or the CPA Australia members in industry, Outsourcing holds a vital importance these days as they are inclined to outsource a considerable part of their accounting, financial, and information technology (IT) services to the global talent pool.
In 2010, CPA Australia released ‘Offshoring: Impact on the accounting profession and quoted:
“Offshoring is part of the never-ending search for efficiency and cost reduction in firms and can be undertaken for both primary and support activities of the firm. Offshoring is particularly prevalent in back-office or support activities that are not as customer facing as other functions of the business and are therefore open to being located in lower-cost, non-customer-facing locations.”
Since the time being, Outsourcing has special implications for the accounting profession. Strictly speaking with reference to the CPAs in Australia, the trend of outsourcing professional services is growing by leaps and bounds over the last decade due to multifarious advantages ranging from cost reduction to enhanced efficiency to lesser turnaround time to access to specialized skill set and the list goes on.
In 2014, the Business Fitness report, “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the Australian Accounting Profession10”, noted that 30% of the Australian accounting firms surveyed are currently outsourcing, and that 39% were looking to commence or continue to outsource in the next year. By the end of 2020, there is a huge possibility of these numbers expanding notably across multiple industry verticals.
However, with respect to outsourcing, certain reservations with respect to ethical accounting standards of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behavior still exists which is a major point of concern for the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) Australia. Various standards have been laid down by APESB to provide guidance to a member in public practice in Australia who is involved in providing or utilizing outsourced services, to monitor the fundamental ethical aspect associated with the same.
However, in light of the prevailing scenarios, the outsourcing industry will continue to mature and earn greater levels of acceptance from around the business sections worldwide. The future outlook for the accounting profession in the context of outsourcing arrangements looks quite hopeful as we glide ahead into the 21st century.