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What is a Virtual Outsourced Accounting Staff and How to Find the Perfect Match?

Written By Shweta Pandey

What is a Virtual Outsourced Accounting Staff and How to Find the Perfect Match?

The Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 caused significant disruptions in the lives of tax and accounting professionals. The functioning of accounting firms has been altered forever following the outbreak, as have our lives. Formerly reluctant leaders now realize the value of allowing employees to work from home or other locations, especially when attracting and retaining talented staff.

While accounting firms were already tapping into global talent to scale their teams, this approach has received a fillip post-pandemic. We are talking about a virtual accounting team that works offshore and acts as an extension of your internal team.

The New Normal Requires a New Approach

As we navigate through the challenges posed by the new normal, accounting firm owners are still adjusting to the prospects of scaling their services and keeping costs in check. Clients no longer just want help with their taxes or accounts but are also looking for advisory services.

A modern accounting firm should break the shackles of a traditional service approach and move to be a close confidential advisor to its clients. This won’t be possible without outside help in the form of accounting outsourcing.

And given the constraints, accounting firm owners should realize that hiring accounting outsourcing staff can be both relaxing and rewarding and a growth driver if used strategically.

However, BPO accounting is not as simple as choosing an outsourcing provider, signing a contract, and enjoying the benefits. Creating a virtual staff, a staff of outsourced accountants starts with finding the right outsourcing provider, charting out SLAs, measuring performance and efficiency, and building synergies.

So, it all begins with finding the right match. Before delving further, let’s take a closer look at what a virtual accounting outsourcing staff means.

What is a Virtual Accounting Outsourcing Staff?

Businesses can get all of their accounting needs handled by a reputed outsourced accounting company without hiring another full-time employee through accounting outsourcing. A virtual accounting outsourcing staff manages accounting, bookkeeping, and audit and taxation services working remotely instead of your office premises. It is ideal for accounting firms that need accounting help but do not want to incur administrative overheads.

The possibility of scaling an accounting team up or down, based on need and amount of work should also drives accounting firms towards employing a virtual accounting outsourcing staff. Your firm only pays for the accounting services it uses, thus cutting costs. CPAs with already existing professionals who need extra assistance may also benefit from virtual accounting outsourcing staff.

How Can You Find Your Perfect Match?

As discussed above, virtual accounting outsourcing presents several challenges. For this reason, as a firm or a CPA, before making the final decision, you must carefully assess the alternatives available.

It would be best if you examined the following to find your right match:

1. Find a Provider with Experts Accountants

Your firm should ensure that the outsourced accountants have the required qualification, certifications, and knowledge to enable them to handle your work confidently. Ensure that the person you will add to your team has experience preparing tax returns, audit reports, and financial statements for companies as per your client’s needs.

In the face of challenging circumstances, a virtual outsourced accountant must think logically and quickly to meet demanding deadlines. Thus, while hiring a virtual accountant for your business, make sure you hire someone with proven problem-solving abilities.

You can look for outsourced accounting firms who have worked with firms similar to yours in the past since these experts will have a better understanding of your business needs.

2. Determine the software and quality control check adopted by the virtual accountant

As an accounting firm owner, you are aware of the data privacy requirements of clients. Therefore, while hiring a virtual accounting outsourcing staff, you should look into their software expertise. If your company has adopted specialized accounting software, the chances are that the virtual outsourced accountant might not be familiar with its interface. Therefore, you should know how capable the virtual accountant is with adapting to it. Typically, if you work with a reputed outsourced accounting services provider, the accountants on their rolls can use the latest software or adjust to any accounting software.

The quality control process established by the virtual accounting outsourcing staff also plays a key role. If the quality check is not performed, it may result in unwanted errors and non-compliance costs.

3. Select a virtual accountant with a sound value system

We sometimes forget that that accounting is performed by humans and is a values-driven task. It is also intimately linked to the operations of a business. Hence, hiring a virtual accountant or outsourced accountant is not a decision you should take lightly. It would help if you were highly confident that you were hiring a conscientious person and someone you could trust.

Since outsourced accounting service providers will be working virtually with minimal physical contact, hiring someone who will not let you down is necessary.

For your quality policies to succeed, you must also ensure that outsourced accounting companies are adequately controlled, monitored, and managed and conform to strict security and quality standards.

Conclusion

Inadvertently sparked by COVID-19, this “mass experiment” in remote work will likely lead to a movement in the adaptation of virtual accounting outsourcing staff in the accounting industry in the foreseeable future. At the same time, there are many accountants and CPAs out there who still do not support the change. To move forward, you need to assess whether virtual outsourced accounting services would benefit your firm.

With up to 50% cost savings compared to in-house operations, you can get more time to invest in strategic growth activities, while QX Accounting takes care of time-consuming tasks.

What is a Virtual Outsourced Accounting Staff and How to Find the Perfect Match?

ABOUT Shweta Pandey

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Originally published Oct 20, 2021 07:10:09, updated October 20 2021

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