Offshore Accounting Staffing: What Will My Client Think?

Offshore Accounting Staffing What Will My Client Think

A 2024 IPA (Inside Public Accounting) survey found that nearly 50% of accounting firms have opted for offshoring or outsourcing accounting staffing models to tackle the ongoing talent crunch in the industry. Clearly, you’re not alone in facing this challenge. Offshore Accounting Staffing is a strategic solution, and if you’ve been hesitant about how your clients might react, there’s a way to gain their confidence and get them onboard.  

  • Communicate benefits to your clients.
  • Share examples of successful implementations of offshore accounting staffing.
  • Showcase positive feedback from clients who have already made the transition

In this blog, I’ll share actionable tips on how to make this happen.


According to the latest PCPS 2024 survey, attracting skilled professionals is the top concern for firms with 2-21+ professionals. The challenge of “Finding qualified staff” has become even more critical for smaller firms compared to 2022.   

This highlights the growing urgency of addressing talent shortages to ensure firms can continue to provide high-quality services to their clients. In simple words, there’s a high demand for accounting work, but not enough supply of skilled professionals in the country.  

Despite this, clients may still hesitate about offshore accounting staffing.

Common Myths: What do Clients Think of Offshore Accounting?

  • Myth #1: Offshore accounting reduces costs by sacrificing quality.  
  • Myth #2: Financial data is more vulnerable to security breaches with an overseas team. 
  • Myth #3: Offshoring is only viable for large corporations with extensive accounting needs.  
  • Myth #4: Offshore teams are not as qualified.  
  • Myth #5: It’s not legal or compliant. 

As an industry professional, you know these myths don’t hold ground, but your clients might not. They will, however, notice delays if the talent shortage isn’t addressed.  

It’s your responsibility to present offshore accounting as a viable solution. 

The Fix: Guide your Clients Through the Process in Phases

  • Start by raising awareness of the problem.  
  • Answer the common concerns related to offshore accounting. 
  • Then, build trust by presenting the benefits of offshoring, such as improved efficiency and cost savings.  
  • Finally, share successful use cases to attract more clients to transition to offshore accounting staffing.

How Talent Shortage Affects Clients of Accounting Firms

Start by presenting a clear picture of how a shortage of skilled staff affects the clients. When the workload exceeds the task-to-staff ideal ratio, it will affect clients by:

1. Delays and Missed Deadlines

  • Overworked Staff: With fewer qualified accountants available, existing staff might be overloaded with tasks. This can lead to delays in bookkeeping, payroll processing, and tax preparation.  
  • Shifting Priorities: When dealing with a limited workforce, accounting firms might prioritize tasks with stricter deadlines, causing delays for other clients’ projects.  

2. Reduced Communication and Service Quality

  • Less Time for Client Interaction: Busy onsite staff might have limited time for individual client consultations and proactive communication. Clients might have trouble reaching their accountants or getting timely answers to their questions.
  • Potential for Errors: A stretched and overworked workforce can lead to increased stress and fatigue, raising the possibility of errors in bookkeeping, financial reports, and tax calculations. These errors can have significant financial repercussions for clients.

3. Limited Ability to Focus on Strategic Services

  • Reactive Approach: With a focus on completing basic tasks due to shortage of talent, accounting firms might have less bandwidth for proactive services like tax planning, financial analysis, and business consulting. Clients might miss out on valuable insights and strategic guidance to optimize their financial health.  

 Delays, communication breakdowns, and missed opportunities for strategic advice can lead to client frustration and dissatisfaction with the accounting services they receive.

Convince Clients of Offshore Accounting: A Step-by-Step Guide

It’s highly likely that most of your clients won’t even question your decision to transition to offshore accounting. Typically, clients are more concerned about the quality of the output. If you continue to deliver the level of service they expect, whether with onsite staff or virtual accountants, it won’t matter to them. 

For the few who might have concerns, it’s essential to craft your messaging thoughtfully. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and consider the potential reasons they might be hesitant about offshore accounting staffing. Address these concerns. Even then if they are not convinced, present the successful pilot project outcomes.

Step #1 – Identify the Possible Reasons of Clients Hesitance Towards Offshore Accounting Staffing

  1. Negative Perception: Clients might perceive offshore accounting staffing to cut corners or reduce the quality of service.
  2. Security: Clients might be worried about their sensitive financial data being handled overseas. They might not be familiar with the security protocols your offshore staffing provider has in place.
  3. Quality: Clients might have concerns about the qualifications and experience of offshore staff compared to local accountants. They might worry about potential language barriers or a lack of understanding of local regulations.
  4. Communication: Clients might fear communication difficulties due to time zone differences or language barriers. They might be concerned about the level of responsiveness.

Step #2 – Work on Message Acknowledging the Concerns

Start by informing your clients about the ongoing talent shortage in the accounting industry and how it impacts on your work. Ensure them that your decision to transition to offshore accounting isn’t about cutting payroll costs. Emphasize that your onsite staff will remain, and the offshore team will act as additional support—more hands to handle work more efficiently. 

Share your due diligence process in selecting the offshore partner, highlighting their success record and years of experience.  

For example, our clients tell their clients, “Our staffing partner supports over 100 accounting firms,”. This builds a sense of trust and security.  

Reassure your clients by sharing the credentials of your new offshore teammates and outlining the communication channels you’ll establish for seamless collaboration. By being transparent and proactive, you can foster confidence and demonstrate your commitment to maintaining high-quality service. 

Step #3 – Convey the Benefits of Offshore Accounting Staffing

1. Increased Efficiency and Faster Turnaround Times:  

Offshore accounting staffing allows your firm to delegate routine tasks like bookkeeping, data entry, and payroll processing to a skilled offshore team. This frees up your in-house staff to focus on higher-value services for your clients, such as complex tax planning, financial analysis, and strategic consulting.  

