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The Future of Outsourcing in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Posted by Tasnim Ahmed

October 20, 2020

The business world is vastly different today than it was a year ago, and most of that change can be attributed to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Although the virus has affected some businesses more than others, everyone in the industry has felt at least some impact from COVID-19. Many leaders have learned a lot of important lessons due to the experience.

Some entrepreneurs are reviewing their business’ core operational processes, from spending to remote working arrangements. Business owners have realized that they need to maintain a sharper-than-ever focus on lean operations, which means that for many companies, it’s the right time to outsource. The pandemic has made outsourcing several functions more important than ever, as companies try to scale down their full-time workforces and find ways to save money while still spurring growth.

The pandemic has allowed every entrepreneur to streamline their operational processes to get the most return for the smallest investment of time and money. While your company focuses on core revenue-generating responsibilities like sales, marketing or customer acquisition, an outsourcing firm can take care of the tasks that keep your business running smoothly.

The sooner you start outsourcing, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits and get ahead of your competitors. Leading organizations use outsourcing to drive transformational change and improve business results. Here we’ve discussed how the pandemic has increased the need for outsourcing to generate sustainable business growth.

You Can Save Money

About 45 percent of small businesses aren’t happy with their current cash flow, according to a July 2020 survey by the US Chamber of Commerce. Although many small business assistance programs are available, some companies feel the protections aren’t strong enough for businesses to continue thriving.

Outsourcing some of the day-to-day functions that your business has in place could save you a significant amount of money. By outsourcing such functions as HR, payroll, accounting, finance, tech services and recruiting, you only have to pay for the services you use. With outsourcing, you can also save time and money spent on hiring, training and retaining top talents, leaving more money available for your cash flow needs.

You Can Focus on Growth

With outsourcing, you can save time from handling staff-related issues, daily standing meetings with your accounting team or keeping up with changing labor laws and regulations. By outsourcing, you can leave these tasks to the third-party firm so you’ll have more time to focus on your priorities. They can also handle issues like sales tax discrepancies and every other core task that contributes to the business’ growth.

Access to Expert Guidance at Every Step

Every entrepreneur is an expert in something, and maybe even in a few different areas. But most business owners can’t say they have expert-level skills in everything from international tax compliance to HR regulations. That’s where outsourced companies can be of great assistance. They have experts in different areas who can guide you to make the right decisions at every step.

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted businesses all over the world. Numerous companies are trying to understand, react to and learn from the rapidly unfolding events. You can outsource a team of financial experts to leverage their experience in a way that helps your company grow. With access to expert guidance, you can increase production capacity, reduce fixed costs and increase profit margins to higher levels.

Scaling Becomes Easy

During situations like the coronavirus pandemic, when some businesses have had to scale back operations significantly, the outsourced company can take on fewer tasks and then quickly scale back up when needed. Companies can work with their outsourcing partners to shift resources to meet changes in their needs. An outsourcing firm can adjust labor forces across industries and processes to provide flexibility to meet changing demands.

Although right now it seems like COVID-19 has lasted a lifetime, the reality is that the pandemic will eventually end, and your business will be back on track to fulfilling its goals again. When that happens, your needs in the areas of accounting, tax compliance, HR, staffing and finance will likely grow as well. The outsourced company will be able to provide additional hours or even more people to meet your growing business’ needs, with no lag time.

Work Efficiency Will Be Enhanced

An outsourcing firm can free you from worrying about task completion in case your employee goes on medical leave or if you get sick. Having an outsourced firm in place will ensure you continuity of service no matter what happens at your company, and you’ll be able to maintain that whether you’re on vacation, sick or handling other needs.

Manage and Improve Cash Flow

The measures taken to help stem the spread of the pandemic have led to shifting workplaces, declining revenues and, in some cases, workforce reductions, among other effects of varying scale. While some of these impacts are temporary, others will have long-term implications. Outsourced accounting is among the options business leaders should consider in these unprecedented times.

An outsourced accounting firm can put your company in the best position to survive this pandemic situation and future disruptive events. They can also help you keep track of your cash flow and identify the areas where you perform most efficiently and where you need to control your funds.

Stay Compliant

Today’s business owners are facing greater expectations when it comes to financial transparency and government compliance requirements. Outsourced experts are up to date on all the latest regulatory requirements. They continuously monitor relevant laws and regulations to stay current on processes necessary for their clients to remain compliant. Outsourcing your accounting and HR functions can help you handle regulatory issues, thus allowing you time to focus on management and core operations essential to business success.

Maintain the Security of Your Data

With many employees working from home due to the pandemic situation, businesses may need technology and solutions to best adapt to these new circumstances. An outsourcing firm can help you migrate to cloud-based accounting software from desktop or server-based software to have secure, remote access without any hassles or risk exposure.

Access to the Latest Tech

An outsourcing firm can produce clear insights for your business to improve company performance. Outsourced accounting platforms can deliver real-time reporting with key performance indicators while keeping leaders in a position to make the right financial decisions.

