Sep 2020


Rolling the dice with offshore labour. What if they don’t work out after 2 years

By: Odyssey Outsourcing
Tags: ad-hoc model, offshore labour, Outsourcing, SMSF, Training

We were recently contacted by an Australian accounting firm that had gone down the low cost approach of hiring an offshore employee, then letting her go after 2 years training.

At the time she was considering Odyssey versus a number of other providers, the big issue in her mind was to save costs, and hire one person that could do everything – bookkeeping, BAS, tax work, and SMSF work.

After two years I touched base with her and she provided the following comment:

We let her go in February this year. Before the COVID outbreak.  I still speak with her and they are in total lock down. Should we have kept her and this happened I am unsure if I would have allowed her to work from home.

The arrangement was good. But after nearly 2 years of training she was still very limited in any preparation outside of SMSF. She was extremely needy of my time. 

We have more staff in AUS and they wanted to come up to speed with SMSF’s so it was sensible to let outsource go. However I don’t think we will cope with the workload and wanted to reach out to you again for the overflow.

The above communication is typical of accounting firms approaching Odyssey. The initial thought that lower cost equals better margin, without consideration of the hidden costs of training, and the additional admin and review costs by the Australian accounting firm. The hidden costs of Australian managers training and reviewing work are only exacerbated in the above instance.

With labour now working from home, and offshore resources more widely accepted, we expect there will be a continuing new found connection between the work and the resources. Work arrives on a job by job basis, and resources to fulfill that work should also be engaged on a job by job basis.

When you make the supplier responsible for the output of jobs (ad-hoc engagement) and not the output of hours (offshore untrained labour engagement), then there is more synergy in the accounting firm.

Talk to Odyssey today if you need assistance with some ad-hoc work.

Share this article