Outsource Your Accounting

What Is A Remote Accountant And How Do They Function?

With the number of employers allowing for work from home or hybrid setups, finding ways to stay competitive in any industry is getting increasingly difficult. The solution to this problem comes in the form of overseas business process outsourcing companies. These companies offer remote professionals for any industry you need.

In the case of financial professionals, BPOs have the solutions you need at price points that allow you to compete with an advantage. 

What Is A Remote Accountant?

As the name suggests, it is an accountant who works remotely. While this term refers to an accountant who works outside of an office setting, I’ll specifically be talking about the offshore variety. The remote accountants offered by BPOs come at a significantly reduced cost, making them the most reliable and cost-effective solution in terms of remote options. Most, if not all, remote accountants nowadays will be using cloud-based accounting software. In the event that they’re not, any team collaboration tools or emails will allow for easy sharing of the appropriate files and information. Communication is purely done on chat applications such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.

You may hear the term outsourced accountant, which is sometimes confused with remote accountants. An outsourced accountant is simply an accountant from a provider outside your company that is hired to do the job, they can work in your office or from a remote location. In the same way, a square can be considered a rectangle, but a rectangle cannot be a square; an outsourced accountant can be a remote accountant, but not all remote accountants are outsourced. To reiterate, remote accountants work outside the office; they can be part of the company or part of a 3rd party provider, making them an outsourced accountant. 

How Do Remote Accountants Work?

If you have some clue as to what accountants do on a day-to-day basis, that’s basically the work of a remote accountant but in a more virtual environment. This virtual environment could be something as simple as Excel sheets and email or chat applications to transfer the files or more modern with cloud-based apps.

From the offshore variants of remote accountants, there are two main types:

  • Freelance Accountants
  • BPO Accountants

Freelance or independent contractor accountants are, as the name suggests, individuals who provide services while not attached to any organization. Like all offshore accountants, they work abroad and deliver results quickly and accurately. Finding freelancers is easy with websites like Fiverr and Upwork. All you need to do is reach out to a professional, discuss the job, collaborate till it’s finished, then pay the fee. The only downside to freelancers is the reliability factor.

While you may find the best rates for the quality of work, there is no system of governance when working with a freelancer. You may hear horror stories where a disagreement occurs, and all of the work that’s been done just disappears, along with the freelance accountant. However, there are still great freelancers who output great results and behave professionally.

Hiring remote staff through full-service BPOs brings the benefits of freelance staff, but with the guarantee that the staff you employ will be overseen by the BPO partner, essentially providing accountability. The administrative aspect of employing staff is all taken care of. The sourcing, recruiting, hiring, and overseeing of the staff is all done by your selected BPO partner. You get to focus solely on the productivity of your staff. The additional time saved by not having to do any of these backend tasks will allow you to get the most out of your days. 

Partnering with a BPO is as easy as contacting one, scheduling a discovery call, and discussing any additional needs you may have. From that point, the BPO will get back to you with a proposal to discuss. Recruitment is kicked off if you decide to outsource with them, and your mutually beneficial partnership begins.

The Wrap Up

Remote accountants are like their in-office counterparts, but they work from locations outside an office. While offering remote positions allows you to stay competitive with other companies as more people are seeking work-from-home opportunities, hiring offshore accountants will allow you to get ahead of your competition. The lower cost coupled with the guaranteed oversight makes them a safer option for businesses worried about freelancers. Contact a trusted BPO today and schedule a discovery call to see what they can do for you.