Is Outsourcing the Future of Accounting?
There has been a significant amount of commentary in recent times regarding the impact of digital disruption on accounting practices. One aspect of this discussion is the concept of outsourcing. We would receive at least two approaches per month from businesses managed both locally and overseas asking us to consider the financial benefits to the practice of outsourcing components of our compliance based work, superannuation, client accounting and basic taxation. Whilst the financial benefits cannot be questioned on the basis of numbers provided we feel it is imperative to look beyond the financial aspects and consider the wider ramifications of such a decision.
One of the primary reasons we at Charman Partners have not adopted an outsourcing strategy relates to data retention and security. If information is sent offshore including in some cases copies of source documents we are concerned that the security and integrity of these documents could be questioned. Of greater concern to us are the long term prospects for employment of graduates and bookkeeping staff in the accounting profession. The profession relies extensively on the development of graduate accountants to fill more senior positions for the completion of higher value work for their clients. These senior personnel are the product of graduates receiving years of on the job and externally sourced training and the proliferation of outsourcing businesses may well lead to the loss of employment and training of graduates.
So we pose the question is the financial benefit now at the cost of the availability of senior personnel and practitioners in years to come.
Contributed by Mark Barson.