.
63. Follow-up applications, insurance underwriting, etc.
64. Arrange continuous professional development seminars, etc.
65. Download and collate documents and other research.
66. Update and maintain client database.
67. Managing a prospects database in the Client Relationship Management (CRM) system.
68. Managing a leads database in the Client Relationship Management (CRM) system.
69. Other tasks as agreed by the relevant parties.
Bookkeeping Tasks You Can Outsource
70. Payroll processing.
71. Reconciling transactions.
72. Generate financial reports.
73. Generating a Business Activity Statement.
74. Generating monthly reports.
75. Recording invoices in the accounting system.
76. Check and verify source documents such as invoices, receipts.
77. Manage accounts payable and accounts receivable.
78. Comply with relevant reporting requirements.
79. Assist with audits.
Graphic Design Tasks You Can Outsource
80. Designing logos, banners, icons, eBook covers.
81. Designing infographic images based on content provided.
82. Designing website pages and creating mock-ups.
83. Designing landing pages, sales pages and opt-in pages.
84. Basic video editing such as intros and outros based on raw footage.
85. Designing social media layouts.
86. Designing sales and marketing collaterals.
Marketing Tasks You Can Outsource
87. Content calendar creation.
88. Scheduling social media posting.
89. Process flow for multimedia tasks.
90. Facebook advertisement marketing.
91. Research certain topics.
92. Manage and update social media accounts.
93. Manage your blog and basic WordPress skills.
94. Set-up social media accounts.
95. LinkedIn management such as interacting with your audience.
96. Schedule a week worth of daily posts.
97. Promote new products.
98. Create a survey, feedback or promotion to engage with your audience.
Executive Assistant Tasks You Can Outsource
99. Email management and filtering spam emails.
100. Booking appointments with clients.
101. Calendar management.
102. File management.
103. Database building.
104. Hotel and flight bookings.
105. Taking meeting minutes.
106. Creating reports such as reports on weekly tasks, deliverables and sales.
107. Preparing slideshows and Powerpoint presentations.
108. Filter and reply to comments on your blogs.
109. Replying to support tickets.
110. Work with executives, internal and external clients.
111. Documenting meeting minutes.
112. Fixing schedules.
113. Preparing reports.
114. Organising documents.
115. Record keeping maintenance.
Administrative Assistant Tasks You Can Outsource
116. Organise and update all files.
117. Perform data entry tasks and create reports.
118. Monitor daily bank account activity using the internet and accounting system such as QuickBooks.
119. Preparing bank deposits and compiling data.
120. Creating Powerpoint presentations.
121. Updating and maintaining account records such as calculating expenses, revenue, preparing Profit and Loss report.
122. Perform a variety of administrative, clerical and basic finance tasks.
123. Updating records.
124. Preparing documents.
125. Basic financial analysis.
126. Implementing policies.
Accounting Assistant Tasks You Can Outsource
127. Assist Accountants and other finance professionals in creating and editing financial documents.
128. Organising the bookkeeping processes of the organisation.
129. Evaluating financial budgets and track expenses.
130. Draft and prepare reports for financial presentations.
131. Reconcile financial records such as incoming and outgoing funds.
132. Providing support to Accountants with basic bookkeeping and accounting tasks.
133. Reconcile bank records.
134. Draft financial documents.
135. Invoicing customers.
136. Collecting payments.
137. Clerical tasks such as processing and recording transactions.
138. Preparing reports and budgets.
139. Fielding communications with clients and vendors.
142. Other duties as required.
Customer Service Manager Tasks You Can Outsource
143. Focusing on clients satisfaction.
144. Supervising and managing the customer service team.
145. Training new staff to provide high standards of customer service.
146. Handling customer enquiries and resolving customer complaints.
147. Oversee the customer service team functions.
148. Manage and train customer associates.
149. Set customer satisfaction goals and work with the team to meet its objectives.
150. Interact with customers, responding to their enquiries and guiding them to the appropriate service as required.
151. On-board new employees and train them based on your instructions and requirements.
152. Create and implement an effective customer loyalty program.
Financial Analyst Tasks You Can Outsource
153. Tracks the company's financial performance against the plan (budget).
154. Analyse business performance and market conditions to create forecasts.
155. Assist business owners and directors in making strategic decisions by providing periodic reports.
156. Provide analytical, forecasting, reporting and project support.
157. Produce monthly reports, key metrics, financial results and variance reporting.
158. Lead the annual budgeting and quarterly forecasting processes.
159. Identify opportunities for performance improvement across the organisation.
160. Maintain knowledge and keep abreast of new regulations or policies.
161. Develop models to assist with decision-making.
When should your company outsource its accounting and other business functions?
There is no bad time to consider outsourcing your accounting and other business functions. Outsourcing can be a perfect solution for start-ups and small to medium-sized organisations at any stage of the business cycle.
No matter how many employees you have, you will have the same compliance requirements, payroll and reporting needs. The sooner you start outsourcing the sooner you can realise the many benefits that outsourcing can provide the business that allows you to get ahead of your competitors.
Outsourcing can assist in simplifying your work processes and provide you with the freedom to grow your business. For outsourcing to be effective, business owners and directors have to adopt outsourcing and trust their own abilities to achieve higher results by focusing their efforts on providing value-add services based on their expertise and skillsets.
We will go through how we can partner with you in helping you reach your business vision and if our outsourcing partner is the right fit for your business needs based on what stage of the business cycle you are at currently.
This article is not intended for use as a source of legal, business, accounting, or financial advice. All readers are advised to seek the services of competent professionals in legal, business, accounting, and finance fields.