Outsourcing as a model has helped businesses and organizations to reap the benefits of specialized services without the need for maintaining an entire department. Organizations and businesses often have to grapple with hard decisions – keeping CapEx and OpEx low while ensuring that all workflows proceed without interruptions. This is more importance in the case of Accounts as it involves compliance, in addition to the need for tracking expenses and revenue. This is a dilemma that accountants within organizations typically face – the need for bookkeeping without the resources for a separate department. With the exception of fund accounting that is required for non-profits, universities or government grants, all other accounting is vital to track, monitor and offer information for the financial health of an organization that is established with the intention of making profits. This is where the decision to outsource bookkeeping to India helps in ways more than one, tilting the balance in favour of a cost effective solution.
Professional expertise at reasonable costs
The search for chartered accountant typically begins with a set of criteria, of which the most important is obviously the professional expertise of the outsourcing partner. With a qualified and experienced partner in place, an accountant in an organization that outsources tasks will find it easy to liaise and receive the right kind of service. Receiving professional services at reasonable costs is perhaps the best part of the deal. To receive the full suite of services from an in house team would be a considerable drain in resources and for most organizations would not be the best ROI. While accounting is not an earning vertical or resource, it is intrinsic to operations and also has metrics to measure the effectiveness of the resources that are ploughed into accounting. A simple comparison would reveal that insourcing and outsourcing of services are polar opposites in terms of resources spent, for most organizations,. Insourcing works only for unicorns and very large multinationals. Here, it is important to add, that many large organizations also take the outsourcing route to cut costs and streamline operations.
Specialisation as per compliance requirements
While accounting goes by a set of fundamentals, there are subtle nuances that are intrinsic to different geographical locations, Compliance differs as per locations, and it is therefore important that the search for chartered accountant takes this in to consideration. Indian bookkeeping services that cater to the requirements of organizations and business in the UK have acquired adequate knowledge and experience in many important activities. Bookkeeping, reconciliation, monthly financial statements, records of employee and sub-contractor earnings, tax preparation, tax processing and preparation of year end forms have all become a part of the regular services offered by reputed outsourcing partners in India. This specialization as per the regulatory and compliance requirements of businesses and organizations in the UK bodes well for accountants who need qualified assistance.
Outsourcing partners invest on the latest software
One of the advantages of the decision to outsource bookkeeping to India is the fact that reputed agencies invest heavily in the latest software and update themselves frequently, staying in sync with the latest requirements. This actually works out best for the agencies, because the nature and scale of operations permit and mandate the need for the very latest software and processes. This may not be entirely possible with insourcing. It may not actually help an organization to invest frequently on the very attest software for operations that are not on a very large scale. This is the exact opposite in the case of agencies that provide the services. With a large number of clients, it is possible to optimize the resources and implement the latest processes. Typically, outsourcing of bookkeeping works in three different modes – Server based, Remote Access and Application Service.
Server Based Processes of Bookkeeping
This process entails a procedure wherein the client shares the documents in a soft copy format with the service provider, who then proceeds to update the books on the agreed platform, following which the updated books are shared back with the client. This fast turnaround process typically happens during the intervening nights of working days of the clients to help the client remain updated when offices open.
Bookkeeping through Remote Access
Here, the process involves the sharing of the documents with the service provider in a soft copy format. The organization that outsources the work would be required to grant remote access to the systems where the books are maintained. With the information that is shared, the service provider would then update the books remotely. Here again, the fast turnaround happens between cease work and start of work the following day, which helps the client to remain updated in the morning.
Bookkeeping through Application service
This entails a process where a shared application is used by the client and the service provider. With login credentials granted, the outsourcing partner would update the books in the platform on receipt of the records through soft copies. Here, the process could be like the other two modes – viz, after cease work, or depending on the clients requirements, the process could be a real time activity.
In all the three processes, the records reach the outsourcing partner electronically, and the updated books are accessed by the client before commencing work on any given day. Achieving this with inhouse resources would be like overkill. For instance, to perform a task that may take an hour or two or even more, it does not make sense to have a full time resource.
Some of the tangible benefits that accrue through outsourcing
Any organization that conducts a search for chartered accountant or decides to outsource bookkeeping to India will look at the cost to benefit ratio and access to specialized services. Here, it is pertinent to note that benefits are both tangible and intangible, when bookkeeping is outsourced. They include :
- Substantial savings on costs towards bookkeeping operations
- Cutting down on manpower requirements where optimal utilization is not achieved
- Permits the business to have a laser like focus on core business activity
- Access to full suite of services at a fraction of the cost from qualified and experienced team
- Offers access to a dedicated service provider during period of contract
- On demand access
- Updates before commencement of working hours
- Greater security from aggregators who treat customer data with great care
Security protocols and protection of data
Organizations and by extension, the accountants who make the decision to outsource, have a very important aspect that needs consideration. The data shared with outsourcing partners. With the deep inroads in analytics and business intelligence, all that is required for a competitor or an entity with malicious intent, is access to disjointed numbers and disparate data from multiple sources. By piecing together this information, the entities can unearth a wealth of information. This is the underlying consideration. However, there are two aspects that will rest the discussion on this contention. One, it makes business sense for outsourcing partner to build a reputation. The agency which relies on outsourced bookkeeping tasks for business will certainly need to be seen as one that is reliable. Therefore, the effort will always be to ensure that privacy and protection is maintained. Two, with regulations regarding data falling into place, with the threat of stiff penalties, agencies that deal with data are a lot more conscious of their responsibilities.
Certification and credentials
Reputed and reliable bookkeeping service providers in India have on rolls, teams that are certified and possess the credentials to undertake the services required. In some agencies, the level of expertise and knowledge is always one level higher than what is required. This is typically practiced with the sole purpose of ensuring that delivery never fails from a lack of requisite knowledge and expertise. A bookkeeper’s typical responsibilities which include – journal entries of all financial transactions, filing of source documents, preparation of trial balances, bank reconciliations, preparation of cash flow statements, financial reports, invoicing, payroll administration, filing of tax returns and year end returns – are all undertaken by specialist bookkeeping service providers in India.
Accounting services are vital to organizational growth and are neither adjunct or trivial in nature. It is therefore important that organizations and accountants who are in charge of the operations take the right decisions to ensure that bookkeeping is carried out as per the exact needs. Achieving this through a stop gap arrangement or in a manner that is adhoc in nature will backfire and become obstacles in the growth of the organization. It is therefore necessary that accountants take the right decision to zero in on the most suitable accounting and bookkeeping service provider to outsource. With the right agency to take care of the bookkeeping, it will become possible for the accountant to focus more on the other aspects of accounting which require his or her undivided attention. The smarter way to function is always to have a laser like focus and ensure that resources are not sprayed thin across a large area. Outsourcing is definitely in.