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AccountingWEB

Create more time through outsourcing

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Outsourcing can be a great way to free up time for the high-value projects that truly matter to you and your firm. However, as Alex Falcon Huerta, CEO and founder of Soaring Falcon, notes from a cosy Balinese restaurant, it takes patience and understanding to make it work.

22nd Aug 2023
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As a firm grows, it’s not unusual for practitioners to find their workload increase to unsustainable levels, especially when they can’t find a quality team to back them up. 

For Alex Falcon Huerta of Soaring Falcon Accounting, the lack of talent in her local area near London quickly became an obstacle to success as her time was increasingly spent focusing on lower-value projects for her clients.

“I felt so drained and imbalanced with everything. I had a really good business, I had amazing clients, but I didn’t have the team that I needed to be able to deliver. 

So it placed an immense amount of pressure on me,” Falcon Huerta said. 

It was at this point that Falcon Huerta made the decision to look further afield, hoping to tap into the deep well of talent that outsourcing offered. After multiple attempts at working with various outsourcing companies, Falcon Huerta found the perfect team for her niche in Sri Lanka, with whom she has built a lasting and successful relationship. 

“By looking abroad, I was able to have three accountants as opposed to one, which meant that the workflow was then split,” said Falcon Huerta of the decision. “Because of the value of my clients, it made sense for me to have three or four people on a client rather than just one, meaning I could focus on other high-value work projects.”

Growing pains

However, while Falcon Huerta’s international outlook has paid significant dividends to her firm, she has faced unique challenges in the process, especially when it came to differing cultures and work ideologies.

“Of course, I had my challenges. Understanding things like [the new team’s] festive period and mindset around time off. There was also learning how they work and their expectations when it comes to delivery of work,” Falcon Huerta said.

“Getting the team to work with the same urgency level as I do, especially when they need to get something done within two days and I’m expecting it within an hour was difficult at first.”

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However, Falcon Huerta was keen to emphasise the opportunity for cultural exchange that benefits everyone, saying that “educating and guiding” her Sri Lanka team in UK business was the key to success.

“You need to make sure your team has everything in place, and that when you onboard new people they understand the UK culture. However, it’s equally important for firms to understand the culture they’re working with.”

Reaping the rewards

While Falcon Huerta ran into a variety of obstacles when beginning her outsourcing business, the decision to take the leap has “transformed her business” and allowed her to create a role that fits perfectly with her lifestyle and aims.

“It has freed up a massive amount of my time. It gives me that flexibility to learn and understand what my clients do, to help them with their growth, to embed myself in their business, so I’m then part of their business. I’m involved in so many things that I never imagined because I’ve now got free time to focus on high-value project work.”

This article is an extract from our new editorial special report:“Alternative guide to solving your skills crunch”. Download it here to discover practical strategies and real-life examples for recruitment, retention and using outsourcing and automation as alternative solutions.

Replies (5)

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
22nd Aug 2023 13:23

I have had both good and bad experiences with outsourcing. The problems with the bad experiences went way beyond the simple cultural differences mentioned in this article.

Yes, outsourcing can be a huge benefit, but expect a big up-front investment to find a solution that makes life easier, not harder, for you.

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By LJCASE
23rd Aug 2023 09:56

Interestingly enough there were a noticeable increase in number of such providers at Accountec this year.

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By [email protected]
23rd Aug 2023 11:03

I worked in the Uk for a company that took on outsourced projects in the past.
From that I learnt that the clients who benefitted the most were those that outsourced the work but did not push it away and stayed interested using outsourcing as though a new department.
Later in life I became a freelancer and found the same there.
Maintainuing interest is vital for success, You can not just offload and expect to win

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By [email protected]
23rd Aug 2023 11:03

I worked in the Uk for a company that took on outsourced projects in the past.
From that I learnt that the clients who benefitted the most were those that outsourced the work but did not push it away and stayed interested using outsourcing as though a new department.
Later in life I became a freelancer and found the same there.
Maintainuing interest is vital for success, You can not just offload and expect to win

Thanks (0)
Replying to [email protected]:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
23rd Aug 2023 13:17

If a new department claims to be staffed by people with a certain level of expertise, I expect to be able to send it work without having to do any hand-holding.

Good outsourcing makes that possible. Bad outsourcing has to be micromanaged and asked to redo things that are clearly wrong.

When I worked with a good outsourcing team, I was able to treat them as another department. We'd have a regular catch-up over Zoom on what people were working on, and I was there for queries as needed, but I was mostly able to rely on them getting the work done. All I had to do was the same sort of final review I'd have done for an equivalent UK staff member.

When I worked with a bad outsourcing team, I had to chase work more than once and reviews picked up glaring errors. Much more work for me than if I had just done it myself.

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