With an offshore team working in a different time zone, tasks can be completed around the clock, potentially leading to faster turnaround times and improved efficiency overall.  

2. Access to a Wider Talent Pool and Specialized Expertise:  

The talent shortage in accounting can limit the availability of qualified professionals locally. Offshoring opens a global pool of talent, allowing you to find qualified accountants with specialized skills and experience that might be difficult to locate in your immediate area.  

This can be particularly beneficial for clients with complex needs that require specific industry knowledge or international tax expertise.  

3. Cost-Effectiveness and Potential Savings:  

Salaries and benefits for accounting professionals can be lower in offshore locations such as India. This can translate into lower costs for your firm, which can then be passed on to your clients in the form of competitive pricing or additional services.  

Offshoring can also help your firm manage workload fluctuations more efficiently. You can scale your offshore team up or down based on client needs, potentially reducing overall operating costs.  

4. Communication and Accessibility:  

Offshore teams often work in different time zones, making them readily available to answer client questions or address concerns outside of traditional business hours.  

Depending on the location of your offshore team, they might have fluency in multiple languages, which can be an asset for clients with international operations

5. Improved Service Quality and Client Satisfaction:  

By offloading routine tasks, your in-house staff has more time to focus on providing personalized attention to clients. This can lead to a deeper understanding of their needs and the development of more strategic financial solutions.  

Ultimately, offshoring, when implemented effectively, can lead to increased client satisfaction by improving service quality, efficiency, and potentially reducing costs

Step #4 – Start with Pilot Project

You’ve decided to leverage offshoring as a strategic solution for your accounting firm but are unsure how to transition your clients smoothly.  

Here’s a guide to help you through the process with a focus on client segmentation.  

1: Segment Your Client List  

Understanding your clients’ comfort level with new technologies and service models is key to successful onboarding. Here’s how to segment your client list:  

  • Cloud-Based Users: Identify clients who already use cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks Online or Xero. Their familiarity with online platforms is crucial for seamless integration with an offshore team.  
  • Forward-Thinking Businesses: Look for clients who are open to new ideas and value efficiency. Consider their industry and growth stage. Startups and tech-focused businesses might be more receptive to offshoring than traditional clients.  
  • Low Complexity Accounts: Start with clients who have simpler accounting needs. These could be businesses with limited transactions or straightforward bookkeeping requirements, allowing you to demonstrate the effectiveness of offshoring with minimal risk.  


  • Client A: A rapidly growing tech startup using Xero for accounting.  
  • Client B: A well-established retail store with a more traditional bookkeeping system.  
  • Client C: A small freelance designer comfortable with online tools.  

Based on the segmentation criteria, Client A and Client C seem more likely to be receptive to offshoring. Client B might need more convincing due to their established system.  

2: Start Small and Showcase Success  

Don’t overwhelm clients with a complete shift from the outset.  

  • Begin with Routine Tasks: Choose a pilot client (e.g., Client A) and propose offshoring specific routine tasks like data entry, bank reconciliations, or A/R reconciliations.  
  • Transparency and Communication: Clearly explain the benefits for them (e.g., faster turnaround times, potentially lower costs) and address any concerns they might have.  
  • Focus on Security: Reassure them about the data security measures implemented by your offshore provider.  
  • Track and Report Progress: Monitor the pilot project closely and report success stories to the client. Highlight improved efficiency.  

3: Gradual Expansion and Client Onboarding  

As you demonstrate the value and success of offshoring with your pilot client, you can gradually expand:  

  • Client Testimonials: Use your pilot client’s positive experience as a testimonial for other clients you want to onboard.  
  • Phased Approach: Continue with a phased approach for other segmented clients (e.g., Client C). Start with limited tasks and gradually increase their involvement with the offshore team.  
  • Client Education: Provide educational resources about offshoring and its benefits for accounting firms and their clients. This can help address concerns and build trust.  

4: Ongoing Communication and Client Feedback  

Maintaining open communication is crucial throughout the process:  

  • Regular Meetings: Schedule regular meetings with clients to address any concerns, answer questions, and ensure clear expectations.  
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Develop a system to gather client feedback on their experience with the offshore team. This allows you to address any issues promptly and improve the process.  

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      Concluding Thoughts

      The talent shortage in accounting is a real challenge, but offshore accounting staffing offers a strategic solution. By addressing client concerns proactively and showcasing the benefits, you can navigate a smooth transition and gain client buy-in. 

      At Credfino, we specialize in helping first-time offshoring accounting firms get the best out of offshore accounting. As Professional Offshore Accounting Services Providers, we support over 100 CPAs and accounting firms in the USA and Canada.  

      We believe in helping you build your own team and develop your unique culture and relationships. We handle the hiring, training, and cultural challenges of managing a team in a foreign country, so you don’t have to.  

      Looking to expand your team while keeping your clients happy? 

      Reach out to us today to learn how Credfino can help you scale your accounting firm by building remote teams.


      1. Isn't offshore accounting staffing just a way to cut corners?

      No, it’s about maximizing efficiency. Your in-house team focuses on high-value tasks while skilled offshore staff handles routine accounting functions. 

      2. Can I still have the same level of personalized service with an offshore team?

      Yes, maintaining personalized service is possible! The key lies in choosing a reputable offshore staffing partner who prioritizes strong communication and understanding your client needs. Your offshore team can take care of your client interactions as well. By establishing clear communication channels (regular meetings, video calls, project management tools) and a dedicated point of contact, you can ensure seamless service delivery even with an offshore team. 

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