I have been outsourcing some of my firm’s work. The need, was several fold:
- Basic routine work to be done in a timely manner– data entry, reconciliations, correcting errors.
- Financial reports, review and analysis
- Design management reports – higher level of in –depth work
The outsourcing relationship has two aspects:
- The infrastructure needed to run a good operation at our end and at the outsourced vendor.
- The work content – technical competence, quality and expertise needed.
Both should be kept distinct and should never be confused!!!
Infrastructure relates to 1. Communication modes 2. Computer systems 3. Accounting and related software and competencies. 4. Cultural and communication challenges. 5. Time zone co-ordination and availability 6. Understanding of US rules, regulations, standards, nomenclature and accepted workings 7. Security, passwords, access and confidentiality.
This aspect has to cover ease of work flow between my firm and the outsourcer and all that is necessary to achieve speed. The mental picture is, as if the work resource is sitting in your office ready and able to perform tasks.
The next aspect is work content and this relates to the input given and expected output. It should also cover proprietary knowledge and ownership of developed IP.
Here, work is classified into projects :
1. Development – This is the concept and design of new reports and analysis. From here it will move into routine work as it becomes accepted by clients.
2. Project work – One off specific work – budgets, ad – hoc analysis
3. Routine. – Repetitive reports.
Each of the above has a project number, deadline and estimated time and is monitored as a separate project. I use social collaboration tools and Skype to interact and keep the projects moving along on distinct tracks and avoid bottlenecks.
When problems come up, you must be clear as to which category it falls into – infrastructure or work content.
– See more at: http://www.msncfo.com/msnBlog_November052012#sthash.N2zA4ZLM.dpuf