Outsourcing is a growing trend in the accounting profession, as Firms look to take advantage of lower labour costs overseas to complete tax and audit files.
However, not all accounting firms are keen to embrace the practice.
J. Rolland Vaive, the founder of Ottawa-based Vaive and Associates, started his career working on individual tax returns – the same type of work that’s commonly being outsourced. As the head of a growing practice, he says there are immense benefits to keeping the work in-house.
“In the short term, outsourcing can result in higher profits,” Vaive says. “But in the long term, you’re depriving young accountants of the opportunity to learn.”
Working on personal and corporate tax returns allows younger accountants to gain technical expertise, learn file organization skills, develop comfort working with others and acquire a deeper understanding of various industries.
However, the most important benefit is arguably the opportunity for young professionals to uncover a passion for accounting. By working on different files, they are able to discover what specialty area they enjoy working on the most.
“For example, we don’t want to rob them the opportunity to fall in love with tax,” he says.
Avoiding outsourcing also protects Vaive and Associates from privacy issues that arise from sending tax returns overseas. Some clients may not agree to have their financial information reviewed by third parties.
“Outsourcing is not talked about because of client perception,” says Vaive. “I expect that clients would be concerned that their work is not being done here, and there could be repercussions from that.”