Accounting and financial services businesses that move to cloud-based systems can not only benefit from offshoring business efficiencies, but also nimbleness when it comes to staff.
“All of our data and everything else is now in the cloud, but it wasn’t when we first started because I don’t think the cloud existed, so it’s a lot easier to start an offshore business now,” Bourke Group chief executive Matt Bourke told the recent Institute of Public Accountants Victorian Congress in Creswick.
“The model in Australia is really about having relationship management, quality control and data capture.”
Bourke Group is an independent accounting, business advisory and wealth management firm that established an outsourcing business in Pune, India, mainly for accounting work. About 66 per cent of the firm’s team is based in Pune.
“In addition to this, we do now have our SMSFs getting reviewed in Laos – one of our ex-Australian staff decided to move there, so that’s just an example of how agile our workforce is now,” Bourke said.
“We don’t hide the fact that we have a team in India and sometimes we get looks of disbelief when it comes to what our guys are able to do, such as financial modelling, because they can do a better job than I can.
“We manage our clients’ financial statements and tax returns, and our virtual CFO team over there process thousands of transactions every month, including SMSFs and statements of advice for our wealth management business, cash flows, KPIs, various reporting and valuations.”
He highlighted that the cloud was ultimately the facilitator and enabler of a more flexible workforce.
“Not only does it allow you to work from home, but it creates an agile workforce so there’s no reason to end employment relationships if someone decides to move,” he said.
“But it requires you to challenge your thinking around what’s possible.
“What we’re trying to do with our staff, be they admin or financial planners, is [reinforce that] their job is about relationship management and quality control so they’re still ultimately responsible for it and delivering value to our clients.”