For accounting firms, it has always been challenging to find good talent. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all businesses in the past two years, it hasn’t gotten any easier. However, one way many accounting firms have increased their talent pool is by hiring an outsourced accountant.
Top management at accounting firms has realized that good accounting resources don’t have to be sitting in the same office but halfway across the world.
However, before you go out looking for outsourced accountants, make sure you understand that it can take some work to understand what it means to hire remote talent, how to do it, and what to think about.
Ask the right questions
When firms prepare for hiring outsourced accountants, most partners set the bar much higher for remote help. However, this is a mistake.
It would help if you looked for applicants with good remote experience because remote work is not everyone’s forte. Applicants should demonstrate that they have the initiative and responsibility to get their work done no matter where they are.
To do this effectively, you need to find the right questions to ask. Consider asking situational questions and use storytelling to get the answers you need. You should never be satisfied with generic responses, either but instead, dig deeper into the answers provided.
It is always a good exercise to ask the same questions every time. This will help weed out the good candidates from the candidates that aren’t a fit for business.
Think about the pay
It is often thought that remote employees are compensated differently. However, gone are the days where remote employees take less simply because they live somewhere else. If you offer less than another firm, you will lose the candidate.
Contrary to popular belief, paying more actually helps everyone. While it is obvious how it benefits the outsourced accountant, firms also benefit from an excellent candidate. Their tax seasons go by stress-free, and they can bring in more work because they have more capacity.
Firms should be setting these expectations during the interview process to really layout when team meetings happen, the expected level of client interaction, and the timeframes when those occur. And outside of that, allow the remote employees some flexibility to do their jobs when they feel most productive.
Know the Basics
For any firm considering embarking on a remote journey, it is suggested that you first stop caring where people live and realize that firms can’t reliably hire in their own city anymore. After that, it’s crucial that you get the following basics into order:
- Have the necessary technology ready to provide support to your outsourced accountant
- Put the proper logistics in place to allow remote employment feasible in your firm
- Sell outsourced accountants on what makes your firm different and why they should work there
Although some issues may arise when you go out to look for outsourced resources, they are not insurmountable. You should try your best to work proactively, predict any future problems and find solutions for them beforehand. Today’s market allows many opportunities for both accounting firms and candidates. Firms that continue to embrace this change and adapt to support remote employees will come out on top of the talent struggle.