Where is the Accounting and Finance outsourcing industry headed?
The COVID-19 Pandemic has doomed many industries; however, it has also proven to be a boon to some. Accounting and Finance outsourcing is one such industry that has witnessed an increase in reach and grown with time. Vikas Chadha, MD, GI Outsourcing comments
arious aspects impacting the day-to-day functioning of global brands have resulted in them choosing to outsource their services to India. This has opened doors to hiring resources based in remote regions across India. While remote hiring provides pocket-friendly services to businesses around the world, it also offers tremendous exposure for talent based in India.
The Pandemic has impacted the survival of a number of small and mid-level global businesses. Falls in revenue as a result of reducing numbers of clients, and the shutting down of physical work-spaces, have made it difficult to justify the overhead costs involved. If corrective actions are not taken in time, there is bound to be a long-term impact on a brand's survival and performance. Accounting and Finance outsourcing has been one of the most cost-friendly options available to allow various day-to-day business functions to continue.
Vikas Chadha, MD, GI Outsourcing
As a country, India offers some of the best Technological support to remote areas, opening doors to a number of hard-working individuals. People can now avail the best of jobs and freelance opportunities from the comfort of their own homes. While the Pandemic may come to an end in a distant future, the setup it has created for industries is here to stay, owing to the cost-effectiveness and easy availability of resources it offers.
The industry will therefore continue to see a constant increase in the hiring process. According to a report by Gartner, "By 2023, more than 40% of finance organisations will consolidate to a single outsourcing service provider for all F&A operations, up from 24% in 2019.". This showcases a host of opportunities foreseen for young talent over the next few years.
Below are the key upcoming trends for hiring in the Accounting and Finance outsourcing industry:
Dynamic Work Patterns
The concept of working from home has been one of the major developments led by the Pandemic. Pooling in resources from a particular region is no longer of importance. This gives way to the best talent being hired from across boundaries. Remote working has also allowed companies to offer the freedom of flexible work hours leading to greater efficiency and output. Ease in communication owing to the adaptability of dynamic technology has led to the offering of quality services. The new digitised system is set to welcome expansion plans which were deferred due to lack of reach to the right kind of manpower. This will further lead to acquiring new clients from across boundaries and venturing into a highly-competitive market.
Hiring backed by Data Analysis
Decisions backed by data have been proven to have a greater success rate. When hiring a talent pool, it is essential to look out for resources backed by data analysis which is both costs effective and suited for the position being offered. Artificial Intelligence plays a key role here as it puts the hiring process on an auto mode. Chatbots can further be used as a filter for the primary screening of prospective employees.
Ease in Digitised HR Processes
While onboarding new talent or executing the day-to-day functions of the existing workforce, smooth functioning of digitised processes is key to offering a fulfilling experience. Adaptation to dynamic technology for monthly salary payments, updating regular attendance, conducting verification processes, and other HR-related functions are sure to ease the process and save time involved.
A rise in Freelance and Project-based hiring
The COVID- 19 Pandemic has forced businesses to majorly cut down on expenses. With no choice left, most brands have moved from paying fixed salaries to offering project-based services. This allows them to get access to the best talent at the most optimal cost based on project-specific requirements. This will also lead the Knowledge Process Outsourcing companies to set up off shore centres, to achieve excellence through local talent.
Cloud Computing has been a great phenomenon practiced by most industries in the last few years. This practice has made it easy for brands to adapt to the new work-from-home setup. Cloud computing will continue to offer pocket-friendly quick solutions to brands across the globe.
Today, technology is at the heart of accounting operations. A recent survey conducted by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants indicated over 50% of C-level executives in the accounting industry predict the development of automated accounting systems.
A leading start-up initially chose QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) and QuickBooks Online (QBO) to provide bookkeeping services to their clients, because of its robust features. While onboarding a new client, the firm evaluated their requirements: volume of cash transfers, invoicing, transactions etc. and chose between QBD and QBO based on the client responses. They used cloud-hosting Xcentric (now owned by Right Networks) to provide clients with a portal through which they could access QBD remotely.
Cloud hosting allowed their clients to directly run their own reports without their assistance as previously they had to feed the raw data into QuickBooks and run reports for their clients.
By embracing cloud technology, the start-up was able to reduce manual-entry time as it allowed them to integrate bank feeds into the desktop.
Along with this, the new Audit Trail feature allowed bookkeepers to view all of the transactions entered into QuickBooks and to see if an entry had been edited.
Additionally, the start-up could keep all the historical data in one place.
The changes made in the new normal era are by far going to have a long-lasting impact. Its influence on brands will majorly depend on how brands respond and adapt to it. If taken in the right direction the new normal era will lead to greater expansion in the Post Pandemic phase. The Accounting and Finance Outsourcing industry is sure to witness some major milestones with the kind of growth witnessed so far. Technology advancements and usage of updated tools will continue to ensure smooth functioning of the processes thereby leading to increased productivity. Adapting to the upcoming trends will make it easy for the industry to connect with the best talent based across the country.