An outsourced firm can provide you with these tools and technologies at no additional cost. They can continually update your technology infrastructure or provide you with new tools to support the data and security needs that arose from the new remote work requirements.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

While some companies have put their manual processes on hold until employees could return to the office, others took this as an opportunity to transition to automated systems, such as moving to electronic invoice submission and payments. For managing business functions remotely, companies will need to automate and reduce manual processes to become much more flexible, resilient and transparent. An outsourcing firm can help you automate several repetitive and redundant tasks, such as:

  • Automatically entering invoices for review.
  • Automated routing for simplifying approvals.
  • Paying bills on time with a scheduled payment option.
  • Syncing all transactions with a cloud-based accounting solution for fast payment reconciliations.

Run Processes Effectively

Many entrepreneurs believe that their operations, including highly complex processes, are performing well even after shifting to work-from-home culture. An outsourcing firm can take on typically face-to-face-intensive processes like financial planning and analysis virtually, with similar accuracy and efficiency. They can also perform HR processes like recruiting, interviewing, onboarding and training of remote employees effectively.

In today’s environment, it’s somewhat rare for every employee to work in the office. This means that employees are working across a variety of time zones and may be unsure of who (or which office) to consult when they have questions. Outsourcing HR can provide team members with a central location where they can get all of their answers, no matter where they are.

Keep Transactional Operations Secure

With outsourcing, you can increase your ability to add flexibility and resiliency for remote delivery in response to the pandemic. Organizations can expand their scope of services to be delivered remotely, with the help of an outsourcing firm. They can also update your processes to sustain remote delivery or access across an expanded set of scenarios.

Improve Business Processes

Merely having a business continuity plan is not sufficient to meet the company’s needs. The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of unprecedented events and it has revealed that many existing business plans were not adequately prepared. An outsourcing firm can enhance business processes holistically — not just from a technology perspective, but also for people enablement.

To effectively prepare for any future crisis, organizations should consider testing and revising their business plans regularly to discover and address potentially overlooked issues. With an outsourced firm, entrepreneurs can ensure that their goals are achievable with their current business’ infrastructure.

Provide Cloud-Based Solutions

The pandemic has emphasized the importance of technology modernization, digital labor and automation. Due to changing work conditions, many business owners are taking initiatives to implement new tools and technologies to make remote work smooth.

With the availability of advanced financial automation solutions and cloud-based systems, all types of businesses can take advantage of outsourcing their financial functions, which can include leveraging cloud-based solutions to improve data security and agility.

Create Your Contingency Plan

It’s been said that it’s always important to expect the unexpected. As demonstrated by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this may be very good advice. While it is difficult to plan for every contingency or event that can disrupt the global economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided some insights into future opportunities for organizations to consider as they seek to thrive in a “new normal.”

An outsourcing firm can help you expand your scope in remote delivery models, revamp business processes, automate and enhance security, and build greater business resiliency to be better prepared for any future crisis, ensuring that you’ll be able to thrive no matter what.

Perform Tax Planning

Outsourcing can help you understand and fulfill your business tax responsibilities on time to avoid penalties. These specialized experts can plan your taxes and maintain compliance with government tax rules and regulations to increase your tax savings. An outsourced finance team is up-to-date with all the tax codes relevant to your business, and they can ensure timely and accurate tax and return filings on behalf of your organization.

Perform Financial Planning

An outsourcing firm can review your finances regularly, monitor your costs, follow up on invoices and calculate revenue to create financial projections. They can also help you set budgets to establish financial and revenue goals. They will always track your income and expenses to avoid going over budget. An outsourced firm can review your product prices, books and records at least weekly to diagnose any errors in liquidity, efficiency and return on investment (ROI) to mitigate problems before any issue occurs.

Create Financial Reports

An outsourced team of finance professionals can provide you with valuable reports to assist you in decision-making, such as monthly budgets and cash flow forecasts, along with a review of key performance indicators. They can also provide you with actionable real-time financial data to support your business. A company that outsources its financial team enjoys the benefit of hassle-free financial statements to reflect the firm’s progress and activity whenever needed. They can guide you in all aspects of your business to make data-driven decisions, thus enabling you to achieve your financial goals.

Outsourcing financial services can keep your bookkeeping and accounting records and procedures updated and accurate. The team will provide the budgeting to support your long-term goals and help you implement an effective strategy to anticipate upcoming expenses and ensure that you have enough cash available to meet all of your projections.

Overall, most companies find that they benefit greatly from bringing on an outsourced firm, allowing them to hand off some of the more time-consuming aspects of their business so they can focus on growth.


Tasnim Ahmed
Tasnim Ahmed

Tasnim Ahmed is a content writer at Escalon Business Services who enjoys writing on a multitude of subjects that include finops, peopleops, risk management, entrepreneurship, VC and startup culture. Based in Delhi NCR, she previously contributed to ANI, Qatar Tribune, Marhaba, Havas Worldwide, and curated content for top-notch brands in the PR sphere. On weekends, she loves to explore the city on a motorcycle and binge watch new OTT releases with a plateful of piping hot dumplings!

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