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Why Offshoring is the Intelligent Way in Accounting Outsourcing

The most frequently asked question at conferences, exhibitions, and events is “I’m considering outsourcing. Can you enlighten me on your process?” Given our name is Intelligent Outsourcing, the question is a fair one.  We reply that offshoring is the intelligent way in accounting outsourcing. 

The terms “outsourcing” and “offshoring” are often used interchangeably, so let’s demystify the terminology.

Both ideas involve the delegation of tasks to a third-party supplier.  They differ significantly in scope, geography and your relationship with the individuals who is doing the work. So, let’s look closer at the difference between outsourcing and offshoring and how accountants use these approaches to enhance their efficiency and competitiveness.


Outsourcing is straightforward.  A company delegates tasks, processes, or functions to external providers. These providers can be freelancers or service companies, and the arrangement isn’t confined by geographic boundaries.

In accounting, the primary objective of accounting outsourcing is to slash operational costs and allow organisations to focus on core competencies.

For accountants, accounting outsourcing might involve outsourcing year end accounts, VAT returns, bookkeeping etc to an outsourcing company in India.

However, there are several key issues when outsourcing including:

  1. Quality and Reliability: Quality and reliability fluctuate as work is handled by different individuals within the accounting outsourcing company.  As accountants trade on their reputation, quality and reliability are vital.
  2. Systems and Processes: Accounting outsourcing companies will have their internal systems, hindering collaboration and impacting efficiency and quality.
  3. Lack of Commitment: There is no commitment from the outsource provider to you or your clients.
  4. Lack of Development: There is no opportunity for you to train and develop the person doing the work in the outsourced company.
  5. Lack of Control: With accounting outsourcing, you relinquish control over critical aspects of the process.  While suitable for straightforward tasks, outsourcing struggles to meet the demanding standards of accountancy work.


Offshoring is similar to outsourcing only in that it involves a person or people in another country doing the work on your behalf.  The key difference is that with offshoring the person or team works solely with you. They become a member of your team.  You train them to use your systems following your processes.

Your offshore team member(s) is/are employed and housed by an offshore provider, such as Intelligent Outsourcing.  iO provides the office space, desk, IT, infrastructures etc. on your behalf and manages the HR function for you such as dealing with lateness, sickness, holiday, pay etc.

So, in comparison, offshoring gives you:

  • Quality and Reliability: Your trained team members consistently deliver quality work, so your reputation is safe. 
  • Work Done Your Way: Tasks are executed on your systems, following your processes.
  • Commitment from Your Team: Offshore team members share the commitment to your business and their professional growth.
  • Opportunity to Develop: Feedback and training facilitate skill enhancement and allows them to do more complex tasks like management reports.
  • Control: Offshoring gives you the same level of control as in-house operations.

In short, offshoring is the intelligent approach in accounting outsourcing. It enhances efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness while mitigating costs and growth-related risks.

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