I just returned from a visit to the Philippines. The purpose was to visit some Accounting firms (and interview them) and to meet my team for the first time. I filmed 3 Accounting firms who operate out of the Philippines into Australia. So their clients are in Australia and their Accountants are in Manila. What was fascinating was how easy it is to set up shop, find people, train them and get productive.

You can essentially set up shop 2 ways.

The first is to go through a “BPO” business (Business Process Outsourcing) where you lease the people from them and the BPO supplies the desk, chair, computer, supervision, office, software etc. Think of a labour hire business meeting a serviced office. There are around 200 BPO’s in the Philippines alone and it is governed by a professional association. That’s how I have done it with my current team of 3. They work directly for us yet they are housed in a BPO’s office. We like this method because it is simple and relatively fast. We’re currently hiring 4 more to take the team to 7. We pay them well, give them good conditions and the total (fully loaded) cost ratio is 4:1. That means we can hire 4 Filipinos to 1 Aussie. There is an abundance of labour, they are smart, eager to learn and this strategy has helped grow my Australian operation.

The second way is to incorporate your own company and then rent a space, fill it with desks, chairs, computers etc and hire the people direct. This is certainly a cheaper option (by about 50%) however the compliance and set up process is (I am told) very difficult. Having said that you are in complete control and if you want 10 Accountants then go for it.

The office you see below did not exist 3 months ago. In 3 months flat my friend who has a financial services firm on the Gold Coast of Australia has hired and trained 38 Filipino Accountants and admin team members. They are servicing Australian businesses with book keeping and compliance. Everything is ‘cloud’ based so no data is moving around and all the Australian clients know that their work is getting processed overseas.

Some people have a problem with this and that is their problem. I say just look at the clothing you are wearing and see where it was made! There is a lot of detail in how you do this.

 
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