Outsourcing has seen considerable growth and support among Australian businesses as attested by this article by the Australian Financial Review. Among the services experiencing the most growth, accounting and finance are listed along with marketing (which in turn is the category which lead generation falls under). This not only means good news for accounting firms like yours but can also give you better reasons to outsource for accounting leads.
However, there are still questions that remained unanswered such as the common choice between outsourcing to onshore companies versus offshore. This piece of commentary by Kate Southam of The Punch poses just some of these questions.
Discussing this can be quite tricky (as evidenced by the comments on Southam’s column) and if you’re a company with any foreign accounting experience, you’ll know that it involves not only currency but also ethics. For those supporting onshore outsourcing, the reasons do not do much to touch the subject of costs but on the other hand, it focuses on the advantages of generating work for one’s own countrymen and improving the state of the economy. Another, and perhaps, more obvious reason is the geographical proximity. You will have a much easier time visiting and checking up an outsourced company within your own nation’s shores and not go through the hassle of international travel.
Now on the other side, those who are for outsourcing are quick to mention the costs because costs of offshore outsourcing are generally lower. Another popular argument is that despite the low costs, workers in offshore companies are paid salaries that make for quite sustainable incomes in comparison to that of others. No doubt this touches on the controversy regarding the economic states of developing nations but it does go further and say the money sent overseas can help improve conditions.
At this point, the discussion can get a little heated. Kate Southam’s article cites the Australian BPO Report 2012 which in turn refers to Martin Conboy, head of the Australian BPO Association. Conboy himself is counted among those “who believe Australia doesn’t have enough people with the right skills to meet its outsourcing needs on shore.” As to reasons why, career preferences appear to be prominent which might result in onshore companies suffering poorer quality compared to offshore. Further statistics in the article also hit hard on the notions that question the quality of offshore companies.
Meanwhile, those who are opposed to offshoring have cited reasons that are not so much for the betterment of their own nation but out of concern for the welfare of those in developing nations. It’s no doubt that the stereotype of offshore companies suffering exploitation is a popular one. It doesn’t help the pro-offshore side to add that such exploitation is indeed the result of differences in currency as well the poverty plaguing these countries giving rise to desperate job-seekers.
So once again, the subject of outsourcing can also become a matter of currency and ethics when you face the difference between outsourcing offshore or onshore companies. However, it’s a question that you must face with great impartiality. Whether its outsourcing an accounting group in one’s own country or telemarketing services in another, you need to acknowledge the pros and watch out for the cons.