Deloitte Private Manager, Rachel Taylor, answers two pressing questions that every business owner asks - what types of work can I outsource and can this create more risk for my business?
For small businesses, new risks can seem overwhelming and take focus away from the core business. However, there is the ability to outsource some tasks which won't create more stress for your business.
In this day and age, the risk of not having the right infrastructure can cripple your business before you’re even aware of a cyber-attack. We've all experienced the frustrations when IT doesn’t work and productivity is impacted, so engaging the right IT support can help your business focus on achieving your strategy. With this in mind, my colleagues in the cyber security team have recently developed a number of cost effective health checks tailored to the SME market.
As you know, have the right staff and there is nothing like it - have the wrong staff and there is nothing like it. Therefore, having a strong vision and strategy for your business is paramount. There’s also the contracts, performance reviews and systems in place around HR. In all these areas, having expert HR advice provides a huge peace of mind, especially when dealing with poor performers in the team.
But outsourcing it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take an interest in your staff or play an active role in recruitment. In fact, you as a business owner play a crucial part in setting and demonstrating the values and culture you want within your SME.
My clients work with a range of outsourced HR businesses and I can put you in touch with some of these. Deloitte's Human Capital practice is also able to provide expertise for larger projects. Please see Deloitte Partner, Victoria Yeo, for more information.
Accounting / Bookkeeping
Let's face it - most clients don’t enjoy having to complete a GST return or pay their bills. But changes in technology over the last decade have made these tasks easier. Just make sure not to rely on your software without checking the calculations and don't assume it has the right expertise and safeguards. These services can be outsourced to an effective bookkeeper or an accounting firm (think Deloitte Private), which as a SME, means you can decrease the risk around no separation of duties.
A lot of businesses also have one person who holds crucial information in their head and this can be the biggest risk. By outsourcing, you are spreading that knowledge and minimising the risk. You can also employ our 'Virtual CFO' services to assist with strategy, governance and implementation. This service offers an opportunity to bring independent expertise into your business and free-up more time to focus on growing the core business. Click for here for more information.
Food for thought
With all options, it is critically important to get a full understanding of the outsource provider. Firstly, do you have a positive and engaged relationship? Do they care about your business? What are their terms and what’s in their scope?
Speak to a few of their current customers and test what hasn’t gone as well as expected. This will help ensure both parties are clear on how the outsourcing will work.
- Outsourcing is an option
- Outsourcing does not completely remove all responsibility and risks
- It can add additional expertise and a depth of knowledge on-call rather than full time
- A recent survey identified that in-house employees typically cost 57% more than their wage cost - this means that outsourcing and virtual positions can be more affordable while your business is growing.