Growing with Outsourcing
How Unified Accounting & Tax LLP Is providing the solution we need
The common mistake most businesses make is that they try to outsource everything. Before we ultimately decided to embark on an outsourced partnership, I did a lot of research on “what works” and “what doesn’t.” For fast-growing businesses, it’s not easy to outsource and at the same time, to try to grow your own staff. That is why it’s important to decide what your real needs are and what you can and can’t do yourself before outsourcing.
When we started to look for an outsourced accounting provider we weren’t looking for a firm to just partner with and hope for a miracle. For outsourcing to really work, you are delegating tasks but you still have to own the process.
Partnership with Unified Accounting & Tax LLP
Last August, we had two big tasks we needed to complete: Accounting Restatement and Accounts Payable Process. Anyone in accounting knows that restatements are never fun. The challenging part of this project was going through the statements and at the same time, getting the current accounting correct. For this project, we needed more experienced accountants to make faster progress. Partnering with Unified Accounting & Tax LLP made a lot of sense.
Harold Kinoshita, the owner of Unified Accounting & Tax LLP, brought his experienced CPAs to act as an extension of our accounting team. With their help, we are now substantially finished with the restatement project which we thought would take much longer.
It was helpful that the outsourced accountants are experienced and Big Four-trained. They were able to go through thousands of transactions and information and decipher the right accounting treatment in a relatively short period of time.
As for the Accounts Payable Project, prior to partnering with them, our Accounts Payable process was very disjointed. With dedicated resources and focus on the end to end process, we revamped the systems used and streamlined the process which resulted in driving down the processing costs.
New Accounting team
With the Restatement and Accounts Payable Projects, I had up eight accountants from Unified Accounting & Tax LLP dedicated to Shift. While working on these two projects, I am also training the new in-house accountants. It is really an efficient and effective partnering with Unified because it allowed me to delegate projects to them, therefore, giving me more time to train my new staff.
Communicating with Harold and the team is very easy, we have weekly status meetings. Whenever there are urgent questions or other matters, they quickly give feedback through Google chat or email. It also makes perfect sense to have accountants in the Philippines because they are well-educated in English and the CPA certification process is very equivalent to the US.
I think what helped to make this partnership successful and seamless was to spend the initial cost and time to bring Unified’s key team members to our headquarters for 6-8 weeks to train with us. While they were here, we introduced them to our in-house staff and gave them orientation. We made sure they felt that they are really part of Shift’s team.
I highly recommend that when you are going for an outsourced solution, you should either visit your new team or better yet, have them come and train with you.
The time difference with the Philippines was not a problem. My team here in San Francisco are able to handle matters during the day and when something urgent happens during the night, which is morning in the Philippines, the Unified Accounting & Tax LLP accountants can take care of them.
When I get home from work and after having dinner with my kids I am still able to communicate with the accountants from the Unified Accounting & Tax LLP (because it is still daytime in the Philippines). The outsourced accountants are making sure that by morning everything has been taken care off and there is a clean hand-off. With that, we have 100% coverage, it’s seamless.
Overall, the help and support Unified Accounting & Tax LLP has provided for Shift has been huge. I highly recommend for any small or large businesses in the Bay Area looking to expand or are in need of additional accounting team; to partner with Unified Accounting & Tax LLP and make full use of their cost-effective services.