Offshoring on the Rise

Depiction of global networkTraditional services will atrophy over time.

By Chris Frederiksen
Rosenberg MAP Survey

2016 was another good year for accountants with demand for services outstripping supply in most firms.

MORE FROM THE MAP SURVEY: Leadership Taking Different Forms | Staffing and Succession Still Rocking Firms | Will Staffing Challenges Change the Definition of Partner? | Firms Focus on Profitable Growth, True Leadership
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The lack of qualified team members to get the work done continues to be the bane of the profession, particularly among smaller firms, where the resources are not available to provide the training needed by recent graduates.
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SURVEY: Offshoring On the Rise

Join Chris when he presents: "How to Turn Your Goodwill into Cash." Retire gracefully, but get properly paid for what you have accomplished. Multiples and valuation, and what’s critical to making a transition successful, including selling, buying or transitioning. Learn more

Clients demand real-time accounting.

By Chris Frederiksen

It's been was another good year for accountants, with demand for services continuing to outrun supply, thus allowing for price increases.

Firms continue to struggle with the issue of finding enough “good” people to get the work done, so we observed two simultaneous trends.

One was the hiring of more inexperienced people with good computer and IT skills who could be trained to do things the firm’s way; the other was the inexorable rise of outsourcing (or "offshoring" to be more precise), both in the tax preparation arena, which has always been the principal pain point for accountants, but even more so in the bookkeeping/accounting arena. The Philippines showed major gains, with a well-educated workforce speaking a close approximation of American English.

Small and medium-size firms have recognized that the future of compliance for business clients would have to incorporate controllership and chief financial officer services (what I have dubbed CCFO services) and it was time to get serious. The new technology including SaaS-based cloud, automated bill-payment systems (such as Bill.com) and expense recording without keypunching (such as Receipt-Bank) allowed CCFO services to be hugely profitable. Firms have turned $10,000-a-year clients into $10,000-a-month clients.

Now, a huge number of firms are finally “getting it.” We’ve been talking about the firm of the future for long enough and now it’s upon us. Firms don’t want to wait any longer because the requisite technology is already available and they are seeing the gains being made by full-service, low-price competitors like inDinero.

Firms are acknowledging the disruption that is hitting the industry – clients are demanding real-time, up-to-date, in-the-moment information 24/7 at a reasonable price. The challenge for firms is getting clients to move away from desktop to online SaaS technology, which is inevitable but painful. This is the tipping point – it’s not just the early adopters who are on board, but the regular adopters are getting there too.

SURVEY: Offshoring On the Rise

Illustration of two businesspeople against world mapReal-time accounting is in client demand.

By Chris Frederiksen
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

It's been was another good year for accountants, with demand for services continuing to outrun supply, thus allowing for price increases.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages | Firms Must Build Their Benches | Mergers Spur Growth | Talent Wars, M&A Frenzy Continue | Do You Have a Firm or a Co-op? | Accountability, Equity, Compensation Are Concerns
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Firms continue to struggle with the issue of finding enough “good” people to get the work done, so we observed two simultaneous trends.
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Why Outsourcing Beats Unicorn Hunting

2016-ROUNDTABLE-OUTLOOK-FOR-ROSENBERG-MAP-COMMENTARY-VF-240x219On the horizon: more SaaS and Friday closings.

They say "past results are no indication of future performance." Maybe. Maybe not. But if anyone should know, it's our panel of experts, their comments drawn from the new edition of The Rosenberg MAP Survey. These are their bullet points and comments, verbatim, looking back at the last 12 months and looking ahead to 2016. – Rick Telberg, CEO

By Chris Frederiksen
2020 Group

Lessons from 2015:

The last 12 months have been good for accountants. The economy is expanding and the demand for service is increasing. Most firms report little trouble in getting new clients, particularly those firms with a robust and consistent Internet presence.

MORE FROM THE ROSENBERG MAP SURVEY: 2016 Battleground: Aging Leaders vs. Emerging Leaders | Private Clouds on the Rise | Firms Growing, Still Face Talent Challenges | Outlook 2016: Another Economic Storm Coming? | How Succession Issues Are Driving Desperation Mergers | Outlook 2016: Change Catches Up with Auditors | Strategic Plans Undermined by Out-of-Control Partners | Growth, Succession Plans Critical for Firms | Talent Wars Go from White Gloves to Boxing Gloves | Trend Outlook 2016: Change Agents Needed

Progressive firms have invested in better websites and are focusing on what makes them different. As Dan Hood noted recently in Accounting Today magazine, every firm promotes
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Chris Frederiksen: The Firm of the Future

As basic tax and accounting services become common and commoditized, firms need to start looking for new revenues and business models -- starting with wealth management and business benchmarking.

Here, a leading consultant to the profession, Chris Frederiksen, talks about his vision for the firm of the future.

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