Mani Malarvannan
Mani Malarvannan is cofounder of Cybelink, a company specializes in small business financial and accounting outsourcing like Bookkeeping, Tax, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, etc. For more info visit
Mani Malarvannan has written 9 articles for SB Informer.
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Financial & Accounting (F&A) Offshore Outsourcing Cost matters much to Small Business - A Report

Mani Malarvannan

October 09, 2007

1.0/5.0 (1 votes total)

Fortune 500 companies have been off shoring the financial and accounting business processes (BPO) to countries like India, Philippians, China, etc. These companies have big budgets and a big team of consultants who analyzes the total cost and ROI of sending their financial and accounting work to the service providers in offshore locations. Though smaller companies have started off shoring their financial and accounting work to offshore locations but like big corporations small businesses do not have huge budget to hire consultants to identify the total cost of off shoring their financial and accounting work to offshore locations.

In this report we will go through all of the hidden costs of off shoring financial and accounting business processes.

1. Different Costs of Off shoring Financial & Accounting Work

Small businesses mainly consider off shoring their work, they will consider only the hourly rate they need to pay to the offshore vendor for various accounting works like bookkeeping, accounts payable, accounts receivable, etc. There are several other additional hidden costs small business has to face in their offshore outsourcing engagement.

2. Cost of Selecting offshore accounting vendor

The cost associated with selecting an offshore accounting vendor will be small compared to other costs. Most of the time small businesses can find a qualified offshore accounting vendor simply by searching in Google or by contacting other small businesses those who are already using an offshore vendor, for detailed discussion on this topic read Offshore Accounting Success. This cost is the one time cost and it will be similar to selecting an onshore vendor.

3. Cost of sending the work to an offshore vendor

There are three different offshore accounting models you can use to send your accounting and financial work to the offshore vendors and for these you will incur following one time cost.

3.1. Scanner & Scanning software
Most of small businesses already have a scanner, if not a scanner (scanning software comes with the scanner) can be purchased for less than $1000.00. The cost of the scanner will go up based on the volume of accounting and financial documents to be scanned in a given day. It will be a one time cost for the small business and also by scanning all their paper based accounting documents; you can improve the efficiency of overall accounting process.

3.2. High speed Internet Connection Cost
You need to have high-speed Internet connection to send and receive the work to and from offshore location. Again all most all small businesses already have DSL/T1 Internet connection if not they can get a DSL Internet connection for $60-100/month.

3.3. Secure FTP software
If small businesses are using Application Service Provider (ASP) like Quickbooks online,, etc, then it is possible for offshore vendors to directly access your accounting data directly from the ASP vendor. In this case there is no need to use secure FTP software.

3.4. Backup Server
Once small businesses start digitizing their accounting documents for their offshore vendors, they need to start planning for the backup server to backup all their accounting documents. Most of the small businesses will have this feature already, if not it is a good investment to have a backup server to backup all their accounting and financial data from their main computer to the backup server. For any business “Business continuity” is a vital task and the backup server will help the small businesses to recover all the accounting data in case of main computer failure.

3.5. Additional Accounting software License cost
If small businesses decides to use Remote Server or ASP then there is no additional cost for small businesses. On the other hand if the small businesses decided to use Secure File Transfer then small businesses needs to buy additional accounting software license for the offshore vendor to use. Small businesses will incur this cost even if they outsource the work to onshore vendors. This cost is truly solely based on the accounting software package used by the small businesses.

4. Managing Financial & Accounting offshore vendor

Once you send your accounting and financial work to the offshore vendor, you need to constantly mange and monitor the quality of finished work that comes back from the vendor. Initially you may need a full-time person educating the offshore accountants and bookkeepers about your accounting process and preparing proper instructions for them to follow in their work. Once you and the offshore team are comfortable in the working relationship then all you need is to verify the work periodically. Basically you need to consider the offshore team as your virtual team and educate them in your accounting processes and procedures, once you are comfortable with their work your own employee(s) will spend less time with the offshore vendors.

5. Offshore vendor wage

Small businesses need to consider several costs in their financial and accounting offshore engagement. As shown in the table Small business F&A offshore outsourcing - Fixed Cost Vs Monthly Cost some of the costs are fixed and some of them are monthly expanses incurred by the small businesses. Among the monthly cost only the offshore vendor wage is the direct cost paid to the offshore vendor. While performing ROI analysis small businesses must consider all these costs to find the Total Cost of doing business with offshore vendors. As shown in the table, for certain items finding out the exact cost may not be possible and it is highly based on the individual small businesses and the type of accounting and financial work that has been sent to offshore locations. The total cost may not be a fixed amount and it can change from month to month. For example in some months there will be more questions from the offshore vendor in clarifications and in other months there will be less questions, this cost will vary from month to month.


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