Sadly it was clear I was in a minority – but that doesn’t mean I will change my views.  Sadly I also think people will learn the hard way – costing them time and stress.

Yes, the age old debate about outsourcing accounting & bookkeeping to overseas because it was far cheaper came up.  I watched, listened and could only bite my tongue for so long.

“The information provided by (non accountant/bookkeeper) business owners was grossly misrepresented – and other business owners were relying on this information.”

So I couldn’t help it – I had to put in my two cents worth.

You see, yes – you can totally outsource your bookkeeping work to India for $6 per hour (maybe even less if you look hard enough).  Yes that is cheap.  No you won’t be able to get a bookkeeper in Australia for that price.  Those are facts.

But what are their skill sets (other than telling you they are a fabulous bookkeeper), have you verified their experience and skill set, would you be able to identify if they screw up your data file, are the legally liable for the work that they are doing (because in Australia the Tax Practitioners Board clearly stipulates that anyone processing GST transactions, choosing tax codes or processing payroll MUST be a registered BAS/Tax agent or supervised by someone who is).

“Have you checked that?  Have you checked the level of supervision?  If the answer is no – I can guarantee that the work they are doing is not covered by any insurance policy or legal requirement here in Australia.”

I have had one person this week already come to me because their previous (**aka cheap) bookkeeper has screwed up their Xero data file.  GST has been incorrectly claimed, transactions have been incorrectly coded, liabilities don’t reconcile and the bank account balances are all over the shop.  Their external accountant won’t touch it (due to cost and fear just how much is actually wrong)….and now the business owner is stressed and can’t do last years tax return until the information is fixed….but also has no clue how to fix it.

So yes, they have saved themselves a fortune by employing a cheaper bookkeeper, and now they are paying me a fortune to fix up the work they have already paid someone to do incorrectly.

“This just doesn’t make sense….at all.  Get it right first time – and it is money well spent.”

Another thing that business owners fail to realise, is that if we just all outsource overseas (for all aspects of our businesses) – then none of us will be in a job.  I have people come to ask me for a quote every week, I provide them with a quote that encompasses bookkeeping, queries and questions, BAS lodgement and quality.  I know they take that quote to others just to try and get a lower price.

Now turn around and imagine I do that with your business.  Ask you for a quote, and then go and buy from overseas (or someone in Australia but someone who is not qualified)….how will we ever survive as business owners if we don’t support and value the skill sets and experience we all have.

“Outsourcing works both ways.  If you outsource your core business, I simply can’t work with you.  I hire you for your skills, experience & knowledge – not somebody else’s. If you outsource your financial information and come to me for a quote, it will be more expensive as I now need to fix a pile of errors (that you probably didn’t even know existed).”

Stop with the contradictions on outsourcing. If you expect customers in Australia to buy your products and services, then support other business owners in Australia.  It is a two way street.