Bringing on an offshore team is a necessary step for your accounting firm expansion. Find out how to get your onshore team onboard with this offshore concept.

It’s easier than ever to expand your team with offshoring. There are many offshore solutions available for most business needs.  In fact, the global market size of services reached $85.6 billion in 2018.

Nowadays, it’s easier to connect to offshore teams. Even when they’re located on the other side of the world. And businesses are quick to embrace this with 65% of all global companies choosing this option.

But what does that mean for you?

Having a new team on board can open up many opportunities.

Think about how many more clients you can sign on!

What about increased productivity and efficiency?

Not to mention that delegating tasks frees up key team members and allows them to shift their focus to other parts of the business.

Imagine what your team could do if you delegated routine tasks to an offshore one?

According to a survey by Deloitte, 57% of global businesses use an outside team to free up time to focus on their core business. It’s working so well that 78% of the businesses that use outsourcing worldwide feel positive about their relationship with the vendor. 

However, offshoring requires a two-pronged approach. 

The simplest part may be building your offshore team. However, you also need to get your onshore team to agree with it. 

I can help you pave the way for this transition. Simply follow the tips below to build and prepare your teams for this new chapter for your accounting business.

How to Build an Offshore Team

Are you ready to build your offshore team?

Before you do, there are important resources you need to get in place.

I can help with that!

This is how you plan your offshore team:

Hire Human Resources

#1 – Hire Human Resources

This is the first step in developing a hiring strategy. There are many options available, so you need to narrow down and prioritize who should make up your team.

It’s not a matter of simply picking out the best candidates. 

Figure out what talents you need for this offshore team. Many offshore vendors specialize in different industries and skills. So, figuring out your needs can help in your research.

You don’t have to go with a vendor, though.

If you plan on compiling the offshore team yourself, there are a few additional details to plan. 

For instance, you need to develop an incentive program to attract offshore members. And you need to plan for people to take care of all the details of your new team like employee onboarding and retention. 

Also, determine how many members you need to hire. This may depend on different factors like budget or location. Some locations are less expensive than others. 

#2 – Define Management Resources

Someone needs to take the lead for this new team, right?

Now’s the time to define who that is and the scope of their responsibilities for the team. Establish who’s in charge of the new team and of tracking productivity.

You also need to outline exactly what the hired talents’ responsibilities are. 

Outline exactly what you need for the scope of the project. Consider also whether you need talent that has experience in different disciplines. 

Define roles so that everyone knows what they’re doing and what they’re responsible for. This helps ensure smoother integration into your business.

#3 – Identify Equipment and Office Resources

Also, it’s important to consider the logistics of your offshore team.

Namely, where are they going to work from and what will they need?

There are pros and cons to having your offshore talents work from a dedicated office versus at home.

For example, if you have a large team it’s easier for team members to collaborate if they’re in the same office. There are also fewer distractions and more reliable internet speed.

On the other hand, you can also pull a team together to work remotely. This comes with its own benefits like being more cost-effective and flexible for the team. You’re also not restricted to locations and can have specialists from around the world.

But this comes with drawbacks, too.

Some specialists find it more distracting to work from home, which may impact productivity. Internet connections may be less reliable, too.

You can maintain some flexibility with your offshore team and ask that they meet once or twice a week – if they live in the same location.

Another option, if you start with one or two members, would be telecommuting at first and move into an office later. There’s nothing that says you need to commit to office space as soon as you start a team.

If you’d like a more hands-off approach to an office location, seat leasing may be a good option. Seat leasing companies allow your employees to share an office with other businesses.

For a fixed monthly cost, these leasing companies sometimes handle basic HR and local payroll taxes, too.

Some people like this option because it’s cheaper than using a full-service offshore vendor. 

Ultimately, though, it really depends on you and your preferences.

Of course, you can also have an offshore vendor take care of these details for you. But that option comes with its own set of pros and cons.

I think that going through a specialist provider (called a BPO – Business Process Outsourcing) is the best way to go. They handle the facilities, resources and supervision. 

How to Make Your Offshore and Onshore Teams Work Together

Offshore and onshore teams working together sounds like a match made in heaven. It doesn’t happen automatically, though.

Take a look at the following tips that can ensure that both teams work together like a well-oiled machine:

Define Roles in the Company

#1 – Define Roles in the Company

Have you ever seen two people butting heads over the same roles in the company?

It’s not a pretty sight.

And that happens because their roles are not defined or overlap.

This means that you have a couple of people, or an entire team, doing the same tasks or overseeing others. 

In this case, two heads are definitely not better than one because productivity is going to dip.

Combat this by defining roles early on.

I have a client, Jason, who just signed a proposal with a current business client. He received $3,000 upfront with $15,000 upon loan settlement. All of this was for assisting with business refinancing and borrowing an additional $500k from a local bank.

Jason could definitely benefit from using an offshore team to help him.

And if he defines the roles strategically, he could increase productivity and ensure more business from this client.

#2 – Identify Ownership and Responsibilities

Paula is another client of mine. She just took on a new client for real estate partnerships. Paula had her work cut out for her with 8 flow-through returns for $16,500. 

She also has a $250 AHR, but now that the setup is complete that number rises to $450 in the years to come. Her new client also wants her to do a Q&A video to send out to all the partners.

All of this could mean more business.

Paula’s business is growing. 

So, now is an excellent time to bring in an offshore team.

But she may encounter problems if she doesn’t outline the offshore team’s authority. This new client brings her to a lot of work. And she may need to delegate responsibilities.

Things will go smoothly if the offshore and onshore teams know exactly what their responsibilities are. And how much authority they have.

#3 – Set Up an Efficient Way to Communicate

Efficient communication is the backbone of any business. But it gets to be a challenge if some of your team members are on the other side of the globe.

Give your offshore team independent projects that don’t require a lot of back and forth with the onshore team. Schedule regular check-ins to keep everyone on the same page.

But setting up tasks so that the offshore team starts a project and hands it off to the onshore one may be your best bet.

One of my clients, Dome, recently received some big wins for the month. He signed on six new corporate clients with various needs. 

They were all notice-to-reader clients, but they had different requirements.

This is where an offshore team steps in to start the projects while the onshore team finishes the latter one for each client.

It’s important, though, to keep cultural differences in mind. Not understanding each other’s cultures can lead to a lot of misunderstandings.

And your well-oiled machine may come to a grinding halt.

For example, Americans are very direct. They say what they want and expect someone to ask for help if they need it.

But not everyone communicates this way.

If your teams come from different cultural backgrounds, I would suggest some sort of sensitivity training.

This helps to minimize the risk of miscommunication and ensure the work flows smoothly.

In Summary…

Building an offshore team takes a lot of planning. But the benefits are worth it. So much so that many companies around the world are embracing this solution.

However, you have to ensure that you have the proper resources and strategies in place. And you have to make sure that you have protocols in place to ensure your onshore team is onboard.

Inviting an offshore team into your office is a careful juggling act.

If you take the time to do the necessary steps, though, you’re free to focus on other things. Like signing on more clients!