How can Accounting Firms Leverage Freelancers and Outsourcing?

Accounting firms can leverage freelancers and outsourcing services to optimize their accounting operations during busy seasons. Here’s how.

Published On 
March 13, 2022
8 Minute Read

The accounting industry in Canada is competitive and very demanding; more so now since the pandemic changed the way we run businesses. On top of our usual day-to-day tasks we must now consider Covid-19 tax implications and changes made by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Managing various accounting processes for clients with a variety of needs can be overwhelming and counterproductive for workplace efficiency.

Demands are more noticeable when accounting firms face their busiest periods, usually around tax season and fiscal year closing. These are times when many accounting firms fall short of extra hands to sustain optimized operations.

As a result, accounting firm employees have to work longer hours. This can end up costing the firms more as employees’ productivity and performance levels take a hit.

Hiring more full-time employees due to the seasonal rush might seem like a solution but often doesn’t make sense on paper.

This is where Canada’s growing gig economy can provide an affordable solution. Accounting firms can acquire services from freelance accountants that work independently or through an outsourcing accounting firm.

Whether it’s bookkeeping or administrative responsibilities, accounting firms can leverage freelancers to work on the tasks that keep you from tax preparation.

Here’s how.

Seasonal Add-Ons

As mentioned previously, tax season in Canada can be hectic. Gig workers can provide the assistance an accounting firm’s needs without the costs that hiring a full-time employee incurs.

Besides tax season, outsourcing can support accounting firms in other areas, such as:

● Large merger/reorganization

● Incorporating new policy changes issued by the CRA

● Sale of the business

Outsourcing a contractor to work on recurring client needs reduces employees’ workload and avoids the firm from paying idle capacity.

Specialized Talent

If an accounting firm mainly focuses on financial consultation or tax prep, freelancers allow the firm to tap into specialized talent for the task at hand.

For example, a large accounting firm that doesn’t provide bookkeeping services but requires it from time to time can access bookkeeping experts that provide their services on a freelance basis.

These skills come at a lower price and prevent your employees from spending time on tasks that might not necessarily be productive,  such as billing and charge out perspective.

Finding Freelancers

Leveraging freelancers and outsourcing accounting tasks has many benefits for accounting firms. Now that you know how to utilize them, it’s imperative that accounting firms are selective in finding the right freelances for their companies.

There is a broad pool of accounting and taxation talent in Canada but it won’t benefit the firm if you don’t consider:

1. Whether you need a freelancer or a permanent employee. While freelancers can be quite effective in saving costs, they might not be the answer if hiring an in-house accountant seems more productive.

2. Which platform to source the freelancer from. Indeed, Upwork, Guru, and FlexJobs are a few examples of platforms where accounting firms from around the world can find the right match. Besides on-demand platforms, accounting firms also have the option of going to outsourcing firms in Canada aware of federal and provincial laws and regulations. This helps to make workflows more efficient.

3. Lastly, your accounting firm will need to enforce some structure for the freelancers to continue working independently while still following your firm’s policies.

Taxbotic allows you to add multiple team members to your account. If you end up hiring freelancers this upcoming tax season, Taxbotic can be used to give remote access securely and without any setup.  

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