Who is Connect Accounting and how are we contributing to the accounting profession.
Directors of accounting outsource provider Connect Accounting Tim Davidson and Greg Rathbun both are on the wrong side of 50 and with the benefit of hindsight enjoyed the best years of the profession between 1990 and 2010 when system efficiencies were coming thick and fast and clients were generally receptive to rising fees. On top of that the accounting professions and educators restricted the number of accountants and the standing of the profession with the general public maintaining prices and this resulted in great practice profits. Around 2005 Greg saw the writing on the wall and predicted that a profit squeeze would come and clients would be looking for a lot more bang for their buck. At that point he worked closely with an Indian colleague to set up an outsource operation in India servicing first his own practice then other NZ Chartered accountants by word of mouth. This involved many trips to India training accountants as specialist NZ tax accountants as well as bridging the cultural divide. Around 5 years ago Greg’s accountancy practice joined an international association and met Tim based in Sydney. Tim liked what Greg’s practice had done and took on the task to setting up a team to focus on Australian compliance. According to Tim “The quality of the work provided from the outsource team was very impressive but what was equally impressive was the advancements in office efficiencies gained by Greg’s practice because they were solely focused on the compliance process which is a by-product of outsourcing. I thought my practice was efficient but Greg’s practice blew me away”.
Back in 2008 Greg and Tim made the prediction that CA’s would have no choice but to use outsourcing and indeed would be using it because of the better quality of work. Now in 2013 Greg and Tim can confidently say that for many clients of Connect this is indeed the case. The Indian office now employs over 300 qualified accountants and in the coming year predict over 15,000 sets of annual financial statements and 40,000 tax returns will be prepared by our outsourcing team. They has been asked many times what the secret to Connects success is. Tim says “From day one the single focus has been on training the outsource accountants and limiting the work done by the local CA staff. We realised early that the key to outsourcing is saving time in the local office and improving the CA’s gross margin. Everything we do in Connect is followed by the question “How is this going to help the CA reduce his time?”
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