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As outsourcing work continues to trend in the accounting industry, one tax agent has hit out at the practice, saying it opens the door to “substandard” work.
Accounting and Taxation Services agent Rosemarie King says outsourcing work presents an “unfair advantage” over sole practitioners, adding that work completed overseas is often of low quality.
“Sending work overseas to be put together, it’s very unfair against the accountant that wants to do their job properly because I’ve seen a great example of the work that comes back from this outsourcing overseas [and] it’s a mess,” Ms King said.
“The clients, they don’t understand it’s a mess. All they’re getting is a cheaper rate.”
Ms King said sole practitioners are not in a position to compete with overseas rates. Outsourcing also hinders Australians and graduate students trying to get work in the industry.
“I’m not saying that every Australian accountant is really brilliant at their job, but I am saying that the outsourcing is certainly substandard,” she said.
“It’s a very unfair advantage over these sole-practicing tax agents, over those that want to do their job properly.”
Ms King’s comments come after McLean Delmo Bentleys partner Jamie Bishop recently said the pressure on accounting firms’ profitability and margins was forcing firms to outsource work, reducing the number of entry-level and clerical jobs.
“There [are] definitely negative implications in that, I guess to some extent you are sending work offshore that would otherwise be done by someone on the ground in Australia,” Mr Bishop said.
“Typically, all this work is at the lower clerical end, but what that means is if you’re at a lower clerical end of the workforce then possibly those jobs are numbered or [are] certainly going to become a lot scarcer.”
Mr Bishop said that in such a competitive market, accounting firms need to outsource work or risk being “priced out of the market”.